Gangsters With Badges

New Lawsuit Spotlights LA County’s Uniquely Dangerous Deputy Gangs

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

Last week eight Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, represented by attorney Vincent Miller, filed a 64-page civil complaint that describes a reign of terror by members of the Banditos, the now-notorious deputy clique based at the department’s East Los Angeles Station.

The filing of the lawsuit, while not unexpected, has again focused attention on the serious concerns about the LASD’s deputy gangs, despite claims by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, that they are no longer really a problem.

Banditos logo courtesy of Vincent Miller

The complaint details how the members of the Banditos engaged in a pattern of intimidation and retaliation against those who didn’t go along with their actions, or worse, became whistleblowers, as at least two of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs reportedly did in desperation.

The retaliation that resulted for those who ran afoul of the Banditos, according to the lawsuit, consisted of escalating harassment, ranging from verbal taunts,  or keying someone’s car, and the like, to putting deputies in physical danger by failing to provide support on potentially perilous work call outs,  several instances of which the complaint details.

One of the worst of these episodes reportedly occurred on September 19, 2018, and resulted in two deputies from the East LA station being shot while on duty (albeit, fortunately, not fatally),  “because of the intentional failure of the Banditos to provide back up,” states the complaint.

The lawsuit also describes incidents of physical assault, most dramatically the assaults that occurred in wee hours on September 29, 2018, when a violent brawl broke out at Kennedy Hall, a rentable event venue, where those who worked at the East LA station, were holding an “end-of-training” after-hours party.

The fight started when members of the Banditos attempted to intimidate, then attacked multiple other non-Bandito deputies (who are among the lawsuit’s plaintiffs) choking one into unconsciousness with his own shirt, knocking down and kicking a second deputy plaintiff also into unconsciousness, reportedly causing a concussion, beating and kicking still others, who tried to come to the rescue of the first deputies.  And all of this done in front witnesses.

LASD, Banditos, courtesy of Greg Smith

The brutality reportedly didn’t stop there. After some of the plaintiffs managed to get their injured fellow deputies into a car in order to escape their attackers, Bandito “shot caller,” Silvano “Cholo” Garcia, and others whom the complaint identifies—both by their given names and gangster nicknames, G-Rod, Big Listo, and Silver—all got into Cholo’s car and with Cholo driving, went looking for the lawsuit’s plaintiffs to further attack them.  The four Banditos reportedly even drove to the East Los Angeles Station, where they went from car to car, hoping to locate their victims.

“But fortunately all of the Plaintiffs had fled elsewhere, and not to the station where they would have been sitting ducks for further attack.”

The lengthy, and anecdote-filled text of the newly-filed complaint makes for genuinely harrowing reading.

(WLA readers are already familiar with many of the lawsuit’s allegations since we broke the story about the Kennedy Hall assaults, and have written additionally about the expanding allegations as the lawsuit was developing.)

The new lawsuit also adds fuel to the already serious concerns about department’s deputy cliques held by the department’s Civilian Oversight Commission (COC), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG),  the LA County Board of Supervisors,  plus many department members.

Even some of its minor points are troubling, such as its report that the video of the Kennedy Hall fight provided to the sheriff’s department by the venue, has now magically vanished from the LASDs keeping.

And while again pointing to the gravity of the LASD’s toxic problem with deputy cliques,  the complaint lists a variety of incidents in which Sheriff Alex Villanueva has either  downplayed the problems posed by deputy gangs, or appears at times to be, as the lawsuit puts it, “protecting the gangs from proper scrutiny and disciplinary action.”


Only in LA

Sheriff Villanueva is not alone in his resistance to addressing the issue of deputy gangs. Every LA County Sheriff from Sherman Block forward has failed to take on the corrosive deputy cliques that have plagued the LA County’s Sheriff Department for at least 50 years.

In part for that reason, deputy gangs are a problem that appears to be specific to Los Angeles.

“It’s truly a homegrown phenomenon. We’re unique,” said Sean Kennedy, who is one of the L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commissioners, the former Federal Public Defender for California’s Central District, and now the Executive Director of the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School.

Kennedy is also a member of the ad-hoc committee of the COC, which has been specifically looking into “secret deputy subgroups.”

Sean Kennedy, L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commissioner, former Federal Public Defender for California’s Central District, and Executive Director of Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School./ photo LLS

Together with a team of Loyola Law School student researchers, Kennedy has found, among other discoveries, that there were, for a time, “racial gangs” in the New Orleans Police Department. “But they took care of them,” he said. The same occurred in Oakland.

