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Civilian Oversight Commision Special Counsel-Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques in the LA Sheriff's Dept-Feb. 2023

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February 2023

Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission
Sean Kennedy, Chair

Jamon R. Hicks, Vice
Irma Hagans Cooper

James P. Harris

Hans Johnson

Luis S. Garcia

Patricia Giggans

Robert C. Bonner

Lael Rubin

Brian K. Williams, Executive Director

Lead Special Counsel: Bert Deixler of Kendall Brill & Kelly Other Special Counsel
Bart Williams and Susan L. Gutierrez of Proskauer
Ashley Bowman and Ariel Neuman of Bird Marella
Carolyn Kubota and Ellen Choi of Covington
William Forman of Winston & Strawn (on behalf of Loyola Law School Center
for Juvenile Law and Policy)

L. Ashley Aull and Robyn Bacon of Munger Tolles & Olson (on behalf of
Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy)
Naeun Rim and Sarah Moses of Manatt
Clark Brown, former General Counsel L.A. County Bar
Richard Drooyan, Consultant
Adam Dawson, lead investigator



PREFACE ......................................................................................................................... 1
COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT......................................................................... 3

INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................... 3


INVESTIGATION..................................................................................................... 5


FACTUAL FINDINGS ............................................................................................... 7

History of Deputy Gangs and Cliques .......................................................... 7


Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques Currently in the Department ..............10


Obstacles to Eliminating Deputy Cliques in the Department .....................35


The Elimination of Deputy Cliques is Constitutionally Permissible ............41


FACTUAL FINDINGS SUMMARY ........................................................................... 43





LEADERSHIP AND SUPERVISION ................................................................ 45


POLICY AND TRAINING .............................................................................. 49


RE-DEPLOYMENTS AND ROTATIONS ......................................................... 53


ACCOUNTABILITY ...................................................................................... 55

CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 61


In November 2021, the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission (“COC”) directed
the Chair of the COC to engage pro bono Special Counsel to assist the COC to
investigate the existence and activities of problematic deputy groups, often referred to
as “deputy gangs” or “cliques,” within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
(“Department”). Although prior commissions have documented the existence of
deputy gangs and cliques over several decades, the COC wished to determine whether
such groups continued to exist and to understand their impacts on the Department, its
employees, and members of the public it serves.
By March 2022, a pro bono team of Special Counsel were engaged by the County
and the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, and the COC launched
the investigation of deputy gangs and cliques. The investigation included interviews of
numerous members and former members of the Department, and review of numerous
documents, court filings, deposition transcripts, public statements by Department
representatives, published reports relating to prior investigations, and numerous
relevant media reports. To date, the COC has conducted seven public hearings devoted
to the investigation, most of which involved the taking of witness testimony under
oath pursuant to the COC’s subpoena authority.
This Report and Recommendations is a result of the Special Counsel’s
investigation on behalf of the COC. It is in two parts: Factual Findings, entitled The
Existence of Deputy Gangs and Cliques in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,
and Recommendations to Rid the Department of Deputy Gangs and Cliques that fall
under four headings: Leadership/Supervision, Policy/Training, Assignments/Rotations,
and Accountability.


A word about nomenclature used in this Report. Special Counsel has chosen to
use the term “Deputy Gangs” when referring to deputy groups engaged in egregious
conduct such as violations of law, the excessive use of force, threats to the public or
Department members and to use the term “Deputy Cliques” in discussing the broader
concerns that the exclusionary subgroups pose to the mission of the Department, the
careers and morale of other Department members, and the public, even when their
activities do not violate specific laws. The term “Deputy Cliques” has historically been
understood to include Deputy Gangs and exclusionary subgroups and their problematic
behavior however configured. By using this term in this report, we do not intend to
minimize the harm done by these groups to the Department, to other Department
personnel, and to the public. The Findings confirm such harms.
The origins of Deputy Gangs and Cliques within the Department dates back
decades. They may have started with benign intentions, but history has proved that
Deputy Cliques have often evolved into Deputy Gangs whose members not only use
gang-like symbols but engage in gang-type and criminal behavior directed against the
public and other Department members. These groups, both historically and currently,
also exalt the use of excessive force against civilians, harass other deputies, and
undermine the chain of command within the Department. However denominated, the
existence of these groups and their impact adversely affects the mission of the
Department and undermines public trust in the Department.
The Deputy Cliques addressed in this Report and several prior reports have been
variously referred to as deputy “gangs,” “cliques,” “subcultures” and “secretive
subgroups. ”Deputy Cliques” are Sheriff’s deputies assigned to a particular Department
patrol station, bureau, unit, or location in a jail who self- associate, and identify and act
as a subgroup that excludes other deputies assigned to the same station, bureau, unit,

or jail location. They identify themselves by names such as the Banditos, Executioners,
Regulators, Spartans, Reapers, Rattlesnakes, Cowboys, Vikings, Wayside Whities, 3000
Boys, and 4000 Boys. Members often have matching and sometimes sequentially
numbered tattoos and use language and gestures associated with street gangs. By
their actions Deputy Cliques invariably evolve into Deputy Gangs.
The Factual Findings section of this Report documents the overwhelming
evidence demonstrating that Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, still exist and engage
in harmful activities in several of the Department’s patrol stations and bureaus. They
victimize the Department, its members, and the public.
The Recommendations section identifies the reforms needed to eliminate
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques and to extinguish the culture of the Department that
has permitted their existence and harmful influence within the Department for the
past 50 years. The Recommendations provide an immediate call to action to the
Sheriff, the Department leadership and every member of the Department. There can
be no more delays!

The Department currently contains several active groups that have been, and

still are, engaged in harmful, dangerous, and often illegal, behavior. Some of these
groups have engaged in acts of violence, threatened acts of violence, placed fellow
Deputies at risk of physical harm, engaged in acts celebrating officer involved
shootings, and created a climate of physical fear and professional retribution to those
who would speak publicly about the misconduct of such groups. Publicly released
deputy body camera video illustrates such misconduct directed to a member of the
public. For that reason, going back 30 years to the Commission led by Judge James J.

Kolts, these groups have been fairly referred to as “Deputy Gangs.”
Deputy Cliques that evolve into Deputy Gangs meet the definition of “law
enforcement gang” in California Penal Code Section 13670. 1 The problems they cause
in the Department, however, go beyond their “gang-like” behavior. Deputy Cliques are
rooted in secrecy and exclusivity. They undermine the Department’s leadership and
supervision, foster insubordination, and are detrimental to the morale of other
deputies and staff by exercising power and decision making that is fundamentally
inconsistent with the para-military, chain of command structure of law enforcement
agencies such as the Department. By exercising influence ordinarily reserved for
supervisors and management, such as controlling assignments, schedules, and
promotions, their existence within stations, bureaus and units of the Department
violates fundamental principles of professional policing. But Deputy Cliques, whether
they meet the definition of “law enforcement gangs” must be eradicated as they are
the seeds from which Deputy Gangs develop.
While the prior Sheriff publicly asserted that he had acted to eliminate Deputy
Gangs, in fact he facilitated their continued presence by, among other things,

Penal Code 13670 provides, in pertinent part: (2) “Law enforcement gang” means a group
of peace officers within a law enforcement agency who may identify themselves by name
and may be associated with an identifying symbol, including but not limited to, matching
tattoos, and who engage in a pattern of on-duty behavior that intentionally violates the law
or fundamental principles of professional policing, including but not limited to, excluding,
harassing or discriminating against any individual based on a protected category under
federal or state antidiscrimination laws, engaging in or promoting conduct that violates the
rights of other employees or members of the public, violating agency policy, the persistent
practice of unlawful detention or use of excessive force in circumstances where it is known
to be unjustified, falsifying police reports, fabricating or destroying evidence, targeting
persons for enforcement based solely on protected characteristics of those persons… and
retaliation against officers who threaten or interfere with the activities of the group. Further,

these groups often discriminate on the basis of gender, race and ethnicity in deciding who can
become a member of the Deputy Cliques. Such workplace discrimination violates the California Fair
Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and federal anti- discrimination law.


appointing known tattooed members of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques to
leadership positions in the Department, permitting the revival of emblems signifying
membership in such groups and repeatedly relying upon an erroneous statement of
law to avoid promulgating and enforcing a policy prohibiting Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques in the Department. The claim that Deputy Gangs no longer exist in the
Department is flatly and inarguably false. Moreover, Deputy Cliques continue to exist.
The COC Policy recommendation prohibiting Joining and Participation in Deputy
Cliques is constitutionally permissible, and it is factually supported by the investigation
and multiple interviews conducted by the COC’s Special Counsel as well as the
testimony given in the COC’s public hearings. The COC urges Sheriff Luna to adopt a
policy that prohibits deputies from being members of Deputy Cliques and thereby
ending Deputy Gangs.

As part of the COC’s investigation, Special Counsel interviewed approximately

eighty witnesses. The witnesses were current and former Deputies, Sergeants,
Lieutenants, Captains, Commanders, Assistant Sheriffs, and Undersheriffs; a former
Sheriff; and former law enforcement officials from other law enforcement agencies.
The witnesses also included attorneys representing current and former litigants against
the Department and the County and certain of the litigants themselves. Many
witnesses were interviewed multiple times.
Special Counsel coordinated with, interviewed and received information from
the Los Angeles County Office of Inspector General, the Los Angeles County District
Attorney’s Office, Loyola Law School and the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s
Special Counsel received and reviewed dozens of depositions and sworn

statements, and associated exhibits generated in connection with past and pending
litigation involving the Department; multiple media reports; body camera footage; and
extensive reports prepared by the Kolts Commission, the United States Commission on
Civil Rights, the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law & Policy (‘Loyola Law School
Report”), the Rand Corporation, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice,
and the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence.
Special Counsel attended virtual briefings by the former Sheriff Alex Villanueva,
and repeatedly sought to meet with the former Sheriff and his Undersheriff, Timothy
Murakami. They declined to meet or to be interviewed. Each was also invited to
voluntarily appear and testify publicly before the COC. The former Sheriff declined to
do so unless provided in advance with the questions and any documents that would be
presented. The Undersheriff declined, asserting that his physical condition precluded
his testimony, but not his other duties as Undersheriff. As a result, the COC
subpoenaed both the Sheriff and Undersheriff to testify. Each refused, and both are
now subject to legal proceedings to enforce the subpoenas and/or to hold each in
The COC held seven public hearings in which approximately fifteen witnesses
publicly testified and numerous members of the public spoke. The overwhelming
majority of witnesses who testified did so pursuant to subpoena. Several witnesses
would only testify anonymously, and some did so remotely, using a voice distortion
device out of fear of physical or professional retaliation. Several witnesses who had
agreed to testify withdrew, often the night before the proposed testimony, out of
similar fears.
In addition to witnesses who testified publicly, approximately sixty other
witnesses were interviewed by the Special Counsel’s team. Many witnesses spoke only

after receiving assurances that they would not be identified publicly or even
confidentially identified to the COC. The witnesses expressed concerns for their
physical safety and the physical safety of family members, many of whom are
Department employees. In addition, many witnesses insisted upon anonymity in
interviews for fear of professional retribution often described as “career suicide.”
Some of the factual findings recited in this Report are the product of these witness


History of Deputy Gangs and Cliques

Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques have existed in the Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department since at least 1973. That year, an internal Department memo
dated December 5, 1973, documented the existence of a group known as the “Little
Devils,” and identified 38 members who bore sequentially numbered tattoos of a devil.
In 1992, the Kolts Commission’s report confirmed the existence of Deputy Gangs
and Deputy Cliques, including a Deputy Gang called the Vikings, in the Department.
After holding evidentiary hearings in Los Angeles in 1993 and 1996, the United States
Commission on Civil Rights in 1999 issued a report focusing on the violence and trauma
that Deputy Gangs had inflicted on communities of color and people struggling with
mental illness, and urged the LASD to take decisive action to eradicate Deputy Gangs
from its ranks.
In 2012, the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence (“CCJV”) found that Deputy
Cliques existed in patrol and on certain floors of Men’s Central Jail (”MCJ” ) and that
they contributed to the use of excessive force in the jail. The CCJV’s report contains
five pages of recommendations to address the problem.
The Loyola Law School Report documented the Department’s long history of

Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques in 2021; and the Rand Corporation also confirmed
their existence in its report titled Understanding Subgroups Within the Los Angeles
County Sheriff’s Department in 2021.
The Los Angeles County Inspector General, Max Huntsman, testified before the
COC about his office’s report entitled Analysis of the Criminal Investigation of Alleged
Assault by Banditos that confirmed the involvement of the Banditos in the severe
beating of non-Banditos deputies in an incident at Kennedy Hall in 2018.
As part of its investigation, the COC received and reviewed a September 13,
2004, memorandum from the then Undersheriff William T. Stonich to Sheriff Leroy
Baca about efforts to address “inappropriate and potentially damaging behavior” at
the Department’s Century Station. Among other conclusions the memorandum
reported on rumored unethical activity engaged in by Century station personnel as
“Mexican Mafia”, rumored to be a small select group of deputies of
Hispanic decent (sic). They have been accused of holding positions of
influence within the station (i.e.: detective, scheduling, watch deputy
and field training officer positions) and are alleged to control much of
the negative behind the scenes activity such as fund raising through
means of unit level extortion for non -sanctioned events, unfair or
biased granting of time off requests, controlling patrol and interior
work assignments, etc.”
The COC also reviewed an October 1, 2007, memorandum from then
Commander Willie Miller to Sheriff Baca reporting on an investigation of a group of
deputies named the “Regulators” at Century Station. Among other things, the
memorandum concluded that:
“The Regulators philosophy is that if a sergeant, lieutenant, or captain
was weak at Century Station they would run over them, essentially
speaking, they would run the station as a subculture fraction (sic).

