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7 Deputies Suspended After Brawl At Christmas Party

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Seven Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have been relieved of duty pending an investigation into an alleged brawl at a Christmas party, officials said Wednesday.

The party, held Friday at the Quiet Cannon banquet hall in Montebello, was for deputies who work at Men's Central Jail.

KNX 1070's Bill Cooper reports


Whitmore says the party was being held for deputies who work at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles and only deputies were involved in the brawl.

He says two deputies were treated at the scene for mild or moderate injuries.

A source told CBS2/KCAL9's Serene Branson that all the deputies were drunk and the altercation began when one of them began "talking trash, asking why it takes so long to escort inmates into the visitor's area."

The source also said some of the deputies involved sport tattoos that identify them as being from different parts of the jail.

"All of that will be contained in this investigation, and that very well may be true," Whitmore said. "Is there a culture that's endemic to this? Perhaps there is. Is it going to stop? Yes. It's going to stop."

Montebello Police say officers responded to a 911 call at the restaurant. In a statement, the department said a man who identified himself as a sheriff's department captain told the officers at the door that everything was fine and that they would handle it.

Two deputies went to Montebello Police Department to file a report, but the sheriff's department will handle those reports.

"This is going to be done sooner rather than later," said Whitmore. "(Sheriff Lee Baca) wants to get to the bottom of this immediately."

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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