Only LA continues to let deputy gangs thrive, according to Kennedy and his researchers.

“LASD management often states that law enforcement gangs exist in many other departments,” Kennedy told WitnessLA, “but my students and I have canvassed national newspapers and have not found reporting about law enforcement gangs in other jurisdictions, except for shorter periods of time in New Orleans and Oakland.”

This suggests, he said, “that the problem is more unique to LASD than their management would like to admit.”

Furthermore, Kennedy said, “the failure of elected L.A. Sheriffs to do anything affirmative to investigate the internal gangs is likely one of the major reasons that they have persisted for so long.”

Yes, the LAPD had its notorious Rampart division in the early 1990s, a massive scandal that produced a sharp-toothed federal consent decree. But, while the LAPD still has its challenges, worrying about gangster cops on the street isn’t one of them.  After the Rampart debacle,  certain department leaders, including former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, during his tenure, used the consent decree as a tool to push through many badly needed reforms.

Yet, decade after decade, under administration after administration, the LASD has declined to face its own even more urgent need for such reform, when it comes to deputy cliques.


Tattoos, creeds, and a glorification of violence

According to a memo resulting from research by the COC’s ad-hoc committee, which WLA has obtained, there are a number of elements that LASD’s deputy gangs have in common, which differentiates them from work-based social groups, affinity groups found in the military, or simple expressions of station pride.

“Canvassing the decades-long reporting on different LASD gangs,” the memo says, “reveals stark commonalities.” Among them are tattoos that depict “menacing” images, secrecy, distrust of LASD management, “an us-against-them mentality, “othering” minorities, and “lauding uses of force, especially shootings.”

The part about deputy cliques “lauding uses of force,” has repeatedly been denied by department, but documentation, and anecdotal observation by veteran supervisors clearly says otherwise.

In May 2012, the accidental discovery of the existence of the deputy clique, the Jump Out Boys, occurred when an LASD supervisor found a printed copy of the group’s creed in the trunk of a patrol car last used by a member of the Gang Enforcement Team (GET). The rules stated, among other things, that members would receive a tattoo, or an addition to their tattoo, after being involved in a shooting.

The Jump Out Boys

Documentation of a similar ethic turned up in a 2007 memo detailing the behavior of the Regulators, which at that time operated out of Century Station where, according to the 2007 memo, they controlled overtime assignments and promotions for the station and ‘boldly used’ the station’s facilities “for their meetings, with no regard for supervision,” or respect for rank

Five years later, the September 28, 2012, report released by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, explained how a breaking a bone of a  jail inmate, often the orbital bone, was the price of admission to the “2000 Boys,” one of the two deputy gangs that then operated in Men’s Central Jail.

And then, of course, there were the infamous Lynwood Vikings, the Grim Reapers, the Cavemen, the Pirates, and so on.

“The groups also demand a code of silence, violence, and loyalty to fellow members” that denies, ignores or minimizes deputy misconduct,” and has made “investigation difficult and dangerous,” states Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s  April 30 motion,  which asked for a  list of all claims and lawsuits since 1990 in which the claim involved allegations that a member of one of the department’s secret societies or cliques. was involved.

The actions of these groups, concluded the motion, “have actively harmed” residents of the county, other sheriff’s deputies, “and have cost” the county “millions of dollars in lawsuits and settlements.”

There are many such examples, of course, such as the July 2016 settlement,  in which LA County paid out $10.1 million because two decades before, an LA Sheriff’s deputy named Craig Ditsch, who was an active member of the Lynwood Vikings, and a close supporter—according to Ditsch —of former LASD undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who described his mentor’s controversial use of the term “gray area” as proactive policing, influenced witnesses to identify then 16-year-old Franky Carrillo as a killer.   Carrillo, a teenager with no previous criminal record, who never stopped maintaining his innocence,  to go to prison for 20 years on a wrongful conviction.

Franky Carrillo, in custody/courtesy Franky Carrillo.

Ditsch—-and Roy Luna, who was also named in Carrillo’s civil lawsuit—were named multiple times in the huge and influential class action lawsuit of 1990, Thomas, et al v. the County of Los Angeles, about which both a U.S. District Court Judge, and the 9th Circuit Court of appeals wrote as a finding of fact:

“The actions of many deputies working in the Lynwood sub-station are motivated by racial hostility; these deputies regularly disregard the civil rights of individuals they have sworn to protect. Many of the incidents which brought about this motion involved a group of Lynwood area deputies who are members of a neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang—the Vikings—which exists with the knowledge of departmental policymakers.