They would not respect rank. They openly displayed the Regulators
logo of the ‘skull and flames’ symbol on their motorcycles as well as
body tattoos.”
The COC also reviewed hundreds of Department documents regarding the 2012
discovery in a patrol car of a written creed for a Deputy Gang named “The Jump Out
Boys.” Members of the Jump Out Boys shared a common numbered tattoo that depicts
a red-eyed skull wearing a bandana with the letters “O.S.S.” and holding a revolver
next to an ace of spades and an 8 of spades, the so called “dead man’s hand” in poker.
Their creed recited that members understand “when the line need (sic) to be crossed,
and crossed back” and that they “sometimes need to do things they don’t want to in
order to get where they want to be.” It also directed members to keep a “black book”
that records the date of every deputy involved shooting that authorized each shooter
to embellish his common tattoo with smoke coming out of the gun. Seven Jump Out
Boys members were fired, but because there was no clear policy against joining a
Deputy Gang at the time, the Civil Service Commission reinstated four of them.
It is indisputable that for nearly 50 years, Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques have
existed within the Department and their existence and negative impacts were known
to the leadership of the Department. Yet there was no sustained effort during this
period to eradicate Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques from the Department. All prior
efforts were inadequate, lost continuity and failed to eliminate Deputy Gangs and
Deputy Cliques. Owing to this failure, Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques are embedded
in the culture of the Department, either tolerated or ignored. Indeed, during the
tenure of Sheriff Baca, the Undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, was a tattooed member of the
Vikings. According to numerous witness interviews, former Sheriff Villanueva’s
Undersheriff, Tim Murakami, has a Caveman tattoo.
While law enforcement cliques are not unknown in other law enforcement

agencies, no other large law enforcement agency in the nation has allowed such
cliques to exist and flourish as they have in the Department.

Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques Currently in the Department

There is at least a half dozen, and possibly more, Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques currently in the Department, primarily at patrol stations. They include the
Executioners, the Banditos, the Regulators, the Spartans, the Gladiators, the Cowboys
and the Reapers. There are reports that new Deputy Cliques are forming as members
of existing Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques retire or otherwise leave the Department.
There is some evidence indicating that Deputy Cliques are re-emerging in the Los
Angeles County jails as the 4000 Boys.
Merely transferring members of Deputy Gangs or Deputy Cliques has not proved
particularly effective. After the CCJV’s 2012 findings confirmed the existence of the
2000 and 3000 Boys on the second and third floor of MCJ, many of these deputies
were transferred out of the jail to patrol. Many of the 3000 Boys sought assignments
to Compton Station and became Executioners; many 2000 Boys sought assignment to
Century Station and became Spartans. As discussed below, transfers or rotation of
deputies must be much more intentional to avoid aggregating in a new location
deputies involved in, or susceptible to influence by, Deputy Gangs or Deputy Cliques.
All the Deputy Cliques share harmful characteristics. While not all Deputy Cliques
engage in identical unprofessional conduct, most share at least some of the following
characteristics, and they have done and continue to do certain acts of unprofessional
and dangerous policing. Deputy Cliques run the stations or units where they exist, as
opposed to the sergeants, lieutenants and the captain who are charged with the duty
to run the station; exercise influence over and often decide assignments and shifts,
training, and overtime; exclude deputies from the Deputy Cliques, often based on race,

ethnicity or gender; intimidate deputies that are not part of the Deputy Cliques; give
orders not to provide backup to disfavored deputies who are not members of the
Deputy Cliques; order work slowdowns if management of a station attempts to rein
them in; encourage a “we-they” attitude, not just between them and the public, but
with other deputies within the station; operate in secrecy; lie in reports to protect each
other; and threaten the public with use of excessive force without justification and
belittle deputies unwilling to engage in such acts. Most troubling, they create rituals
that valorize violence, such as recording all deputy involved shootings in an official
book, celebrating with “shooting parties,” and authorizing deputies who have shot a
community member to add embellishments to their common gang tattoos.
Typically, to be invited to become a member of a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique,
a deputy must demonstrate “toughness” that is frequently associated with use of
excessive force or other forms of unconstitutional policing. Often the euphemistic term
“peer leader” is used to describe the members.
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques also have used and continue to use assaultive
behavior against fellow deputies who do not belong to their groups as a show of power
and influence. Certain of these altercations have led to public exposure in the media.
The COC investigation uncovered other incidents including threatened use of weapons
by deputies upon other deputies.
The pernicious effects of these groups go well beyond assaulting other deputies.
Recent publicly released body camera footage of a deputy threatening to shoot a man
in a parked car without any evidence of wrongdoing illustrated in real time gang
behavior characteristic of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques interacting with the public
Not all members of Deputy Cliques engage in acts of misconduct. Even those

members who do not engage in misconduct, however, contribute to the
unprofessional influence of Deputy Cliques and their negative impact on the
Department and on other deputies. Deputy Cliques have and continue to do great
damage to the reputation of the Department, and the public hearings demonstrated
that they have unquestionably destroyed trust between the Department and the
public it serves.
Membership in a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique is a liability for the County. One
of the essential job qualifications of a deputy sheriff is the ability to testify credibly in a
court of law. Deputies who belong to Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques that value
loyalty to their members over their commitment to the Department and the public are
likely to be disbelieved when their conduct is at issue. As Lieutenant Eric Strong, a 22year member of the Department, put it, “If you are a member of a law enforcement
gang, you cannot be trusted, you cannot be relied upon, your credibility is lacking.”
Under the principles set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Brady v.
Maryland, such information that bears on the credibility of prosecution witnesses must
be disclosed by the prosecution to the defense in criminal cases and is likely
discoverable in civil lawsuits.
Deputies sued in civil lawsuits arising from the alleged use of excessive force cost
the taxpayers of Los Angeles County tens of millions of dollars in judgments and
settlements. It has been estimated that the additional cost to the County in these cases
is upwards of $55 million. That number can only rise based upon pending and newly
filed lawsuits and administrative claims. In addition to judgments and settlements, the
County incurs seven-figure legal bills from outside litigation counsel hired by and paid
for by the County to defend the misconduct of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.
Set forth below is some of the evidence developed by Special Counsel during the

COC’s investigation of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

Compton Station

Lieutenant Larry Waldie testified before the COC that he was a tattooed member
of a deputy group known as the “Gladiators.” He obtained the tattoo during his initial
tour of duty at Compton Station and that another group known as the “Executioners”
subsequently ran aspects of that station. Waldie said that Compton was a “fast
station,” and it was considered a desirable post for deputies wanting exposure to
incidents of crime requiring active law enforcement.
Waldie testified that many of the Executioners had served on the 3000 floor at
MCJ. The CCJV noted the existence of the “3000 Boys” at MCJ and recommended that
the it be disbanded. It appears, however, that many of the “3000 boys” transferred to
Compton Station and formed or joined the Executioners. A witness who worked at MCJ
and who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisal, reported that a new version of the
“3000 Boys” operating on the 4000 floor and calling itself the “4000 Boys” currently
operates at MCJ.
Another witness currently assigned to the Compton Station disclosed that
deputies who had worked on the 3000 floor at MCJ received preferential treatment at
Compton. The witness reported being ridiculed based upon gender and race by the
scheduling deputy, Jaime Juarez, an Executioner, and that Executioner members
regularly discriminated against and ridiculed women.
Waldie testified that Deputy Juarez was the “shot caller” during Waldie’s
tenure at Compton Station. The Commission received evidence that Juarez
participated in four officer involved shootings. Juarez was subsequently removed from
patrol, and interacting with the public during Sheriff McDonnell’s tenure, but was
returned to patrol after Sheriff Villanueva took office. Waldie identified Deputies Ruiz,

Cuevas, Barajas, Ingersoll, Raisa and Ruben as Executioners. Waldie stated that based
upon his observations Executioner membership apparently excluded females and
African Americans.
The Commission received a photograph of Deputy Juarez’ truck which depicted
an Executioner emblem on a flag. In a deposition in civil litigation brought by Waldie,
Deputy Juarez admitted that he had attended approximately seven “inking parties.” He
confirmed that Deputies Barajas, Ingersoll, Bray, Jimenez, and Reese attended
Executioner inking parties as well. According to Juarez, Ingersoll was the last
Executioner to receive an Executioner tattoo.
The Commission also received a photograph of a tattoo of a skeleton holding an
automatic rifle on the calf of Deputy Aldama, a self-acknowledged Executioner. Other
evidence indicates that, much like the Mafia, there are “made” members of Deputy
Gangs and Deputy Cliques who are entitled to wear the tattoo associated with the
group. The tattoos typically exalt the use of excessive force and are entirely
Deputy Aldama, and his partner, Mizrain Orrego, were named as defendants in
two separate shootings of community members, Sheldon Lockett and Donta Taylor. In
each instance the deputies claimed that the victims had guns. In neither case was a
gun located and much evidence suggested that in fact neither had guns. The County
settled both cases with the families of the deceased for a total amount just short of ten
million dollars. Since outside counsel was engaged in each case substantial legal fees
were incurred on top of the settlement amounts.
Waldie testified that the Executioners held positions of authority during his time
at Compton Station. Those positions included scheduling deputy, training officer,
detective, and gang task force membership. Waldie explained that the position of

scheduling deputy was powerful because it afforded the scheduler the ability to assign
deputies to shifts, vacations and days off, desirable assignments on patrol or less
desirable assignments in preferred or less desirable locations.
During 2019, when Waldie served as Acting Captain of Compton Station, Deputy
Juarez was scheduled to be removed as scheduling Deputy and transferred from the
station. Juarez told Waldie that his successor as scheduling Deputy should be another
Executioner, but Waldie declined the request. In response, Juarez led the Executioners
in a work slowdown in March 2019, and pressured non-Executioners to adhere to it.
The COC received an internal LASD document demonstrating that during the work
slowdown, crime rose significantly compared to the preceding year and compared to
the months before and after the slowdown. During the slowdown, arrests dropped
precipitously, citizen calls were responded to slowly, and pro-active policing initiatives
did not occur.
In addition to the statistical evidence documenting the work slowdown, the COC
received the content of a text between Waldie and a deputy confirming the work
slowdown directed by Deputy Juarez. The deputy supplying the information insisted
upon anonymity: “But please between you and I. This could ruin my career. I don’t
want my name mentioned at all please. I can’t have that.”
Waldie testified that the culture of the Department created a justified fear
among honest deputies that if it were believed that they had reported on the
misconduct of fellow deputies, especially those belonging to a Deputy Clique, it would
lead to harassment, ostracism, threats, or interference with career advancement.
A deputy who requested anonymity was suspected of cooperating with the COC
and has been continuously subject to harassment and ostracism at the deputy’s
current station. Another witness who testified anonymously has reported that another

deputy, who was wrongly suspected of having provided the anonymous testimony, has
been repeatedly harassed at that deputy’s current station.
Waldie testified that after an officer involved shooting the deputies involved
participated in a celebratory “debrief” at a bar in Fullerton. Waldie identified the pair
of deputies, Ingersol and Barajas, as Executioners. Other evidence suggested that they
were not yet tattooed Executioners, but were “chasing ink.” That is, they engaged in
“aggressive” activities in the hope of becoming members.
Copies of texts reviewed by the COC revealed that Waldie brought the
celebration to the attention of the captain heading Compton Station. Waldie testified
that despite the seriousness of the circumstances, the captain did not take any action.
After Sheriff Villanueva took office, the captain was promoted to commander and
retired from that position. He declined to be interviewed by Special Counsel’s team.
The evidence demonstrates that community needs in Compton were ignored or
responded to slowly to pressure a station leader to act in accordance with the
Executioners’ demands, and celebrations of officer involved shootings were neither
stopped nor criticized. Waldie agreed that the conduct of the Executioners violated
“fundamental principles of professional policing.” During her testimony before the
COC, then-Chief, now Acting Undersheriff, April Tardy reviewed this evidence and
acknowledged that the Executioners were a “law enforcement gang” within the
meaning of California Penal Code section 13670.

