Teen seen on video beaten in custody files civil rights lawsuit against LA County

A local teenager is filing a civil rights lawsuit against Los Angeles County stemming from a 2020 incident in which a county probation officer is seen attacking the then-17-year-old in custody.

The incident happened in October 2020 at Camp Kilpatrick in Malibu. In surveillance video from the camp, Beckham Cardona is seen being forcibly bent in half by one of the officers at the detention center while staff tried to restrain him.

"I thought he'd kill me or break my back," said Cardona, now 19. 

The officer, identified as Oscar Cross, was seen in the video bending one of Cardona's lets backwards over his head. In the recording, Cardona was also heard screaming in Spanish for his parents.

Cardona told FOX 11 that he didn't report the incident at the time because his probation officer allegedly told him if he did, he'd be transferred to an adult facility.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: LA County probation officer charged in assault of teen in custody

In July, nearly three years after the incident, LA County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Cross has been charged with the assault of a minor.

"The conditions of confinement for these young people in LA County are truly alarming," he said at the time. "We must ensure their safety within these institutions. Our role is to rehabilitate them, not subject them to further harm. Just as we hold minors accountable for their crimes within these halls, we will hold those entrusted with their care equally accountable."

Cardona's lawsuit, announced Wednesday, is against LA County, but also names the LA County Probation Department Chief who did not fire Cross after the incident happened.

"Not only did they brutalize him, but they covered it up," Cardona's attorney Luis Carillo said. "They covered it up and they failed to report child abuse… the others should also be charged with crimes."

In response to FOX 11's request for comment, the LA County Probation Department said it doesn't comment on pending litigation.