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LASD Deputy Slammed Door on Man’s Finger, Causing Amputation, Lawsuit Says

Larry Jones says Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Ira Ynigo crushed his middle finger in a door and, instead of helping him, locked the door and walked away. “He watched me scream,” Jones said.

This photo shows a man in a blue jumpsuit whose back says "Los Angeles County Jail." His face cannot be seen.

A lawsuit filed in federal court last month alleges that a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputy slammed a cell door shut on an incarcerated person’s hand, forcing doctors to partially amputate the man’s finger.

On Sept. 19, 2023, Deputy Ira Ynigo kicked Larry Jones’ cell door shut while Jones held onto the door frame for support. Jones uses a wheelchair and a cane and says Ynigo was aware of his physical limitations. 

The tip of Jones’ middle finger became trapped between the gate and the frame. But instead of assisting Jones, Ynigo locked the door, the lawsuit states.

“He watched me scream,” Jones told The Appeal. “Anybody who did something like that on accident would try to unlock the door. He did nothing. He left me jammed in the door. I had to yank it out and rip my finger off.”

Jones said Ynigo walked away and took another incarcerated person to the shower. Jones said that when deputies finally opened the cell door, his fingertip fell to the ground.

According to Jones, a porter swept his fingertip into a dustpan and threw it away. Paramedics arrived to transport Jones but wouldn’t bring him to the hospital without his fingertip. When jail staff retrieved his fingertip from the trash, Jones said it was too contaminated to reattach.

The lawsuit says surveillance cameras captured the incident. Jones and his attorney asked the LASD to give them the footage, but the LASD has refused to do so, according to emails reviewed by The Appeal.

Jones said that, once he was in the hospital, he had to have surgery without anesthesia. 

“They had these weird tools where they had to break my bones and get the crushed bones out of the way so that they can sew it,” Jones said. “All that was awake.”

This photo shows a mosaic of Larry Jones and his family. Jones is posing for a selfie in the right frame of the mosaic. His partner and her small children smile in the other frames.
Courtesy of Larry Jones’s Family

Ultimately, Jones said the tip of his right middle finger had to be amputated above his topmost knuckle. He says the ongoing pain and nerve damage makes it difficult to hold things.

Jones’s partner filed a grievance about the incident with the jail administration. According to the complaint, which was shared with The Appeal, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department granted the grievance and took “appropriate administrative action.” Jones said he and his attorney asked what administrative action was taken, but the LASD did not answer them.

In emails with The Appeal, LASD spokespeople said “there is an ongoing administrative investigation regarding this incident” but declined to comment further.

Jones also said the jail is not giving him the medical care he requires—including mental health care, psychiatric consultations, group therapy, or out-of-cell time. Almost half of all people incarcerated in the Los Angeles jail system have a mental illness. Yet the county has long failed to provide adequate mental health care. 

Despite federal mandates, a 2022 report from an independent U.S. Department of Justice monitor found that the county wasn’t providing out-of-cell time to people with severe mental illness and instead left them chained to tables. More recently, a report from Disability Rights California found that at least 130 people deemed unable to care for themselves due to mental illness remained incarcerated in Los Angeles jails because there is no space in mental health treatment facilities for them.

“I’ve tried to express the trauma that I’ve been going through with nightmares, slamming doors, it all triggers me,” Jones said. “The psychiatrists don’t write down what you’re telling them. When my wife requested my file, none of that stuff was documented.”

Jones has been incarcerated in Men’s Central Jail (MCJ) since August 2023. He has already been sentenced and served time in state prison but was moved to MCJ for his upcoming re-sentencing.

“I want people to know that the treatment that we are receiving here is inhumane, and nobody’s family should have to go through these conditions,” Jones said. “Men’s Central Jail was supposed to be shut down years ago. They don’t care that we’re in here with rats.”