Days later deputy Gonzalez received a text message on his phone that was a photo of the station’s parking lot entrance with some graffiti drawn onto a dial pad that read, “Art is a Rat.”
After months of continued retaliation against him, Gonzalez filed a claim against L.A. County that alleges it was the doing of a powerful gang in control of the Compton station called the “Executioners” whose members were some of the deputies that sported matching tattoos containing Nazi-type images and an AK-47. Gonzalez also alleges these deputies celebrate shootings and hold “inking parties” to induct new members into their gang.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the claim says that in recent years these gang members participated in setting quotas for illegal arrests and made threats to slow down their work duties. This involves intentionally lagging behind on calls to have a slow response time or ignoring them completely if they didn’t get the assignments they preferred to be on. These slow responses and ignoring calls are nothing new to the United States and we’ve uncovered it happening in Florida.
Gonzales alleges there are 20 deputies in the Compton station clique, and that 20 more are associated with it or are prospects to become members. The claim says they mainly work at nighttime and use WhatsApp to communicate. It also says deputies who are black or female are not allowed into the clique.
The claim says Gonzalez was forced to step down from his field training position as a result of the retaliation, and that a deputy in dispatch who has one of the tattoos swamped him with calls while other deputies refused to partner up with him, the L.A. Times reports.
“Nearly all the CPT Deputies who have been involved in high-profile shootings and out-of-policy beatings at CPT in recent years have been ‘inked’ members of The Executioners. Inking’ refers to the act of each newly made member of The Executioners receiving a matching tattoo indicating membership in the organization.”
“… Members become inked as ‘Executioners’ after executing members of the public, or otherwise committing acts of violence in furtherance of the gang,” the claim reads.
The Compton station has been under increased scrutiny recently because of high-profile violent incidents, including in May when Dalvin Price was pinned to the ground, beaten by three deputies, and arrested at Santa Fe and Rosecrans avenues. There was also the fatal shooting of aged 18 Andres Guardado in June when a deputy shot him in the back five times in Gardena.
There have long been concerns about such tattooed police gangs, including ones who go by the Grim Reapers, Spartans, Banditos, and Regulators that are active within several Sheriff’s Department stations. Many members of the community see these law enforcement gangs as being criminals. These fraternal groups have still held their power in what has recently launched an FBI probe and are the reason for multiple internal investigations. The Sheriff’s Department turns a blind eye according to accusations by a lot of advocates for civil liberties, The L.A. Times mentioned.
“We have a gang here that has grown to the point where it dominates every aspect of life at the Compton station.
It essentially controls scheduling, the distribution of informant tips, and assignments to deputies in the station with preference shown to members of the gang as well as prospects,” Alan Romero said, an attorney representing Gonzalez’s claim, that is planned to become a lawsuit.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva denied there are any such police gangs but said there is “swift administrative action” being taken over these disturbing allegations. Villanueva gave a statement later that he ordered an investigation, and that he had recently enacted a new policy in February that prohibits illicit deputy cliques, groups, and subgroups.
On Thursday Inspector General Max Huntsman said he wasn’t aware of any such policy at all and that the Sheriff’s office is incapable of investigating this matter “because of the obstruction of the Sheriff’s Department.” The Inspector-General went on and noted a criminal investigation that found a “cover-up” by members of Banditos allegedly participated in the 2018 beating while they were off-duty. He mentioned that over 20 deputies did not need to make statements.
Over the past year, the FBI has been interviewing deputies regarding these law enforcement gangs and if they are actively and intentionally getting involved in violence and violating the public’s civil rights. A non-profit named Rand Corp. that is a research agency has been carrying out its own study about these criminal police groups and has plans to publish a report next year in January.
A deputy named Samuel Aldama gave an admission under oath that he has a matching tattoo. Attorney Romero released a photo that he alleges is the same tattoo image on a pencil holder, mouse, and mouse pad at the Compton station that belongs to one of the Executioner gang deputy members.
On a side note, CBS Los Angeles recently reported that LAPD officers were charged with falsifying gang records that could disrupt more than 750 criminal cases.
For the full story, read the article on The Los Angeles Times.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.