East L.A. Station

Much public testimony before the COC focused upon the East L.A. Station and
particularly on an incident at Kennedy Hall involving a brutal beating inflicted upon
junior deputies by senior deputies who were members of the “Banditos.” The behavior
can only be fairly described as that of a gang. This episode resulted in widely publicized

civil litigation brought by the victim deputies against the Bandito Deputies. Even
though the defendants assaulted other members of the Department and did so in an
after- hours offsite location, County Counsel approved the County paying outside
counsel to defend them.
Former Sheriff Villanueva trained at the East L.A. Station and was widely
believed to have shown favoritism toward the station and its deputies. He was roundly
criticized for the reservation of front row seats for East L.A. deputies at his
inauguration when the Kennedy Hall incident had received much negative publicity and
was still an open investigation. He also restored the “Fort Apache, kick in the pants”
logo at the entrance of the East L.A. Station. The COC also heard much testimony that
refuted his repeated assertion that he had replaced a weak captain with a strong one
and had transferred many deputies to address discipline problems. In fact, no deputy
was involuntarily transferred out of the East LA Station, and many of the transferred
deputies were not Banditos.
Finally, there has been substantial evidence that the administrative and
potential criminal investigation into the Kennedy Hall incident was obstructed at the
direction of the former Sheriff’s then Chief of Staff, Larry Del Mese, an acknowledged
tattooed member of the “Grim Reapers.” Matthew Burson, who retired from the
Department as a Chief, testified that when he was the Captain at the Internal Affairs
Criminal Bureau he was instructed by Del Mese not to have the investigator of the
Kennedy Hall incident ask about “sub-cultures” at the station. Burson understood that
Del Mese was conveying an order from the former Sheriff, and he passed the
instruction on to Sergeant Jeffrey Chow, who was investigating the incident. It is
reasonable to infer that Sheriff Villanueva, despite its obvious relevance, ordered that
no questions were to be asked about the Banditos or their role in the Kennedy Hall

“beat- down”.
Sergeant Chow testified that he believed the conduct of the assaulting deputies
was criminal, but that he was directed not to ask questions about “sub- culture”
activity at the station. He understood this to mean that no questions were to be asked
about the Banditos/Deputy Cliques and its/their role in the gang style assault on other
deputies, and he followed the orders because he worked in a “para-military
organization.” After Chow testified, the COC learned of attempts to intimidate him and
his wife, Vanessa, a Deputy Sheriff. The intimidation included an unmarked sheriff’s car
following Chow home after his testimony before the COC and an undercover car
parked conspicuously near the residence. (Captain Angela Walton reported a similar
intimidation effort involving the parking of an undercover car directly in front of her
home after her public testimony.)
Retired Chief Joseph Gooden described the early portion of his career at the East
L.A. station and the presence of members of the “Cavemen” at the station. Despite
having a degree from U.S.C. when fewer than 10% of the deputies had four-year
college degrees, a Caveman told Gooden that there was “no way” he could become a
training officer. Gooden observed that under 2% of the deputies at the East L.A. station
were African American.
Years later, when Gooden was a Chief, he oversaw the Kennedy Hall
investigation. Chief Gooden testified that he directed that the investigation be
conducted as a criminal investigation, and that determining the motive of the involved
deputies was an important part of the investigation. The instruction to Sergeant Chow
not to ask questions about “sub-culture” activity in the East L.A. Station was directly
contrary to Chief Gooden’s expectation and direction. It was also contrary to
investigating the motive for the assault and the standard expected of a professional

police force.
The investigative report of the Department’s Internal Criminal Investigation
Bureau regarding the Kennedy Hall incident was transmitted to the District Attorney’s
Office to consider potential criminal charges. The report failed to mention that the
investigating sergeant had been instructed not to ask questions about the Banditos or
their role in the assault, even though the evidence related directly to a criminal motive
for the attack.
An anonymous witness currently stationed at the East L.A. Station testified using
a voice distorter because of a fear of physical and professional retribution. The witness
identified current “shot callers” at East L.A. as Deputies Ortiz and Valle. The witness
testified that Rene Munoz, one of the defendants in civil litigation relating to the
Kennedy Hall beating, was the shot-caller prior to his departure from the East L.A.
Station. The witness testified that all three were tattooed Banditos.
The anonymous witness also identified the broad authority of the scheduling
deputy, a Bandito, at the East L.A. Station, who gave assignments, schedules, days off
and vacations, assigned areas for patrol and directed selection of training officers and
assignment of trainees to them. The witness testified that the power of the Banditos
was such that they were able to thwart the promotion of a disfavored deputy to
training officer even though the deputy was ranked number one in the County for that
The witness also testified to various means of intimidation and ostracism
inflicted by Banditos upon non-Banditos. This included a locker room argument in
which a Bandito pointed his gun at the head of another deputy; the turning of backs
when a disfavored deputy entered the hallway or room; and the refusal to answer back
up calls when summoned by a disfavored deputy. The witness explained how

disfavored deputies received “jackets” i.e., reputational slanders intended to thwart
their careers.
Another witness testified that the Banditos assaulted “disfavored” deputies, who
would be challenged to a fight. The disfavored deputies would be told that they did not
belong in East L.A. and that they were a “zero” as a provocation to a fight. The
Banditos would surround the disfavored deputies in groups thus employing physical
intimidation. This conduct is characteristic of gang activity. Like other Deputy Gangs
and Deputy Cliques, the Banditos exert control by forcing disfavored, non-Bandito
deputies to transfer to other stations.
Another witness who insisted upon anonymity described how a training officer
humiliated trainees, especially women, at the East L.A. Station. Those efforts included
name calling and tossing the trainees’ written work product to the ground with the
goal of embarrassing and ostracizing the trainee before peers. According to this
witness, the training officer who engaged in such unprofessional, intimidating conduct
was a Bandito. The witness was certain that the Bandito’s control of the station was
widely known. He stated that Deputy Valdez was the shot caller at East L.A. at the time
and that he arranged the deputies’ schedules. As noted, Deputy Valdez was widely
known to be a Bandito.
The witness also described a practice of ostracism at the East L.A. Station. When
the witness walked into the station the deputies would turn their backs as the witness
walked down the hall. The witness explained that Banditos “stepped on the radio” i.e.,
interfered with the ability to communicate from the patrol car by speaking over the
deputy while the witness spoke. The Banditos persistently criticized the witness for a
“culture violation.”
The witness reported a refusal to provide requested back up. A specific incident

involved a report of a person with a gun in a dangerous part of Boyle Heights. Because
of the danger of a night call in that area the witness requested back up, but it was not
forthcoming, and the witness abandoned the call. The proffered excuse that the
deputies all were “busy” was proved false by review of time records.
A training officer at the East L.A. Station required that trainees keep the car fully
stocked with snacks and demanded “good imagination on reports.” That the witness
understood meant to lie to justify the acts of the deputies. The witness was informed
that the training officer was a tattooed Bandito. The stocking of the car was a form of
the “tax” imposed by the Banditos. The trainee had to pay for all meals, drinks and
anything else the training officer required.
The witness observed that the Department enabled the Banditos control of the
station and that known Banditos received promotions under Sheriff Villanueva. The
witness claimed that the Banditos brought gifts to the wife of Sheriff Villanueva to
procure promotions or to retain power positions. It was widely believed, and
confirmed in testimony by Eli Vera, that the Sheriff consulted his wife on promotions
even though she held no official position in the LASD. The witness also claimed that the
Homicide Bureau is filled with Banditos.
The witness learned that Banditos had to be Mexican American and that Central
Americans could not become Banditos. Another witness confirmed that, with one
exception, all Banditos were Hispanic males, and none were women.
Another witness who insisted upon anonymity observed that the Banditos also
directed work slowdowns that resulted in increased response times to calls and for
arrests to cease. The most recent slowdown occurred because the Banditos believed
that the Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau had pursued too many disciplinary
investigations of deputies.

The witness testified that there were between 12 to 15 Banditos currently in the
East L.A. Station, and that they held positions as “acting” detectives and training
officers. The witness testified that there were also “associate” deputies who wished to
be initiated and were “chasing ink.” One incident that the witness regarded as “chasing
ink” involved the transportation of a shooting victim to a hospital. The witness stated
that the deputies went off route and assaulted the victim. Such conduct can only be
viewed as the act of a gang member and its indisputable harm to the community.
In an interview, retired Chief Gooden recounted that during his year and a half
at the East L.A. Station the dominant group was the “Cavemen.” He believes that the
Banditos grew out of the Cavemen.
Chief Gooden was one of several witnesses who disputed former Sheriff
Villanueva’s claim that he had transferred 36 members from East L.A. for misconduct
at the station. The anonymous witness claimed that there were no involuntary
transfers of Banditos. No transferees were “overnighted,” i.e., subject to immediate
involuntary transfer. Rather the transfers reflected voluntary departures related to
deputy requests, promotions, or retirements.
Retired Chief Eli Vera also refuted the former Sheriff’s claim. He agreed with the
testimony of Captain Ernie Chavez in a civil deposition that the deputies were
transferred from the East L.A. Station for non- disciplinary reasons. One witness said in
an interview, however, that a number of the transferees were “whistle blowers” who
had objected to the Banditos’ control of the station. The witness described them as
“the resistance.”
Another witness who required anonymity described the witness’ tenure at East
L.A. Station as one in which deputies who “speak like gangsters” surrounded the
witness. The witness described the unprofessional language used on radios, including

the use of nicknames and derogatory statements. Further, the witness reported that
because the Banditos mistrusted the witness, they would not allow the witness to
enter a house when they conducted a search. The witness said that contrary to
Department policy, the fact and results of such searches were often undocumented.
The witness also experienced that calls for back up by disfavored deputies were not
heeded. Such failures to provide requested back up imperiled the safety of these
deputies. The civil case brought by the victims of the Banditos beating at Kennedy Hall
included the deposition testimony of Deputy Concepcion Garcia, who witnessed calls
for back up ignored by Banditos.
The anonymous witness had justifiable safety concerns. On one occasion, when
the witness drove a personal vehicle from the East L.A. station, the witness observed
that the lug nuts from the car wheels had been loosened. The witness said that to be
part of the East L.A. anti-gang unit it was necessary to be an “inked” member of the
The witness also confirmed the practice of a “tax” being levied by senior
Banditos upon trainees to pay for food, “fund raising” and other financial demands of
the Bandito training officers. The trainees who participated did so because of a fear
that they would not get off training.
The witness also was supervised by, or worked with, “Cavemen” and
“Regulators” They were Caucasian males in positions of authority. The witness stated
that supervisors were well aware of the existence of these groups but did not act to
Another witness who spent nearly a decade in East L.A. and who also required
anonymity for fear of physical retaliation, also described the Cavemen and the
Banditos. The witness, said that the Banditos insisted that others “do what they want

you to do.” The witness also described the Banditos as “gangs behind the badge.” The
witness says that everybody in the Department knows of the Banditos; their actions
are not a “secret.”
This witness also confirmed that the Banditos imposed “taxes” on new deputies.
The witness was told by a Bandito training officer to “bring your credit card.” The
witness was aware of the tattooed members of the Banditos and believed that there
were as many as 80 Banditos during the witnesses’ tenure at East L.A. The witness said
the Banditos would use force to discipline non-Banditos they did not like. This too is
the behavior of a gang.
The Banditos exploited the junior deputies by, for example, requiring that they
write reports for the Banditos and stay on uncompensated overtime if necessary to get
the report done. The witness said that the Banditos recruited deputies to “chase ink”,
i.e., to do what was necessary to be noticed and “stand apart.” That included writing
reports to make problematic arrests appear legal. (Another anonymous witness
described this practice as “working backwards.”)
An aspect of “chasing ink” was a desire to get into shootings. These deputies
would follow a suspect believed to have a gun so that a shooting would be justified.
The witness said that there was pressure to “get numbers up” from time to time,
meaning arrests. The witness was instructed by Banditos that they could always get
somebody arrested as “under the influence” and “refused to take a test.” The goal was
to raise arrest numbers.
Another witness, now retired after 24 years in the Department, was a training
officer in East L.A. The witness ran afoul of the scheduling sergeant, Patty Estrada. The
witness described Estrada as a female associate of the Banditos who did their bidding
and conveyed favors and punishments on their behalf. The witness had a trainee

