Lawsuit Alleges LA Deputies Are Forming a New Gang

Allegations of violent deputy gangs have dogged the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for years. Now, a lawsuit claims a new gang is being formed within the department’s East L.A. station.

The lawsuit was filed by Deputy Amayel Garfias. He says a member of the clique already harassed and assaulted him after he refused to join. The group is not named.

Rand Corp. researcher Samuel Peterson, who co-authored a 2021 report on LASD gangs, told the Los Angeles Times that the formation of new groups is not unusual.  

“There’s word from East L.A. specifically that there’s a rule that once a group reaches 100 members, a new group has to form. But I’m not sure how rigid they are about that,” he said. 

Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva was accused of turning a blind to the problem. His successor, Robert Luna, was elected in November on a promise to take a different tack. 

The county has not yet formally responded to the lawsuit, but department spokeswoman Lorena Rodriguez offered this short statement:

“The Department does not tolerate deputy gangs or conduct contrary to our values.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.


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