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Two county jail deputies charged with assault

Two Santa Barbara County Sheriff Custody Deputies have been placed on administrative leave.

A complaint of unnecessary use of force was brought to the jail’s attention by the Public Defender’s Office on June 18th.

The Sheriff’s office said an investigation began immediately and was turned over the the District Attorney’s Office.

DA Joyce Dudley said charges were filed against the two Santa Barbara County Sheriff Custody Deputies who work in the Santa Barbara County Main Jail.

Custody Deputy Robert Kirsch and Custody Deputy Christopher Johnson were each charged with assault by a public officer because of an alleged assault against an inmate being housed at the county jail.

The defendants will be arraigned on Aug. 30 in Santa Barbara Superior Court.

The Sheriff’s Office released the following statement: “Our agency does not tolerate the unnecessary or excessive use of force” said Sheriff Bill Brown. “The behavior alleged in the criminal complaint is contrary to the high standards of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. I am saddened by these allegations that do not reflect the conduct and actions of the vast majority of the hundreds of men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others. The custody deputies, who have both been placed on administrative leave, are entitled to due process. The case will now work its way through the criminal justice system and an internal review within the Sheriff’s Office.”

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