Thứ Ba, Tháng Năm 30, 2023
HomeNewsLASD deputies ordered to show suspected gang tattoos

LASD deputies ordered to show suspected gang tattoos

Nearly three dozen officers were ordered to come in for questioning, show their tattoos and name any other officers who had acted similarly in ink to connect them with two of the notorious gangs. of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

the need has come Friday in a letter sent by County Inspector General Max Huntsman to 35 delegates suspected of being members of the Executioners, operating out of Compton or Banditos stations, operating out of East LA stations.

The names of the delegates have not been released to the public, but Huntsman said they are a subset of 41 delegates he identified as a suspected gang member last year.

“The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department conducted incomplete internal investigations into Banditos and the Executioner, failing to identify all of the members,” Huntsman told The Times this week. “California” new gang law address discrimination on the basis of race and sex and give inspectors enhanced powers to gather evidence. We are using that authority to complete investigations by directing deputies to show their tattoos and let us know who else has them.”

It is unclear what the consequences would be if officers did not show up, although letters Huntsman sent last week warned that refusing to answer questions could “adversely affect our work. friends with Los Angeles County or your status as a police officer.”

In a public statement sent to members this week, a union representing delegates, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Professional Assn., advised members to call the union immediately if they receive one. letter. In a Facebook post, another union, Assn. to the Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, advised members not to respond to the letters and instead “call ALADS NOW.”

Richard Pippin, president of ALADS, said the union believes certain aspects of the inspector general’s investigation “violate the fundamental constitutional rights of individuals” and that there are key parts of the letter that should be addressed. clarify.

“The delegates will definitely look to the Sheriff [Robert] Luna, their owner, to make that clear, he said.

In a statement late Tuesday, department officials said they were aware of the letters, but did not clarify whether deputies had been directed to respond or if there would be consequences for ignoring them. .

“The Department supports any investigation that seeks to uncover misconduct, as all members of the Police Department are expected to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards,” the officials wrote. in an unsigned statement emailed. “Members of the Department who engage in misconduct or criminal activity will not be tolerated and will be held accountable.”

The five-page letter from the inspector general, the county’s watchdog, opens by explaining that the recipient was “instructed to appear in person to participate in an interview conducted by the Office of the Inspector General.” related to the presence of law enforcement gangs in Los Angeles. Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.”

It lays down the legal basis for such an investigation, quote state law 2021 gave the inspector general the authority to investigate law enforcement gangs by specifying that the agencies “will cooperate” with the inspector general’s investigations.

While the law doesn’t specify what will happen if an individual police officer fails to cooperate, Huntsman’s letter does point to another section of the state’s penal code that states non-cooperating with the investigation. An investigation into police misconduct could be grounds for canceling the peace agreement. office staff.

The letter then explained the reason for the investigation: Although the Police Department had evidence that secret and exclusive gangs commonly known as Bandits and Executioners both existed, the department had not could never provide investigators with a complete list of team members. one of two groups.

“The Office of the Inspector General is conducting a series of witness interviews to determine the membership of Banditos and the Executioners,” the letter continued.

The letter raised more than a dozen questions the interviewer intended to ask, including: Do you have a Bandit or Executioner-related tattoo anywhere on your body? Who was present when you tattooed? Who knows about your tattoo? Who else have you seen the tattoo on?

The letter also included a request to see each deputy’s legs, which is a common spot for suspected gang tattoos.

The letter ends by instructing recipients to contact the Office of the Inspector General within two weeks to schedule an interview.

Although the letter states that delegates “must” appear and answer questions, it makes one possible exception: the 5th Amendment. If delegates assert a First Amendment right 5 to refuse to answer questions that might incriminate them, Huntsman’s office will not legally force them to answer — or at least not yet.

The letter states: “If the Office of the Inspector General decides to force a statement of the Fifth Amendment claim, you will be recalled at a future date. “If you fail to assert your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, failure to respond could adversely affect your employment with Los Angeles County or your status as an attorney. a certified police officer.”

The deputies who received the letter — under a delivery process that Huntsman said was made possible only through cooperation from the Sheriff’s Department — were among those mentioned in a longer letter. which Huntsman sent to then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva in early 2022.

The purpose of the previous letter was to request the department to provide a series of documents necessary for the investigation. But it also gives some information that the Huntsman already has about their existence.

Although the letter did not name any gang members, it said that the office had identified 11 robbers and 30 suspected executioners.

The Sheriff’s Department has long faced allegations of clandestine undercover deputies operating in some train stations and prisons, controlling command staff and promoting a culture of violence. A Loyola Marymount University report released in 2021 has identified 18 such groups that have existed over the past five decades, including Executioners and Bandits.

Members of the former group are said to have skull tattoos with Nazi images and AK-47 rifles, while members of the latter are said to be famous for matching tattoos of a decorated skeleton with a wide-brimmed hat, a headband, and a pistol.

The current round of letters comes after a series of attempts to limit gang activity within the Sheriff’s Department.

Immediately after taking office, Luna announced the establishment of the Constitutional Police Office with the purpose off exterminate the deputy gang.

And, in a The long report was released a few weeks laterThe Civilian Oversight Committee special counsel made more than two dozen recommendations to eliminate gangs, including firing captains who did not support anti-gang policies, asking deputies to conceal any gang-related tattoos at work, notify prosecutors whenever gang-related deputy is set up to testify as a witness in court and organize community meetings.

Unlike his predecessor, Luna has acknowledged the existence of deputy gangs and openly said he wants to end them. However, he has yet to formally accept the report’s recommendations.

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