Essential worker sues LA County deputies over alleged beating after Inglewood traffic stop

Christopher Bailey explains he was driving home, after a late-night shift at the private mail sorting facility that kept him employed during the early part of the pandemic back in 2020.

Bailey was wearing a uniform and had a letter on his dashboard from his employer explaining he was an essential worker. On May 4, 2020, Bailey was stopped by Los Angeles County deputies on Prairie Avenue, right off East Hardy Street in Inglewood, just off a few blocks from his home at about 2 a.m.

It’s an area usually patrolled by Inglewood police. However, LASD handled the traffic stop and Bailey stopped. Bailey insists he complied with the deputies’ request to step out of the vehicle. 

That’s when a civil rights violation lawsuit filed by his attorneys claims that the beating began. 

Reading from LASD’s own report from that night, Bailey was repeatedly punched, kicked, tasered and choked. Video provided to attorneys by bystanders show his face disfigured, as paramedics responded to the scene up to treat him, but not before six other deputies showed up to ‘join in the beating,’" according to attorney Toni Jaramilla. 

Initially, Bailey was criminally charged with felony evading arrest, which was dropped to a traffic violation – all during the tenure of then-District Attorney Jackie Lacey.  He didn’t have a weapon, or at least none was mentioned in the report.  The onlooker’s video, as you can see in our story, shows deputies with blood on their uniforms, all theirs, according to Bailey’s legal team. 

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LASD is not commenting on the incident, saying they can’t under "legal counsel". As of this writing, we have not been told if they are investigating, if the deputies are on leave, or if there is a video from their own cameras. The fact that a body camera of the incident has not been released or even discussed is unusual, considering the changes that have been touted, after a year of protests and demands for transparency from the department. 

The video we have is of the aftermath, none from the actual incident. But it is clear civilians were nearby, even if no one in the neighborhood is talking – only saying it was a curfew night, and they were inside. 

The lawsuit does not mention numbers, but does request damages, explaining that Bailey has lost vision in one eye, where the orbit was fractured. 

FOX 11 asked what would justice look like in this case. Nothing short of criminal charges against the deputies, was their answer.