Is a New Sheriff’s Gang Operating in L.A.’s Compton Station?

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is facing new and troubling allegations about possible gang activity among a clique of deputies at its Compton station. If true, the accusations could signal a return to one of the darkest chapters in the department’s history.

LASD’s trouble with violent sheriff’s posses goes back more than 40 years, starting with the creation of the East L.A. station’s Little Devils in 1971. The county paid $9 million to settle lawsuits in 1996 involving another intradepartment clique known as the Lynwood Vikings.

The most recent allegations were raised by attorneys representing the family of a man who was shot and killed by police in 2016. The claims mostly center on tattoos shared by at least 10 to 20 deputies at the Compton station.

In a deposition, one of the deputies admitted he got his tattoo about two months before the shooting took place and that other deputies in the station had similar body art. He has emphatically denied that the tattoos are related to gang activity, however, claiming they were seen as an acknolwedgement for "hard work."

Read more at the L.A. Times