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Alleged gangs in LA Sheriff’s Department to be investigated by oversight panel : NPR


Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Not less than 41 Los Angeles County deputies have been recognized as being tattooed members of the Banditos or Executioners gangs, in accordance to the county’s inspector basic.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Photographs


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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Photographs


Sheriff Alex Villanueva of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Not less than 41 Los Angeles County deputies have been recognized as being tattooed members of the Banditos or Executioners gangs, in accordance to the county’s inspector basic.

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP through Getty Photographs

Final 12 months, journalist Cerise Fort authored an investigation into gangs inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. She detailed the lengthy historical past of those gangs and the way prevalent they nonetheless are in Los Angeles, in an investigative sequence printed by Knock LA.

“There are at least 18 gangs within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” in accordance to the investigation, and they’re allegedly tied to the deaths of a minimum of 19 folks, all of whom had been males of coloration. Fort’s reporting features a database of names of deputies reportedly concerned in these gangs. The division didn’t communicate to the journalism outlet for the sequence.

This week, the civilian oversight board charged with maintaining tabs on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) introduced it is launching an investigation into the prevalence of deputy gangs inside the division.

The announcement of the committee’s investigation comes roughly a 12 months after Knock LA printed Fort’s investigation.

“It was quite a full-circle moment for me to see that an independent investigation into these deputy gangs is being pursued,” Fort advised NPR of the information.

Since her undertaking was launched, Fort stated, she has seen a number of events the place LASD deputies, together with the gangs they’re part of, “take egregious actions” towards civilians in LA.

“Many stories do not make it into the news,” she stated.

Her investigations into LASD deputy gangs proceed.

These sorts of gangs have created a long time of issues inside the division and with the way it offers with the residents of Los Angeles, in accordance to the civilian oversight board. These issues embrace claims of discrimination, extreme pressure and even homicide.

“Deputy gangs have fostered and promoted excessive force against citizens, discriminated against other deputies based on race and gender, and undermined the chain of command and discipline,” stated Sean Kennedy, the fee’s chair, in an announcement. “Despite years of documented history of this issue, the Department has failed to eliminate the gangs.”

Sheriff Alex Villanueva wrote on Fb that inquiries into his division over alleged gangs are only a “fishing expedition” and “political theater.”

He wrote, “Not one elected official, or their political appointees, have provided me even one name” of a deputy concerned in gangs.

The investigation is ready to take 5 to six months to full. The fee goals to decide which stations these gangs function out of, in addition to the scope and impression these teams have had on the communities that deputies are meant to shield.

The county’s inspector basic additionally launched an investigation into the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department this 12 months.

In a letter despatched to Villanueva, LA County Inspector Common Max Huntsman demanded paperwork from the division which can be nonetheless owed to investigators.

On this letter, Huntsman stated a minimum of 41 Los Angeles County deputies have been recognized as being tattooed members of the Banditos or Executioners gangs.

California regulation requires that regulation enforcement businesses keep a coverage prohibiting such “law enforcement gangs.” But quite a few reviews have proven the existence of those deputy gangs inside the county’s sheriff’s division.

California’s legislature has outlined regulation enforcement gangs as “peace officers within a law enforcement agency who may identify themselves by a name and may be associated with an identifying symbol, including, but not limited to, matching tattoos.” Lawmakers have stated the issue seems to be most prolific in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.



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