Dozens of LASD deputies ordered to show suspected gang tattoos, reveal others who have them - Los Angeles Times

Nearly three dozen deputies have been ordered to come in for questioning, show their tattoos and give up the names of any other deputies similarly sporting ink connecting them to two of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s most notorious deputy gangs.

The demand came Friday in a letter sent by county Inspector General Max Huntsman to 35 deputies suspected of being members of either the Executioners, which operates out of the Compton station, or the Banditos, which operates out of the East L.A. station.

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

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

It lays out the legal basis for such a probe, citing a 2021 state law that gave inspectors general the authority to investigate law enforcement gangs by specifying that agencies “shall cooperate” with inspector general investigations.

While the letter didn’t name any gang members, it did say that the office had identified 11 suspected Banditos and 30 suspected Executioners.

The Sheriff’s Department has long faced allegations about secretive deputy groups running amok in certain stations and jails, controlling command staff and promoting a culture of violence. A Loyola Marymount University report released in 2021 identified 18 such groups that have existed over the last five decades, including the Executioners and the Banditos.

Members of the former are alleged to sport tattoos of a skull with Nazi imagery and an AK-47, while members of the latter are allegedly known for their matching tattoos of a skeleton outfitted with a sombrero, bandoleer and pistol.

The current round of letters comes on the heels of a series of efforts to curb gang activity within the Sheriff’s Department.

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Los Angeles Times

Locations: Los Angeles, CA 

Organizations: Los Angeles Sheriff Department Executioners (LASD) Banditos (LASD) 

People: Max Huntsman 

Tags: Police 

Type: Headlines