“pulled” by Estrada and observed that the trainee was assigned to a Bandito training
Another witness testified anonymously about working at the East L.A. station.
Although warned that East L.A. was a difficult place to work due to harassment and
hazing, the witness chose to work there anyway and was subjected to this conduct.
Like others, the witness affirmed that the Banditos were an open and notorious gang
within the East LA Station. The witness believed that it was appropriate to refer to the
Banditos as a “gang” that manifested its power by recruiting desired deputies and
isolating others. Having become disfavored, the witness experienced, as did others,
dispatch sending the witness a high volume of calls throughout the patrol area.
Additionally, when the witness called for backup, it would not arrive. The witness
believed that the inability to receive back up when performing services increased
considerably the risks of the work.
The witness was aware of “cigar night.” Those were evenings when female
deputies would act to raise funds at Bandito “events” by circulating among deputies
who were drinking and playing cards and selling cigars to those in attendance for
support of other Bandito “sponsored” events. The witness described these cigar selling
efforts as done upon the demand of the Banditos. The witness acknowledged that
deputies were pressured to give money upon a Bandito solicitation. That trainees were
“taxed” was well known in the station and in the Department more generally.
Gooden stated that when Sheriff McDonnell assumed office, he barred the East
L.A. Station “Fort Apache kick in the pants logo.” Gooden regarded the logo as
unprofessional and insulting to the East L.A. community. Gooden observed that the
logo was reintroduced when Sheriff Villanueva assumed office.



Lennox Station (Now South L.A. Station)

Recently released shocking body camera footage shows South L.A. Station
deputy Justin Sabatine repeatedly threatening to shoot an African American civilian
sitting in his car in a parking lot. Several witnesses, including two current Department
captains, have asserted that Sabatine was a member of a Deputy Clique. One captain
believed that Sabatine was a Reaper. A public report based upon an anonymous source
also claimed Sabatine is a Reaper. A second captain believed that Sabatine may not be
a Reaper, but rather a member of a newly formed Deputy Clique in the South L.A.
Station. A captain reported learning that Sabatine threatened that there would be a
work slow-down in South L.A. if the body camera footage was released.
As proof of the consequences to the Department and the County of gang like
activities, the County has already been sued based upon Sabatine’s conduct. The
Complaint demands $10,000,000. The County likely will engage outside counsel to
represent the County and Sabatine.
The type of conduct revealed in the Sabatine body camera footage is consistent
with a lengthy history of gang behavior at South L.A. Station. A current deputy who
has served in the Department for more than 25 years insisted on anonymity for fear of
physical retaliation. The witness described the activities of the group of deputies
known as the Reapers at Lennox Station (now the South L.A. Station.) The witness saw
the tattoos of the members, all of whom were Caucasian males. The witness observed
that the Reapers now consist primarily of Hispanic deputies.
The witness stated that Reapers were involved in multiple shootings. The
witness recounted a conversation in which the witness was criticized after the witness
confronted two African Americans, a male and female, one of whom had a gun. The
witness apprehended the suspects without firing a weapon. Later a Reaper criticized

the witness, and asked “why did you not shoot her?” The Reaper described it as a
According to the witness, another Reaper encouraged the witness to seek a
warrant when there was no basis to do so. The witness declined and believes that this
was a source of the mistrust of the witness among certain deputies.
A former deputy who served in the South L.A. Station described Carl Mandoyan
as the shot caller at the station at the time. The witness claimed that it was widely
known in the Department that Mandoyan was a Reaper. As in other stations, the
witness noted that unpopular directives were “pushed back” against by work
slowdowns. Some of the friction was with a captain who was acting in accordance with
a directive from Sheriff McDonnell to “crackdown” on deputy misconduct.
The witness reported that to get into the Reapers one needed to have a “force
incident” and look for an opportunity to shoot people. The other condition was that
you “not be a rat.”
The witness’s experiences as a non-Reaper included being “slammed on calls.”
The dispatcher repeatedly instructed the witness to answer calls for which other
deputies refused to provide back up the witness requested. The witness described one
incident in which the witness made a traffic stop and asked for a unit to back up. None
came and the suspect ran away.
Another deputy who required anonymity described an incident at the beginning
of the witness’s career in patrol. The witness pulled over a suspect who was apparently
intoxicated and “out of it”. The witness said that the suspect appeared unaware that
there was a gun on the passenger side front seat, did not reach for the gun, and did not
resist arrest. When reporting the incident and booking the gun a Reaper ridiculed the
witness for not shooting the suspect and claiming that he had “reached” for the

Captain Angela Walton testified that in her 27 years of service there have always
been Deputy Cliques in the Department and that they continue to exist to this day.
Walton described her experience at Lennox Station at the beginning of her career
when the Reapers were a well-recognized presence in the station. She identified Larry
Del Mese, who later became Sheriff Villanueva’s first Chief of Staff, as the “shot caller”
at Lennox.
Walton observed that the Reapers were running the Lennox Station, particularly
the early morning shift. After Walton obtained a position as a training officer on an
interim basis, she was driven to a golf course and told by a deputy Reaper “we don’t
like you.”
Walton testified that the Reapers set out to make her fail as a training officer.
She recalled, for example, a trainee who was a father. Walton allowed the trainee to
call his children to say good night. The Reapers roundly criticized her for that
accommodation and for allowing her trainee to eat lunch.
Walton described an attempt to intimidate her by posting her business card on a
bulletin board at the station with a large “X” drawn through it. Further attempts at
intimidation were frequent service calls from a Reaper in charge of dispatch. Walton
said that the volume of calls alone adversely affected her ability to perform her job.
Walton experienced the scope of the Reapers influence when she delivered a
prisoner to the Compton Station. While in Compton, Walton encountered a former
colleague, and engaged in social “catch up” conversation. Walton’s brief delay from
work for this social purpose was relayed by a Reaper who worked at Compton to a
Reaper who worked at Lennox. According to Walton, her conversation with a former
colleague demonstrated that the Reaper influence was not confined to a single station,

and it was used as a basis for criticism of her by the Reapers as part of their attempt to
drive her from the station. When Walton sought a position at the Lancaster Station,
she realized that she had a “jacket;” i.e., a negative reputation spread by the Reapers
which included this supposed transgression.

Century Station

Retired Chief Gooden, who had more than 25 years of service in the
Department, described how Century Station essentially operated on its own, apart
from the Department’s command structure. He heard from deputies that if there were
“problems” that the deputies would “handle that” and there was to be no involvement
of the operations leadership of the station.
Chief Gooden recounted that during his tenure at MCJ the “2000 boys and 3000
boys” staged gladiator fights between jail inmates. Another witness stated that the
2000 boys were “heavy-handed white guys” who encouraged the use of force in large
numbers at MCJ and eventually transferred to Century Station.
Chief Gooden also testified about the Department employees’ fear of retaliation
should they speak out. He recounted female custody assistants explaining their
concern to him in connection with deputy misconduct in MCJ.
When Gooden became a captain at Century Station he was concerned about the
history of problems associated with the station. He learned that deputies were
involved in personnel decisions, including determining who would receive the coveted
position of training officer.
There were two problematic groups of deputies at Century Station at the time.
One was the Regulators. The other was the Spartans. Gooden described the
competition for control of the station between them and recounted how there was
even a dispute over one group taking and refusing to allow the other group to use a

station canopy for an event.
A witness requiring anonymity who worked at Century Station for approximately
a decade said that the Regulators and Spartans were actively engaged in misconduct.
The witness said that the Regulators’ shot caller was the scheduling deputy. The
witness claimed that Commander Kerry Carter and then Chief April Tardy knew of the
presence and activities of the Regulators at the station. According to retired Assistant
Sheriff Robert Olmstead, the entire Department leadership knew about the Regulators
because the Regulators installed a large monument honoring themselves on the
premises of the Century Station that remained in place for several years.
The anonymous witness described a Regulator sponsored fundraising poker
game to support the Baker to Vegas run. The Regulators used female deputies as
“cocktail waitresses” at the event. The female deputies received personal and
administrative days off so they could work at the poker game. The witness reported
that the Spartans were angered by the event and sought an equal amount of time off.
A Spartan left a threatening note under the door of the captain who denied the
The COC reviewed the content of a March 16, 2015, anonymous letter to Sheriff
McDonnell that claimed the Spartans’ tattoo “represents ‘putting in work,’ such as
unjustified beatings, falsifying reports of beatings, gladiator fighting, and intimidating
other employees or inmates who interfered.”
Another witness who insisted on anonymity for fear that the witness’ career
would “be over” if the cooperation were revealed, stated that there was a “book” that
the witness had reviewed that identified the name and the date each Regulator
received a tattoo. The witness said that there were twenty-five identified members.
The book also recited the creed that reflected a commitment to “proactive policing.”

The witness described the creed as “propaganda.”
The witness also described the “tax” the witness was required to pay. For
example, in connection with the Baker to Vegas run the witness was required by a
training officer to pay more than $100 for a photograph of the 1960s “Rat Pack”
The training officer mirrored the language of former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka by
instructing the witness to “work the gray” and “work backwards,” which the witness
was taught meant “fudging” probable cause. The witness used as an example the
“teaching” that all searches in high crime areas are to be defined as with “consent.”
The witness said that nobody in high crime areas ever consents. The witness said that
the goal was to get arrest statistics. When the witness protested “working backwards,”
the witness was described by the training officer as “a rat.” That reputation was spread
through the station.
The witness said that with the passage of time the Department is filled with
“gang” members, including members of the command staff. The witness said that at
least 15 of the 25 Regulators have been promoted. The witness asserted that many of
the promotions resulted from Undersheriff Tanaka’s efforts to promote favored
The witness said that the influence of the Regulators affected the goals of young
deputies. Because of the perception that the Regulators were in control, young
deputies wished to “make their bones” to gain acceptance. The witness said that goal
encouraged deputies to get into shootings to establish their “bona fides.”
Special Counsel also received confidential information corroborating the
assertion of multiple interviewed witnesses that tattooed Deputy Clique members
currently hold important positions within the Department. Special Counsel was

informed that one specific area of influence is in the Civil Rights and Public Corruption
section of the Department. Sheriff Luna has eliminated that section. It was that
section which led a search of former Board of Supervisor’s member Sheila Kuehl and
current COC member Patricia Giggans.
Chief Gooden recounted that Interim Sheriff John Scott ordered that the Deputy
Clique logos be abandoned. Shortly thereafter, however, Gooden learned that there
was offsite sale of clothing with the prohibited logos.

