A group called the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in county jails is calling on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to look into the feasibility of permanent civilian oversight of the county jails. A town hall meeting is set for today, March 14, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 1006 East 28th St., in Los Angeles. Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas reportedly will be in attendance.

The aim of the meeting is to educate local residents, students, community leaders, and elected officials about the need and benefits of a permanent civilian review board as a means of addressing the “high level of violence” inside the county jails. The town hall will also gather public testimony from South Los Angeles residents personally impacted by sheriff’s violence. There will be performance art addressing the issue.

“When I was incarcerated in the L.A. county jails I was beaten by sheriff deputies and left with out food for days. They beat me up because I told them that it was wrong to beat up inmates after I witnessed them do that,” said Jermond Davis, a South L.A. resident. “A deputy told me to shut the [expletive] up and started beating me. Then he called other deputies over and they stomped on me for a long time. We need a permanent way to hold the sheriff’s accountable.”

“Black and Brown people are the ones who are bearing the brunt of the violence and racism inside the L.A. County jails,” said Patrisse Cullors, founder of the Coalition. “We want South L.A. residents to not only be heard, but to be armed with action that has long-standing positive impacts in this city.”