White Los Angeles County Deputy Pepper-Sprays Black Veteran, 73, For No Reason

A video has surfaced of a white Los Angeles County deputy using pepper spray on a 73-year-old black veteran three times for no reason in 2007.

Deputy Christian Chamness, who was once honored as “deputy of the year,” claimed that deputies arrested several men at a local barbershop for allegedly disobeying orders to stay inside while deputies answered an unrelated call nearby, notes the Los Angeles Times.

In his police report, Chamness wrote that Raymond Davison, an Army veteran, “ began to advance on me. I … ordered him once more to step aside. He refused so I sprayed him with a 3- to 4-second burst.”

However, a surveillance camera shows Davison being held by another deputy, not advancing, while Chamness used pepper spray on Davison’s face three times.

Davison was charged with resisting or delaying a peace officer, but that charge and charges against three other men at the barbershop were dismissed.

Los Angeles County paid the four men $195,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a lawsuit alleging false arrest and battery by the deputies.

According to Los Angeles County records, Chamness was suspended for 25 days for making a false report and using unreasonable force.

Chamness was awarded the sheriff’s “Legendary Lawman Pin” in June 2017 for serving 15 years. He made $135,000 in overtime and other earnings in 2016.

Chamness is just one 277 Los Angeles County deputies who are on what is called the “Brady List,” which notes deputies’ histories of dishonesty, criminal acts and  and misconduct.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell wants to give the 2014 list to prosecutors, who are not allowed to see it per California law. The Golden State has some of the strictest secrecy laws on police misconduct.

The prosecutors are required by law to tell criminal defendants about evidence that could damage the credibility of  a deputy who is called as a witness in their case. 

The Los Angeles Times notes that deputies on the list have been identified as potential witnesses in more than 62,000 felony cases since 2000.

The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, a union that represents the deputies, is trying to block prosecutors from accessing the list.

(Sources: Los Angeles Times/Facebook, Los Angeles Times)

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