Lancaster and Palmdale Stations

Angela Walton described her experience with Lancaster Station over several
years. She testified that when her Vice Squad participated in an undercover operation,
they would not reveal to the Lancaster deputies or supervisors the operation for fear
that the suspects would be tipped off. While not specifically tied to Deputy Clique
activity, the testimony illustrated inter- Departmental mistrust related to the absence
of chain-of-command organizational supervision and the perception that sub-groups
had conflicted loyalties.
Walton applied to be the Captain at Lancaster. She was the only “full Captain”
applying. Since Lancaster is a contract city, city officials interviewed her for the
position. She met with the Vice-Mayor who told her that he had received negative
information about her. Walton understood that there was a Reaper at Lancaster
Station and that the “jacket” she had obtained almost two decades before prevented
her from becoming Captain of Lancaster Station.
Two non-Caucasian witnesses claimed to have been subjected to serial
harassment by training officers at Lancaster Station. All training officers are Caucasian.
One of the witnesses asserted that there were “bad stops” that led to searches, most
often of people of color. The witness said that young deputies were pressured to write

reports of searches in “a certain way” to make the stops legally justifiable even though
the reports contained false information. The witness said that the training officers
insisted that certain reports be constructed either to conceal actions taken or to reflect
things which did not occur. The witness has reported that these assertions are now the
subject of an investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau.
The witness’ statement was consistent with a report issued by the U.S.
Department of Justice in a June 28, 2013, finding that deputies in Lancaster and
Palmdale “engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory and otherwise unlawful
searches and seizures, including the use of unreasonable force, in violation of the
Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI.” The Department of
Justice went on to note that “Some Antelope Valley Deputies wear tattoos or share
paraphernalia with an intimidating skull and snake symbol as a mark of affiliation with
the Antelope Valley stations.”
In a deposition in a wrongful death case, Oleg Polissky, a Palmdale Station
deputy, testified that he received a Cowboys tattoo and attended a celebration with at
least twenty similarly tattooed deputies. A similar tattoo appeared on the leg of a
former deputy who was shot by another deputy while on a camping trip. A photo of
the victim’s leg was displayed at a Special Hearing of the COC. A witness who required
anonymity was told that the shooting was in retaliation for an act objected to by the
Cowboys. The retaliatory shooting of out of favor compatriots is classic criminal gang
activity prosecuted regularly. Another witness with direct knowledge of the
circumstances, and who was the source of the first witness’ knowledge of the shooting,
declined to be interviewed.

Aero Bureau

Aero Bureau is responsible for the Department’s helicopters. It has a small

number of assigned deputies who have the necessary pilot skills and wear a helmet
that has as its logo a chicken being choked. The group is widely referred to as the
“Ghetto Birds.”
A witness interviewed by COC’s staff described systematic harassment by the
three senior Caucasian deputies in the Aero Bureau. The witness described them as a
“clique” and the three as “shot callers.” The witness said that there were no African
Americans assigned to the Aero Bureau and that as far as the witness knew there had
been only one African American ever assigned to the Bureau.
Another witness, a current deputy with 20 years of service who insisted upon
anonymity for fear of retribution, confirmed that the Aero Bureau takes pride in the
“Ghetto Bird” logo. The witness said that a leader of the Aero Bureau openly stated
that he was a Viking and was a founder of the Regulators. Another leader is a tattooed
member of the Spartans. The witness described the process of coordinated
“humiliation” efforts directed by the shot callers to disfavored deputies. The shot
callers encouraged the others at Aero Bureau to ignore disfavored deputies.
The witness described systematic and routine harassment that caused many
new deputies to leave the Bureau. The witness observed the shot callers mocking the
accent of a Hispanic deputy and said that disfavored deputies had their pictures placed
and defaced on bathroom walls.
The action of a small, self-selected racially harmonious sub-group is consistent
with evidence regarding how Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques acted in numerous
stations throughout the Department. The use of racially charged and disparaging logos
is also consistent with their problematic conduct. Such conduct is inconsistent with
fundamental principles of professional policing.



Obstacles to Eliminating Deputy Cliques in the Department

Among those who must participate in the solution to longstanding and
widespread problem of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques in the Department are the
Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (“ALADS”) and County Counsel. Neither
ALADS nor County Counsel have been helpful in the past.


Most deputies who are members of ALADS are not tattooed members of a
Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique. According to the Rand Report as many as 15 to 20% of
deputies belong to Deputy Cliques. ALADS should, accordingly, recognize that the
elimination of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques is in the best interests of the vast
majority of its members.
The Special Counsel’s investigation has revealed, however, numerous instances
in which ALADS has protected Deputy Gang and Deputy Clique members. This has
included protecting deputies who engaged in gang activities involving serious
misconduct against other deputies who presumably are ALADS members. There is no
dispute that pursuant to the Myers-Milias-Brown Act and the National Labor Relations
Act, ALADS owes a duty of fair representation to all its members. Special Counsel
believes, however, that ALADS can meet its obligations without condoning the
existence of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, the harm they cause to the
Department, or the attendant unprofessional conduct in which members of those
groups engage.
ALADS has opposed efforts by the Department to require the disclosure of
tattoos affiliated with Deputy Cliques. In one example, ALADS procured a legal opinion
that the First Amendment prohibits the Department from barring deputies from having
tattoos associated with these groups. That opinion, which is it at odds with the

applicable law discussed below, was provided to Sheriff Villanueva, who relied upon it
to assert that he was constitutionally unable to restrain the use of tattoos by Deputy
Cliques even if they constituted “police gangs” as defined by California Penal Code
section 13670.
In a very recent example ALADS contacted a current captain who sent an email
advising deputies at his station not to get Deputy Gang/Deputy Clique tattoos because
it could hurt their careers. ALADS protested that advice and told the captain to cease
and desist from advising deputies about tattoos. Such communication serves both to
undermine the command structure of the Department and to normalize open display
of Deputy Gang and Deputy Clique membership.
Steve Biagini, a retired 37-year veteran of the Department who served as
Captain in the East L.A. station, observed that because of actions by ALADS and PPOA
(Professional Peace Officers Association), the supervisor’s union, he could not question
an incoming transferee’s “fitness” to serve at the East L.A. station. Rather, if the
deputy was on an incoming transfer list, he had no discretion to refuse the transfer.
Similarly, he lacked the ability to transfer problematic deputies from the station.
Biagini blamed ALADS for this limitation on supervisorial discretion and the
consequential harm to the Department of requiring unfit deputies to remain in stations
where their problems arose.
Michael Gennaco, who was the head of the Office of Independent Review,
described the institutional problems attributable to ALADS. He expects that ALADS will
oppose more detailed and explicit training of deputies about the dangers of Deputy
Clique affiliation, will oppose changes in the transfer and rotation system to reduce the
influence of Deputy Cliques at stations and jails, and will not acknowledge the
existence of problems associated with Deputy Cliques, notwithstanding the evidence

set forth above.
Gennaco used as an example ALADS’ involvement in the Quiet Canon episode,
another fight among deputies, some of whom were ultimately terminated. Gennaco
said that ALADS ostracized the whistle blowers but backed “to the hilt” the accused.
ALADS’s reaction to the Internal Affairs investigation of the Kennedy Hall incident
involved a similar defense of the accused even though the victims were also deputies
(and presumably ALADS members).
ALADS also created obstacles to Special Counsel’s investigation. Those include
making a baseless contention that the COC has no subpoena power because the grant
of that power by Measure R violates the deputies’ collective bargaining agreement
with the County. Further ALADS has contacted witnesses subpoenaed by the COC and
urged them to seek specific lawyers to assist the witnesses in avoiding testimony. A
subpoenaed witness reported a specific direction to call a designated lawyer who
would arrange for the witness not to testify.
It is imperative that ALADS supports the elimination of the Deputy Gangs and
Deputy Cliques for the benefit of its members. The repeated gang style behavior of
certain Deputy Cliques has led to enormous litigation costs borne, in part by ALADS, to
the detriment of ALADS’ members, and significant harm to the Department’s
reputation with the public. Each special hearing of the COC included multiple public
witnesses calling out gang behavior by deputies and expressing a community fear and
hatred of deputies simply because they were members of the Department. The level
of anger and mistrust publicly expressed is the tip of a sizable iceberg in the
community. Elimination of Deputy Gangs and Cliques is in the best interest of all
Department members. The public enmity alone increases the risk of harm to deputies.
If only for reasons of their members safety, ALADS’ should be a leader in eliminating

Deputy Cliques and the Deputy Gangs that grow out of them.

County Counsel

County Counsel bears some responsibility for enabling Deputy Cliques. After the
Kolts Commission issued the first report to publicly acknowledge the existence of
Deputy Cliques in the Department in 1992, Judge Kolts recommended that the County
establish a civilian oversight board to ensure the Sheriff implemented reforms aimed at
reducing uses of force and eradicating Deputy Gangs. The County Counsel, however,
issued an opinion advising that a civilian oversight board without the Sheriff’s
agreement would violate state law. The Department leadership used this opinion to
successfully oppose civilian oversight for many years. During this period without
civilian oversight deputy gangs flourished.
The County Counsel has approved the use of County resources to pay by the
hour litigation counsel to defend Deputy Gang and Deputy Clique members who have
engaged in misconduct far outside the scope of their duties as deputies. Deputies who
engaged in an after-hours beat downs of co-workers as an exercise of their power over
other co- workers were not acting within the course and scope of their duty and yet
they are supported in litigation by the County.
In connection with Lockett v. County of Los Angeles, 18-CV-5838-PJW in a
December 2022 “Summary of Corrective Action” an Assistant County Counsel
addressing the beating and tasering by Deputies Aldama and Orrego of Sheldon
Lockett alleged to have been motivated by the deputies involvement in the
Executioners Deputy Gang wrote “to date, there is no information or evidence
obtained through any Sheriff’s Department investigation to substantiate this claim[that
the use of force by the deputies was motivated by their membership in the
Executioners.]” In fact, as was revealed at the hearing, Aldama displayed his

Executioner tattoo at a deposition. The Court denied the County’s lawyer’s attempt to
keep from the jury evidence of the tattoos of the deputies. The question of the
relationship between the use of force, a claim ultimately settled by the County for
more than two million dollars, and action in furtherance of gang membership surely
was a reasonable inference to be drawn from the history of the Executioners and the
disturbing facts that led to the multi-million dollar settlement.
It appears that County Counsel refused to accept the inference in light of the
facts publicly known. For example, in the case of the shooting of Donta Taylor by the
same deputies, Aldama admitted not only that he had an Executioner tattoo but that
up to twenty other deputies had the same tattoo. The Taylor case settled for seven
million dollars. It appears that notwithstanding almost ten million dollars in County
paid settlements that the County Counsel refused to accept the inference widely
drawn by the media and the community.
As Michael Gennaco has made clear, County Counsel has not supported
meaningful risk management and other efforts to address the problem of Deputy
Cliques on the front end; that is, working to root out the problems before they result in
litigation as opposed to paying after-the-fact litigation costs, settlements, and adverse
judgments. He recalled a handwritten document describing a Regulator tattoo, which
stated that “if you kill add smoke” to the tattoo. Gennaco stated that County Counsel
urged no action because of concern that the Department would be sued if it took
action in response to the tattoo.
The COC believes that County Counsel is aware that former Sheriff Villanueva
relied upon a withdrawn and legally erroneous 2014 opinion to claim that he could not
end the tattooed Deputy Cliques. Despite the COC’s request, the COC has been
informed that County Counsel has advised the Board of Supervisors not to release an

opinion that fully sustains the COC’s recommended policy change. By this simple act
County Counsel gave cover to a regime that at minimum tolerated, if not rewarded
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.
The conduct of County Counsel creates a reasonable inference that, whatever its
intentions, by its actions and inactions it has not provided meaningful assistance to
eliminating Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

The District Attorney’s Office has in many instances ignored deputies who
participate in Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques and who engage in gang-related
misconduct. The Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) of the Los Angeles District
Attorney’s Office investigates alleged criminal misconduct by deputies, as well as all
deputy involved shootings to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. In
conducting its analyses, the JSID repeatedly refrains from pursuing evidence that a
sheriff’s deputy accused of potential criminal activity or unconstitutional is affiliated
with a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique. For example, JSID declined to file criminal
charges against four alleged Banditos who severely beat other deputies at an offtraining party at Kennedy Hall. Despite substantial evidence that incident was, in
effect, a “gang beat down,” the JSID discounted a gang-related motive, writing:
“Although there was some mention of a subculture of “Bandtios” existing at the ELA
station, the Banditos was not a focus of this investigation nor were suspects identified
as being part of this subculture.… At no point in this investigation did any witnesses
indicate that the Banditos were equivalent to a gang or any type of criminal
The JSID memo is factually wrong—several witnesses interviewed in Special
Counsel’s investigation have characterized the Banditos as a “gang”—and betrays a

reluctance to pursue any evidence of gang affiliation or a gang-related motive for
alleged misconduct. As the Inspector General concluded in his October 2020 report,
“Having received what appears to be a purposefully perfunctory investigation by ICIB
(which did not gather evidence of the motive behind the alleged assault at Kennedy
Hall) the LADA office did not request statements be taken from the uncooperative
witnesses or compel a grand jury to compel statements.”
The District Attorney’s Office also has failed to require the Department to
disclose the identity of known Deputy Gang and Deputy Clique members who are to
testify as prosecution witnesses in criminal trials. The District Attorney’s Office does
not require Deputy District Attorneys to ask prosecution witnesses whether they
belong to a Deputy Gang. The failure to obtain and to disclose potentially exonerating
or impeaching testimony favorable to the defense raises significant constitutional
issues under Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S.83.

