A “gang” scandal within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department prompts the city’s inspector general to press for a further investigation. Groups within law enforcement are accused of discrimination, while Chief Sheriff Alex Villanueva denounces it as an effort by progressives to smear his agency.
Journalist Cerise Castle responded to the recent news by citing her own 15-part series on the subject which was published last year.
According to a recent rolling stone report, Los Angeles Inspector General Max Huntsman is investigating “at least 41 deputies” for their alleged involvement in “law enforcement gangs.” Tattoos are cited as a sign of evidence in the survey. They reportedly encountered eleven potential gang members “Banditos” and thirty “executioners” on this base.
The use of tattoos is highlighted by the Los Angeles Inspector General as evidence of the group’s coordination. As for answering what a “deputy gang” is, there are differences in the answers. The IG’s claims claim they are a clique that can discriminate against minorities, while the sheriff’s office itself has refuted those claims as part of an effort to defund the police more.
IG Huntsman lists three different internal investigations at the Sheriff’s Department that he says indicate gang-like behavior. His office is investigating whether the Banditos or Executioners groups are acting in a way toward minorities that violates anti-discrimination laws.
He goes on to cite the “Kennedy Hall Incident” investigation which apparently had “veteran deputies” engaging in assaults and there was little to no questioning of witnesses after the fact. A June 2019 report said several younger sheriff’s deputies filed “a lawsuit alleging harassment and discrimination,” alleging that older veterans of the force beat them.)
“The Sheriff’s Department cannot refuse to produce the documents requested below by unilaterally declaring that no Deputy Sheriff is a member of a ‘Law Enforcement Gang,'” IG Huntsman wrote.
What the Inspector General is referring to is a letter sent by Sheriff Alex Villanueva in February, which openly opposes the use of the term “gang” to describe members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Villanueva points to the origin of the term coming from a “frivolous lawsuit” that the media ran and repeated, despite everything.
“Those who want to further undermine the perception of law enforcement are using it as hate speech to promote their own agendas, like defunding law enforcement and redirecting those funds to their own nonprofits. profit, many of which are nothing more than fictitious corporations operating with virtually no accountability.”
Villanueva goes on to cite how Priscilla Ocen, now chairwoman of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission, described the LASD as “operating like a gang” in her accusation that the department had an apparent white supremacy problem.
The Inspector General cites California Penal Code Section 13670 as a measure prohibiting members of law enforcement from joining “gangs”. It is further stipulated by Huntsman that the rules oblige the agencies to cooperate with him, if such matters arise.
Huntsman adds that in September 2021, California Assembly Bill 958 was approved and it defines “law enforcement gang” to mean “a group of peace officers within a law enforcement agency who may identify themselves by name and may be associated with symbol identification, including but not limited to matching tattoos…”
To that end, he formally requests that Sheriff Villanueva’s department come forward and turn over all relevant documents related to the gang investigation.