LA deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assault

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with deleting video evidence that prosecutors say showed her assaulting a man during an arrest two years ago.

Nicole Bell faces felony charges including concealing evidence as a peace officer and assault, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday.

Bell is accused of assaulting the man while he sat in the back of a patrol vehicle in the city of Lancaster on July 30, 2019, prosecutors said.

A family member of the man recorded some of the incident on a cell phone and prosecutors allege Bell deleted the video from the phone, the district attorney office’s statement said.

“Tampering or destroying evidence tarnishes law enforcement and creates mistrust among the public,” District Attorney George Gascón said in the statement.

It wasn’t known Wednesday if Bell, 27, has an attorney who could speak on her behalf and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the deputies’ union, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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