The Elimination of Deputy Cliques is Constitutionally Permissible

Applicable law permits disciplinary actions, including termination, based upon a
deputy’s joining or participating in an internal Deputy Clique. The overwhelming
evidence presented at the public hearing, and developed in extensive interviews,
demonstrates that Deputy Cliques encourage excessive force, undermine supervision,
destroy public trust, are discriminatory, disruptive, and act contrary to fundamental
principles of professional policing. With these elements Deputy Cliques are properly
defined as gangs within the definition of Penal Code Section 13670. These
characteristics make the elimination of the Deputy Cliques constitutionally permissible.
Indeed, they make the elimination of these Deputy Cliques and Deputy Gangs a
constitutional imperative.
The activities of and dangers created by Deputy Cliques meet the balancing test

required to ban or limit membership in these groups. Pickering v. Board of Education,
391 U.S. 563 (1968) established the required “balancing” test. The Ninth Circuit applied
the test in Hudson v. Craven, 403 F.3d 691, 696 (9th Cir. 2005). The balance to be
weighed is: “(1) [W]hether the speech that led to the adverse employment action [i.e.,
prohibiting Deputy Cliques] relates to a matter of ‘public concern’; and (2) whether,
under a balancing test, the public employer can demonstrate that its legitimate
interests outweigh the employee’s First Amendment rights.”
Based upon the “public comment” at COC’s special hearings and COC regular
meetings and the multiple public reports going back to the Kolts Commission in 1992,
the existence and conduct of Deputy Cliques are plainly matters of “public concern.”
The COC has heard moving statements by friends and family members of deceased or
injured individuals impacted by the activities of Deputy Cliques. The treatment and
gang activities of Deputy Clique members toward their brothers and sisters in uniform
is a chilling statement of the paramount interest of the Department and the County in
protecting its own employees and not tolerating persistent violations of law and
fundamental principles of professional policing. The public is well advised to be
“concerned” and to view the evidence of such misconduct directed toward fellow
deputies and assume that they, as outsiders of the organization, can only expect worse
In Piscottano v. Murphy, 511 F. 3d. 247, 274-277 (2nd Cir. 2007), the court
concluded that correctional officers’ membership in the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, an
organization that had engaged in criminal activity, presented an issue of “public
concern.” Here, both extensive law enforcement testimony and evidence and the
public comments demonstrate that Deputy Clique membership is a matter of public
concern. Accord, Godwin v. Rogue Valley Youth Corr. Facility 656 App’x 874, 875 (9th

Cir. 2016).
In the balancing of competing interests prong of the test, the employer needs to
show that “the employee’s activity is disruptive to the internal operations of the
governmental unit in question” and the disruption is significant enough so that it
“impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers, has a detrimental
impact on close working relationships…or impedes the performance of the speaker’s
duties or interferes with the regular operation of the enterprise.” Melzer v. Bd. of Educ
of City Sch. Dist. of City of New York, 336 F.3d 185, 197 (2nd Cir. 2003).
Courts have consistently found that a “law enforcement agency has a
heightened need for order, loyalty, morale and harmony which affords a police
department more latitude in responding to the speech of its officers than other
government employers.” See e.g., Doggrell v. City of Anniston, Alabama, 277 F. Supp.
3d 1239, 1258 (N.D. Ala. 2017); Turner v. United States Capital Police, 34 F. Supp. 3d
124, 143 (D.D.C. 2014); McMullen v. Carson, 754 F.2d 936 (11th Cir. 1985) (Ku Klux Klan
membership sufficient to terminate a Sheriff’s deputy.). Further, the efficiency,
security, and integrity of the Department law enforcement function easily outweighs
the “associational rights” of a Deputy Clique member.
In short, the applicable law establishes that, based upon the facts found by
Special Counsel, and the evidence offered in public hearings conducted by the COC
that the elimination of Deputy Cliques is well within the constitutional bounds of the
Department. Not only is it permissible, but it is also a necessity.

Special Counsel’s investigation of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques in the Los

Angeles Sheriff’s Department demonstrates that it is time to eradicate this 50-year
plague upon the County of Los Angeles, its residents and the Department’s employees

who do not belong to, or wish to be associated with, the Deputy Gangs or Deputy
Cliques. The fine distinction, if any, between “Deputy Gangs” and “Deputy Cliques” is
not important. The evidence has shown that Deputy Cliques regularly devolve into
discriminatory, exclusionary, and dangerous associations that challenge the core goals
of law enforcement.
Accordingly, Special Counsel sets forth below recommendations to the COC to
urge Sheriff Robert Luna to accomplish this goal. The COC should work with the Sheriff
and the Department in facilitating enactment of the recommendations and monitoring
the results.

On February 14, 2020, the COC passed a resolution recommending that the

Department enact a policy “prohibiting joining and participation in deputy cliques.” A
copy of the resolution and preamble is attached as Exhibit A.
The COC defined Deputy Cliques “as groups of Sheriff’s deputies within a
particular patrol station, bureau or unit who self- associate as a subgroup to the
exclusion of others in their station or unit.“ The term “Deputy Cliques” when used
within the Department was intended to minimize the problem created by such groups.
The harmful effects of groups of deputies who self-associated and acted to
exclude other deputies by identifying with symbols and names designed to separate
themselves from the Department had a principal focus upon the harm caused to the
Department and to excluded members. Special Counsel urges the COC to reiterate its
request that the Sheriff enact a policy prohibiting deputies from joining, participating
in or soliciting others to join a Deputy Clique.
However, Special Counsel urges the COC to go further. As expressed above, as
defined in the COC proposal, the term “Deputy Cliques” encompasses subgroups that

engage in misconduct directed against the community such as excessive force and
violations of constitutional rights. The factual investigation has revealed widespread,
deliberate misconduct that at minimum violates fundamental principles of professional
policing and in many cases appears to violate the law. The time has now come for a
policy that expressly prohibits not just the internally harmful effects of Deputy Cliques,
but the external, community harmful acts of Deputy Gangs. Such harmful acts include
falsified police reports, unlawful searches and seizures, misuse and excessive use of
force and discriminatory enforcement of law. Proof that the community, particularly
the communities of color, are suffering because of gang behavior is epitomized in the
recently released body-camera footage of Deputy Sabatine as he exercised his
authority by pointing a gun at an African American man sitting in his parked car
without any evidence of a crime.
Now is the time to eliminate all these problematic groups, Deputy Cliques and
Deputy Gangs. The factual findings compel the COC to urge the Sheriff to adopt the
following recommendations:


The Sheriff must clearly, promptly and unequivocally articulate his
vision, policies, and objectives in addressing the problem of
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, and their adverse effects on the community
and the Department need to be eliminated. This is easier said than done, but it will
never be done unless the Sheriff promptly announces that Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques will no longer be tolerated. He should make clear that this is a top priority, and
he should state his intention to make this happen immediately. He must also promptly
adopt policies calculated to achieve this goal and see that these policies are enforced.


Adopt a policy that clearly prohibits deputies from participating in
Deputy Gangs, as defined in Penal Code Section 13670.

Special Counsel’s investigation has revealed that, despite 50 years of known
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques within the Department, these problematic groups
continue to operate at several of the Department’s patrol stations, engage in gang like
activities and no Sheriff has adopted a policy banning participation in such groups.
Moreover, the State legislature has mandated that every law enforcement agency in
the State of California “shall maintain a policy that prohibits participation in law
enforcement gangs and make violation of that policy grounds for termination.” PC
Section 13670(b). Moreover, the legislature has defined the term “law enforcement
gang.” The current Sheriff’s predecessor failed to implement a policy banning law
enforcement gangs within the Department. Such a policy should be adopted without
further delay.

Adopt a policy that prohibits deputies from joining, participating
in and soliciting others to join Deputy Cliques.

Given the Department’s long history of exclusionary deputy subgroups, it will
not be enough merely to prohibit participation in deputy or law enforcement “gangs.”
Ending this problem requires a prohibition against joining and participating in Deputy
Cliques. In April 2021, the COC proposed that the Department adopt a policy that
prohibits deputies from joining, participating in, or soliciting others to join a Deputy
Clique. The COC’s proposed policy was accompanied by a preamble that explained the
need for such a policy and provided definition to the term Deputy Clique.
As noted above, Special Counsel urges that the Sheriff adopt the COC’s proposed
policy. Violators of the policy would be subject to discipline, up to and including
termination. The indispensable element to ending this 50-year harm to the

Department and the public is adopting the recommended policy to send a strong
message that belonging to a Deputy Clique is no longer going to be tolerated, that gang
behaviors are a thing of the past and this Sheriff is fully committed to rid the
Department of these groups.
All Deputy Gangs have sprung from Deputy Cliques, and the clique-culture is
deeply embedded in the Department. This cancer in the Department must be excised.

The Sheriff should develop a departmentwide initiative to end
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

As noted above in the Factual Findings, Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques are
secretive, exclusive, and often employ intimidating, unprofessional, or controversial
graphics, including body tattoos. They diminish the public’s trust in the Department,
undermine supervision and the chain of command, are detrimental to the morale of
other Department members, and negatively impact the Department’s effectiveness
and professionalism in executing its mission. The elimination of these groups requires
buy-in at all levels of the Department. The Sheriff should announce a department-wide
initiative banning Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques. All executives, managers, and
supervisors must be openly and unequivocally committed to conveying the Sheriff’s
policy, and objectives to Department personnel. As the Rand study stated, “Culture
eats policy.” The Sheriff’s leadership team must change the culture of stations, jails,
and other bureaus or units where these groups exist.

The Sheriff should seek the support of ALADS and PPOA, for his
vision, policies and objectives regarding Deputy Gangs and Deputy

ALADS and PPOA need to be part of the solution and recognize that the
elimination of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques is in the overall best interests

of their members.

Any captain who is unable or unwilling to support the Sheriff’s
policy without reservations should be subject to appropriate
discipline ranging from transfer to a less critical position with little
or no presence of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques to
termination for insubordination in the Sheriff’s considered
judgment and pursuant to required due process.


The Department should consider assigning a senior captain and a
newly promoted captain to larger, high activity stations to ensure
maximum supervision and mentoring of lieutenants and sergeants
while retaining full accountability within the paramilitary structure
of the Department.

Although a single captain heads Sheriff’s patrol stations, there is a precedent for
having two captains oversee a facility in the Custody Division. MCJ, Twin Towers
Correctional Facility, and North County Correctional Facility all have two captain
organizations—one for operations and one for administrative functions. Assigning two
captains to larger, busier patrol stations, particularly those with a history of
entrenched Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, will enhance the ability of captains to
address the continuing problem of these groups and help ensure that such groups will
not be formed in the future. If the Sheriff does not believe a two-captain approach is
well advised, he should report his reasons to the COC.




As set forth in recommendations A (2) and A (3) above, the Sheriff
should adopt and promptly implement a clear policy to address
the need to eliminate Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques and
prohibit tattoos that depict violence which must be supported,
and explained by the Sheriff’s leadership team.

