Sheriff to investigate why bailiff handcuffed court spokeswoman

From the Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman
says the department has begun an internal affairs investigation into
why a deputy acting as a bailiff detained and handcuffed a Superior
Court spokeswoman inside a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Sheriff’s
spokesman Steve Whitmore says deputy public information officer Vania
Stuelp was handcuffed Tuesday after she refused to
leave the area usually occupied by attorneys and would not follow the
deputy’s directions. He says Stuelp was not arrested.

Whitmore
says Stuelp walked into the well area to inform a French television
crew they could not film in a certain area of the court.

Court was not in session at the time.

Whitmore says a sheriff’s sergeant arrived recognized her as the court spokesperson and directed that she be released.

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  • B. Ojeda

    It sounds like the deputy was acting to keep the peace in a courtroom he was assigned to protect. All people, even court officers like Stuelp can get out of line from time to time. One is not to cause a disturbance in a courtroom at any time. How many people work in a Superior court building? Hundreds? How many people is the deputy expected to recognize on sight? Is he supposed to know that Stuelp (a former TMZ employee) is entitled by virtue of her court identification badges to come in and bring a halt to the court process with all the subtlety of an airhorn. People are not allowed to waltz into a courtroom yapping on a cell phone, and are definitely not supposed to roam free as they please as if they owned the place without the permission of the bailiff. A good, dutiful bailiff will not allow anyone to enter his courtroom and throw their weight around disrupting the integrity of the court as Stuelp did. Stuelp probably got angry that her power and authority was not immediately bowed down to. There are regulars in all divisions in a courtroom. When one of those regulars, in this case a deputy district attorney asks a bailiff to take action to quell a disturbance, then the deputies actions are made more clear. When she refused the deputy’s order to leave the courtroom, the deputy rightfully took action to enforce his order. I’m sure Stuelp went quietly and did not even flinch or pull away one inch when she was taken by the arm and escorted towards the door. Yeah right. If she did pull away or jerk out of the deputy’s hold of her arm, he will regain control of her, and escalate his control holds to overcome her resistance. That’s what cops do when confronted by an unruly scofflaw. More struggling, more force, and handcuffing. As for pulling her arms back behind her body, how else is a cop supposed to handcuff someone. He’s pulling her arms back for handcuffing, and if he needed to pull them back it was because she wouldn’t put them back there on her own. Stuelp was unruly, uppity, and got what she deserved. She is not all powerful, and needed to enlist the deputy’s help in having the TV crew removed if she wanted them out instead of barging into a courtroom and ordering people around.