As defined earlier in this Report, a Deputy Clique is an association of deputies
within a station or unit that is secretive and invidiously exclusionary and often adopts
images, including matching tattoos depicting violence or the use of deadly force. These
sub-groups have been fairly and frequently defined as Deputy Gangs. As stated in
Recommendations No. A (2) and A (3) above, the Sheriff should immediately bar all
deputies from joining, participating in, or soliciting others to join Deputy Gangs and
Deputy Cliques. In addition to adopting this policy, the Sheriff should promulgate
additional polices to help eradicate Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, including a
policy that prohibits new deputies hired after the date of the issuance of
Recommendations A (2) and A (3) from having tattoos that depict violence, the use of
deadly force or any iconography that might reasonably be found offensive to the
public. Current Department members should also be prohibited from acquiring such
tattoos after the date of the issuance of the policy. Any current Department member
who acquired a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique tattoo prior to the adopting of the
policy should be required to ensure that it is not visible while the member is on-duty,
on Department or County property, or is representing the Department away from the
A review of stations and jails should be conducted to determine which facilities
have unprofessional station/jail/bureau logos. Unit commanders should be

accountable for the removal of decals, flags, bumper stickers, decorations, or other
depictions of unprofessional symbols inappropriate for representing Department units.
All managers and supervisors must be responsive to the existence of graphics or other
symbols representing prohibited Deputy Gangs or Deputy Cliques or offensive
station/jail/bureau logos such as “Ghetto Birds” or “Ft. Apache.” They should be
removed, and misconduct investigations should be initiated to determine which
personnel are responsible for such graphics or symbols if they reappear in the future.

The Department should investigate violations of the policy
banning joining or participating in Deputy Gang and Deputy
Cliques and refer violations for discipline.

A primary consequence of any violation of the Sheriff’s policies regarding Deputy
Gangs or Deputy Cliques should be a misconduct investigation followed by appropriate
discipline which should range from suspension through demotion to discharge
consistent with due process. Department personnel should also be advised that the
Department will enforce Penal Code Section 13670.

The Department’s leadership team should consistently and
recurrently emphasize the adverse career consequences of
creating or joining a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique.

Although this task belongs to personnel of every rank, the time commitment
must increase with each successively lower rank. Notwithstanding the importance of a
captain-level manager to set the tone for deputies, lieutenants and sergeants,
lieutenants and sergeants spend the most time with deputies. They therefore must be
most accountable for communicating to deputies under their supervision the adverse
consequences of becoming involved with Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques. Captains
ultimately are responsible for and must be held accountable for the performance of

lieutenants and sergeants.

The Department must implement a procedure for notifying the
District Attorney’s Office if a deputy testifying as a witness
participates in a prohibited Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique.

Compliance with Federal and State law, including compliance with Brady v.
Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83, requires the District Attorney’s Office to disclose if a
deputy testifying as a prosecution witness participates in a prohibited Deputy Gang or
Deputy Clique that might bear upon the witnesses’ credibility. The confidentiality of
law enforcement personnel files does not relieve the prosecution of its constitutional
obligation to disclose impeaching information for any deputy testifying as a
prosecution witness. Sheriff Luna and his designees should consult with the District
Attorney’s Office to devise an appropriate procedure for the Department to notify the
District Attorney’s Office that a deputy is participating in a prohibited Deputy Gang or
Deputy Clique so that prosecutors can make the required disclosures, if any, to the

The Department should actively investigate violation of the policy
prohibiting joining, participating in or soliciting deputies to join
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques

Sheriff Luna should remedy the Department’s longstanding failure to investigate
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques. After Recommendation No. 2, above is adopted, the
Department should make reasonable efforts to learn whether deputies continue to
participate in such groups, as the Department did in 1973 with the Little Red Devils and
in 2013 with the Jump Out Boys.



The Department should train supervisors how to mentor deputies
about the adverse consequences of involvement in Deputy Gangs
and Deputy Cliques.

In 2016 the Department initiated a departmentwide mentoring program for
deputy personnel named the “Sergeants’ Mentoring Initiative.” The objective of the
program was to equip and inspire the sergeants to provide to their deputies
meaningful, practical, recurrent mentoring about decision-making and conduct in law
enforcement and custodial services. The program was designed to (1) emphasize the
high aspirations associated with public safety services, (2) stress the importance and
difficulty of the decisions required of peace officers, (3) acknowledge the temptations
and pressures prevalent in law enforcement, and (4) enhance deputies’ capacity to
apply foresight, perspective and wisdom to their decision- making and conduct.

The Department should implement a series of community
meetings involving patrol station captains, commanders, and
chiefs to ascertain the impact of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques
on community relations.

The Department should implement at every station a Community Advisory
Committee (“CAC”). The committees should consist of community members who have
been vocal in their criticisms of law enforcement in addition to station “boosters” who
volunteer for membership.
The periodic meetings should be attended by committee members, other
members of the community, and station personnel, including the captain, dedicated
lieutenant, sergeants, and special assignment and other deputies as necessary. These
meetings constitute excellent forums for Department personnel to learn about
community concerns. The topic of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques must be an

agenda item of these meetings.


Special Counsel recognizes the complexity of the Department, as well as the
difficulty of managing the second largest local law enforcement agency in the country,
with its large geographical area, responsibilities for operating the largest county jail
system and the largest local court system in America and its duty to police over four
million residents.
Special Counsel also recognizes that re-deploying or transferring deputies who
belong to a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique from one unit or patrol station to another
has in certain circumstances resulted in moving but not necessarily solving the
problem. The clearest illustration of this was the transfer of substantial numbers of
deputies who were members of the 2000 and 3000 Boys to the same patrol stations
they selected as their preferences, i.e., Compton and South L.A. Stations, respectively.
Nonetheless, the use of the Sheriff’s authority to re-deploy, transfer and rotate
assignments is a valuable tool that can help eliminate Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques within the Department and, importantly, preventing their formation and reemergence.
In interviewing non-Department law enforcement managers, as well as former
Department leaders, Special Counsel recognizes that other law enforcement agencies
use re-deployment and assignment rotation to minimize the risk of problematic officer
or deputy groups forming in those agencies. It is an available and appealing strategy
here. While not a panacea, it would provide an additional remedy and the mere
announcement of the policy could serve a prophylactic effect.
Moreover, the evidence adduced demonstrates that the Department’s
decentralized station-based structure has played a significant role in fostering Deputy

Gangs and Deputy Cliques. Deputies’ loyalties extend to the station rather than to the
Department as a whole. Indeed, tattoos often are associated with the first or “home”
station of the deputy.
At a minimum, the Sheriff should provide a report to the COC on his perception
of the viability and likelihood of success of the rotational plan set forth below.
Special Counsel urges that the Sheriff implement the following recommendation
for re-deployment and periodic rotations of deputies within patrol and custody:

The Sheriff should use his authority to re-deploy and rotate
deputies based upon the needs of the Department for the
Department to eliminate the formation and re-emergence of
Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

The Sheriff should consider making such re-deployments or transfers within a
geographic patrol or custody division, where possible, to avoid undue hardships. The
Sheriff should also consider rotating all patrol deputies (after completion of field
training) no later than the end of their first year in patrol to another patrol station
within the Division. The Sheriff should also consider rotating all patrol deputies in
periodic rotations, no longer than every five years, or sooner, to another station. The
CCJV recommended and the Department implemented frequent rotations of deputies
within the facilities of the County Jails. The rotational policy played a role in breaking
up of the 2000 and 3000 Boys and reducing excessive force in MCJ. The rotation of
deputies serving in Custody divisions should continue.
To effectively use the Sheriff’s authority to re-deploy, Unit Commanders should
take necessary actions to address the problem of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques
under their commands, including recommending to their Chiefs transfers of
problematic deputies. Captains must be focused upon the rotation options and actively

participate in informing Commanders and Chiefs of the utility and results of such

The Department should re-assess the dual career track for
Custody/Court Services and provide a written report to the COC
explaining what factors impede implementation.

Having more deputies in Custody or Court Services who want careers in those
Divisions may allow other deputies to go directly to patrol from the academy or
shorten the time that other deputies spend in Custody after the academy.

The Department should assess the feasibility of first assignments
to patrol rather than jail facilities and provide a written report to
the COC explaining what factors exist, if any, impede



The Sheriff should ensure that senior executives and unit leaders,
notably captains and commanders are implementing the Sheriff’s
policy, vision and objectives regarding Deputy Gangs and Deputy

A segment of the weekly Executive Planning Council meeting (Sheriff,
Undersheriff, Assistant Sheriff, Division Chiefs and various staff members) should be
devoted to discussion of the progress of the initiative to end Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques. Identified obstacles should be remedied quickly.

The Office of Inspector General should monitor implementation of
the policy banning, joining or participating in Deputy Gangs and
Deputy Cliques.

Because of the imperative of implementing policies to eliminate Deputy Gangs

and Deputy Cliques, Special Counsel recommends that the COC request the Office of
Inspector General to deploy its resources as additional “eyes and ears” to ensure the
policy recommendations A (2) and A (3) are implemented fully and with alacrity.

Promotional considerations should include an evaluation of
evidence that a member under consideration for a promotion is
currently involved in a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique, including
the nature and extent of the member’s involvement and whether
it was before or after the date of the policy issued by the Sheriff.

Past administrations have promoted tattooed Deputy Gang members to the
highest levels of leadership in the Department. Most notably, Sheriff Baca promoted
Paul Tanaka, a tattooed Viking, to Undersheriff. More recently, Sheriff Villanueva
promoted Timothy Murakami, a tattooed Caveman, to Undersheriff and Lawrence Del
Mese, a tattooed Grim Reaper, to Chief of Staff.
Promoting Deputy Gang members into leadership positions reinforces the power
of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques and undermines the ability of officials to
implement reforms aimed at eliminating them within the Department. For example,
former Undersheriff Tanaka’s recommendation encouraging investigative tactics “close
to the line”and “in the gray area” became part of the Jump Out Boys creed.
Current or former Deputy Gang and Deputy Clique members in leadership
positions will have difficulty enforcing new prohibitions against other deputies joining
a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique because their own tattoos and past participation
renders them vulnerable to accusations of, at minimum, hypocrisy. Former Chief of
Staff Del Mese testified that he had his Reapers tattoos removed at about the same
time as the former Sheriff appointed him Chief of Staff because he understood that the
tattoo had come to be a “liability” and “a bad look.”

Consequently, the Department should inquire if a deputy under consideration
for a promotion is or was Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique affiliated and must carefully
evaluate the Department wide implications of promoting those who actively
participated in such groups.

The Department should include a standard set of questions
regarding a deputy’s current affiliations with Deputy Gangs or
Deputy Cliques in the use of force review process and in
administrative and internal criminal investigations.

This recommendation does not assume a per se causal connection between
membership in a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique, or the fact that a deputy has a tattoo
reflecting involvement in such a group, and unlawful use of force or misconduct. It is,
however, important to recognize that the community widely assumes such a causal
Members of communities policed by Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques widely
infer a connection between such groups and excessive uses of force. The U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights report, the Loyola Report and the report of the National
Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice noted that stations with active Deputy Gangs
have significantly more deputy involved shootings than stations without Deputy Gangs,
even when the overall crime rates in the station-districts are comparable.
The questions must enable an assessment of the possibility or likelihood of a
connection, without any presumption. If there is evidence indicating even a possible
connection between a deputy’s membership in a Deputy Gang or Deputy Clique and a
use of force incident or misconduct, investigative steps should be taken to determine
the nature and extent of the connection. In any such cases, the Office of the Inspector
General should be notified and asked to monitor the progress of the investigation.


The Department should ensure that captains are notified of
deputies involved in force incidents or personnel misconduct
investigations who have affiliations with Deputy Gangs or Deputy
Cliques, including tattoos associated with such groups.

The Department should codify this recommendation as a rule in the Department
Manual of Policy and Procedures. The responsibility for making this notification will
normally fall to an investigator at the captain’s own unit of assignment, or to an
Internal Affairs Bureau or to Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau investigator.
However, anyone who obtains such knowledge must promptly notify the concerned
captain, either directly or through the chain of command.

The Department should ensure that the CompStat process for risk
management indicators regarding the existence of Deputy Gangs
or Deputy Cliques within a patrol station or other Department unit
is implemented and is effective in assessing the risk mitigation
efforts of unit commanders.

The Department previously instituted a CompStat process, also referred to as
the Sheriff’s Critical Issues Forum (SCIF). The Department initially used it primarily in
patrol divisions, but later extended to every division involved with large scale risk
management issues. LAPD has successfully employed a CompStat process that allows
measurable results. Such statistics driven analyses can assess unit commanders’ efforts
to successfully manage their responsibilities. SCIF or other statistics driven analyses will
assist in the responsible operating of the Department and provide another forum for
evaluating progress on efforts to end Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques. The
Department should track force incidents by shifts or deputy partners, checking for, and
assessing, patterns that may indicate the need for re-assignments, transfers or,

The Department should implement a “performance mentoring” process,
overseen by Risk Management Bureau (“RMB”). The object of the program should be
to identify “at-risk” employees by means of the automated “early identification and
intervention system”.
Active management will determine the cause and the means of rectifying
patterns of problematic conduct. Where leadership perceives the behavior as curable
and non-recurrent, a mentoring program specifically designed to help the employee
avoid future misconduct should be enacted.

The Department must ensure that captains hold sergeants and
lieutenants accountable for deputies under their supervision
involved in Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

It is essential that captains and lieutenants back up sergeants who face
insubordination from members of Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques. Fulfilling this
recommendation is a fundamental duty of captain- and lieutenant-level managers.
They must assess lower ranking managers and supervisors as to their commitment to
convey, support and enforce the Sheriff’s vision and intentions about Deputy Gangs
and Deputy Cliques. Failure on the part of a captain to meet this obligation should be
grounds for transfer or other appropriate employment action.

The Department must ensure that sergeants actively and
recurrently mentor deputy personnel and enforcement of the
policy prohibiting Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques.

For sergeants to succeed in conducting the policy prohibiting Deputy Gangs and
Deputy Cliques they must be supported by the chain of command. The persistence of
these groups is due in part to sergeants perceiving that higher ranking officers will not

support them. With that perception, much of the incentive for a sergeant to actively
seek to eliminate such groups is removed. Creation and systematic use of a data base
tracking the date, time, setting, duration, topics covered, personnel in attendance, and
identity of mentor will allow assurance that the policy of the Sheriff is reenforced by
those closest to the deputies who might consider participation in a Deputy Gang or
Deputy Clique.

The Sheriff should flatten the chain of command by eliminating at
least one layer of supervision between him and the captains
running patrol stations.

As noted earlier in this Report, the Department’s decentralized station- based
structure has played a significant role in fostering Deputy Gangs and Deputy Clique.
Deputies’ loyalties are extended to the station rather than to the institution of the
Department as a whole.
Despite some Sheriffs’ prior efforts to eradicate Deputy Gangs and Deputy
Cliques some patrol station captains where these groups have flourished have found it
easier to do nothing than take them on. The COC interviewed several captains of
stations with widely known, active Deputy Gangs or Deputy Cliques who professed to
know nothing about them despite extensive media coverage of scandals and
widespread awareness of deputies of their presence. Because of the relative ease of
the “do nothing” choice, information has not consistently flowed up to Commanders,
Chiefs, and Assistant Sheriffs. That must change. Shortening the chain of command will
assist the Sheriff in seeing that his policies will be enforced.
Currently, there are six layers of reporting from a Captain of a Patrol Station to
the Sheriff (Captain to a Commander to a Chief to an Assistant Sheriff to the
Undersheriff to the Sheriff). This top-heavy structure has led to a level of autonomy at

certain patrol stations that has contributed to the continuation of these groups. Some
have equated patrol stations to functioning more like fiefdoms than integral parts of a
command structure where policy is implemented throughout the Department.
This level of autonomy would be ameliorated by a shorter chain of command
which the Sheriff could accomplish in a number of ways. At a minimum, the Assistant
Sheriff for Patrol Operations should be a direct report to the Sheriff.

The prohibition against joining or participating in Deputy Gangs or
Cliques should be a condition of employment.

Once the Sheriff adopts Recommendation No. 2, above, non-participation in
Deputy Gangs or Deputy Cliques should be an express condition of employment. Such
a condition will make clear from inception what will not be tolerated by the

Special Counsel respectfully urges the COC to consider the factual findings and

recommendations in this report and to deliver the report to Sheriff Luna for his
There can be no doubt that Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques have been, and
still are, responsible for undermining discipline, morale, and safety of the public and
Department personnel. Deputy Gangs and Deputy Cliques, as the seed from which
Deputy Gangs grow, must be eliminated. Sheriff Luna has an opportunity to set the
Department on the right path in the best interests of the Department and the
community. Special Counsel recommends that the COC adopt the Report and
Recommendations and deliver it to the Sheriff.




The policy set forth below is based on the following factual findings:
The existence ofdeputy cliques within the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
(LASD) dates back at least to 1971 and continues to the present. Deputy cliques
are groups of Sheriff's deputies, assigned to a particular LASD patrol station or
unit, who self-associate, self-identify and exclude other deputies assigned to the
same station or unit, and thus are a subgroup within a particular station or unit.
The deputy cliques identify themselves by name, e.g., the Banditos, the
Executioners, the Regulators, the Grim Reapers, the Rattlesnakes, the Cowboys,
etc., and often their members have common or matching tattoos or use hand
signals, and engage in other rituals similar to street gangs.
The existence of deputy cliques within the LASD for the past fifty years has
created myriad internal and external problems. Internally, the deputy cliques hurt
morale within the LASD and create a shadow-system of supervision and leadership
in conflict with each station's actual supervision and chain of command.
Externally, the deputy cliques foster an "us-against-them culture" that leads to
.frequent and excessive uses offorce, dishonesty, racial profiling, and the
enforcement of a code of silence. The totality of deputy clique misconduct has
eroded trust and mutual respect between the LASD and the communities they are
supposed to serve.
The more notorious deputy cliques-such as the Vikings, the Wayside
Whites, the Regulators, the 2000 Boys, 3000 Boys, the Jump Out Boys, the Posse,
the Grim Reapers, the Banditos, and the Executioners-have generated scandals
that cast the Department in a negative light and lawsuits that ultimately cost the
County millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. The Los Angeles County
Counsel has estimated that the clique-related misconduct and uses offorce have
cost the taxpayers at least $55 million in settlements. The actual settlement costs
are likely much higher than this because LASD leadership has refused to
investigate whether any deputy involved in a shooting is affiliated with a deputy

For decades, independent oversight bodies and commissions have identified
deputy cliques as a serious problem within the LASD and recommended that the
leadership take affirmative action to eradicate deputy cliques.
In 1992, the Kolts Commission investigated use-of-force problems
associated with patrol deputy cliques, such as the Vikings, and concluded that
some members "appeared at least in times past to have engaged in behavior that is
brutal and intolerable and is typically associated with street gangs. " (Kolts
Report at 323.) The Kolts Commission recommended that LASD officials "conduct
an immediate, thorough Internal Affairs investigation to root out, and punish
severely any lingering gang-like behavior by its deputies." (Id. at 332.) The
LASD leadership declined to implement this recommendation.
In 1999, the United States Commission on Civil Rights released a report on
use offorce and police misconduct in Los Angeles, which addressed deputy cliques
within the LASD. (Racial and Ethnic Tensions in American Communities: Poverty,
Inequality, and Discrimination: Vol. V the Los Angeles Report.) The Commission
stated, "Serious allegations persist that groups of deputies have formed
associations that harass and brutalize minority residents." (Id. at 220). While the
Sheriff had testified at one ofthe hearings that the LASD had no cliques, the
Commission noted that he had recently acknowledged the existence of "an
organized vigilante group of LASD employees" called the Posse that assaulted
mentally ill inmates in their custody. (Id.) The Commission recommended, "The
LASD should initiate a careful investigation into allegations of other deputy
gangs, " and urged the United States Department ofJustice to open an
investigation, as well. (Id.)
In 2012, the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence (CCJV) investigated useof-force problems associated with custody deputy cliques, such as the 2000 Boys
and the 3000 Boys. Like the Kolts Commission, the CCJV concluded that "the
Department has a long history of deputy cliques" and that "these subcultures
within the Department contributed to acts of insubordination, aggressive behavior,
and excessive force in the jails for many years. " (CCJV Report at 1OJ.) The
CCJV warned, "Cliques of deputies that resist or undermine supervision, violate
Department policies, exert negative influences over deputies, use frequent and
excessive force against inmates, and engage in violent behavior against members
of the public and other deputies represent threats to the very integrity, ethics, and
mission of the Department. " (Id. at 104.) The CCJV recommended that


"Department leaders should actively discourage membership in deputy cliques and
avoid promoting or condoning a culture ofallegiance to a subpart of the
Department." (Id. at 115.)
Despite these prior findings and recommended reforms, deputy cliques
within the LASD have persisted. For example, a relatively new deputy clique, the
Banditos, has emerged at the East Los Angeles station. Several female deputies
have alleged they were pressured to provide sexual favors to Banditos in order to
remain working at the station. At a September 18, 2018 off-training party, several
Banditos severely beat new deputies whom they didn 't want to work with at the
East Los Angeles station. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that that
the LASD internal investigation of the incident deliberately ignored the assailants'
clique-affiliation as a motive for the assaults. The OIG concluded, "Substantial
evidence exists to support the conclusion that the Banditos are gang-like and their
influence has resulted in favoritism, sexism, racism, and violence. " (OIG, Analysis
of the Criminal Investigation ofAlleged Assault by Banditos (Oct. 2020) at 29.)
Another new clique, the Executioners, has emerged at the Compton station.
According to a recent whistleblower lawsuit filed by a Compton deputy, the
Executioners exclude African Americans and women, and assault and retaliate
against other deputies who challenge their authority at the station. "Prospects"
who want to join the Executioners allegedly "chase ink" (i.e., seek to obtain
permission to get an Executioners tattoo) by shooting somebody to prove that they
are worthy ofwearing their tattoo. The whistleblower has testified that the two
deputies involved in the fatal shooting ofAndres Guardado were prospects seeking
to join the Executioners at the time of the shooting.
While some of the historic deputy cliques are gone, there is evidence that a
number of deputy cliques are still in existence. They include: the Banditos (East LA
station), 1 the Cowboys {Lancaster Station), 2 the Executioners, 3 the Grim Reapers, 4
the Rattlesnakes (Palmdale and Lancaster stations), 5 and the Regulators (Century
Station). 6


See 50 Years of Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Loyola Law School, Jan. 2021, at
pp. 4-7.
Ibid ., p. I 0.
Ibid., pp. I 0- I I.
Ibid ., p.18.
Ibid ., p. 18.


Efforts short ofan outright ban on participation in deputy cliques have been
ineffective. For example, despite a new policy adopted by the Sheriff in February
2020, there has not been one instance in which a deputy has been disciplined for
his participation in a deputy clique.
In view of the foregoing, the only effective way of eradicating deputy cliques
is to adopt the policy below which clearly prohibits, henceforward, 7 participation
in, joining, or soliciting others to join a deputy clique.



- Joining and Participation in Deputy Cliques is Prohibited

Department personnel shall not participate in, join or solicit other Department
personnel to join a deputy clique. A deputy clique is a group of Sheriffs deputies,
assigned to a particular LASD station, unit or bureau, who self-associate, selfidentify and exclude other deputies assigned to the same station or unit, and thus
are a subgroup within a particular station or unit. Deputy cliques identify
themselves by name, e.g., the Banditos, the Executioners, the Regulators, the Grim
Reapers, the Rattlesnakes, the Cowboys, etc., and often their members have
common or matching tattoos or use hand signals, and/or engage in other rituals and
behaviors similar to street gangs.
Any Department employee who participates in or joins a deputy clique, or solicits
another employee to join a deputy clique, will be subject to discipline. 8
Deputy cliques include but are not limited to the Banditos, the Executioners, the
Regulators, the Grim Reapers, the Rattlesnakes, and the Cowboys and participation
in or joining these deputy cliques is specifically prohibited.
This policy supersedes and replaces 3-01/050.83 of 2/14/2020


The Policy set forth below is not intended to be retroactive. However, an employee of the LASO who joins,
pa11icipates in a deputy clique, or solicit another employee to join a deputy clique on or after the effective date on
which this Policy is adopted is subject to discipline for violation of the Policy.
The Table of Discipline must provide for this as a distinct MPP violation. The range discipline for violation of this
policy should range from reprimand, involuntary re-assignment, to and including termination.


Posted 4.15.2021