Dangerous gangs

According to a  COC memo on the topic, written by Sean Kennedy, the greatest danger of deputy gangs is to due process.

“The elected sheriff’s failure to deal with deputy gangs creates a ripple effect that negatively impacts the entire criminal justice system,” writes Kennedy.

Because the department’s management has declined to find out which employees are in deputy gangs, the memo explains,  the LASD, in turn, doesn’t tell the district attorney’s office if a department member they’ve subpoenaed to testify is a member of a deputy gang. This means that deputy district attorneys subsequently never notify defense counsel about impeachment evidence relating to their sheriff witnesses—all of which, according to Kennedy, undermines the “fundamental fairness in criminal trials and increase wrongful convictions.”

Max Huntsman, Los Angeles County Inspector General,/via WLA

After the release of the new lawsuit, Inspector General Max Huntsman, who usually avoids on-the-record statement to reporters, made an exception, and sent WitnessLA, along with three other news outlets, a statement outlining some of the dangers he perceived the present deputy gang situation presented.

“When law enforcement management condones behavior that violates constitutional rights over decades,” Huntsman wrote, “the people engaging in that behavior become emboldened.”

The Banditos, the 2000 Boys, the 3000 Boys, and the Jump Out Boys, “have all used violence and intimidation. A rather famous Viking even sent armed Sheriff’s Deputies to attempt to intimidate an FBI agent who ran afoul of him by investigating.”

Huntsman was, of course, referring to former undersheriff, Paul Tanaka, who is now doing a five-year sentence in federal prison.

“If LASD exhaustively investigated allegations of misconduct by secret society members and compelled secret society members to provide statements in such cases, some of these acts of violence and intimidation might not have occurred.”

He then pointed to how the LASD gang situation had recently affected him personally.

“I will say that the Sheriff’s public designation of me as a criminal target, in response to my public reporting on a secret society member’s rehiring and with investigations of secret societies pending, was indeed dangerous because the secret society members listen.

(Regarding the “secret society member’s rehiring,” Huntsman meant his exhaustively-researched analysis of the sheriff’s so-called Truth and Reconciliation Program—specifically looking at how the program worked when it came to the controversial re-hiring of Deputy Caren Carl Mandoyan, which included a copy of the transcript of the recording of Mandoyan’s phone call to his ex-girlfriend, in which he threatens her with retaliation by his well-connected Grim Reaper pals. “It’s gonna be real funny when you fuckin’ see just how much influence I have,” he says.)

“Deputy sheriffs join the department to be peace officers, but their job is difficult and can feel thankless,” wrote Huntsman as he concluded.  “Some can lose sight of their role if not properly supervised. Dog whistling that small group is dangerous.”

So it would seem.

According to a former high ranking veteran department member who testified before the COC, 15 to 20 percent of the sworn members working right now in the Sheriff’s Department are members of deputy gangs.

Another experienced department member WLA spoke with over the weekend puts the number lower, at closer to 10 percent.

If either or both are reasonably correct, that means between 80 to 90 percent of the LASD’s sworn department members, the men and women who work day-in and day-out to keep Los Angeles County’s communities safe, are not members of deputy gangs  And presumably, that majority of LA County Sheriff’s deputies who are not gangsters would prefer to go to work without worrying about whether or not their inked fellow deputies will be willing to have their backs when it counts.



Editor’s note: This story was corrected at 2 p.m. on September 25, 2019, and several additions were made at that time as well, prominent among them, the introduction to the section pertaining to Inspector General Max Huntsman, which somehow got lopped off in one round of editing.

85 Comments

  • Attempting to totally eradicate gangster cliques embedded within LASD will never happen but a Federal Consent Decree would help.

  • Perhaps LASD could hire father Greg Boyle to help out with its Latinx gang problem in east LA. Give him a lucrative contract with plenty of media face time, think of the celebrity endorsements! A kind of Homeboy Deputy program, where “good guy” gang members can celebrate their unique culture while helping the community in a socially responsible way.

  • Good luck getting rid of these cliques. Tanaka encouraged this type of behavior and loved the “bad ass deputies”. He promoted them and placed them throughout the department. These now commanders, captains, lieutenants, and sergeants allow this behavior to continue, especially the beloved ELA station where the lovely sheriff and his co-sheriff wife have history. (No disrespect towards the sheriff’s wife. Everybody knows she makes decisions from the co-chair).

    The bosses know who the shot-callers are and they have key positions at the stations. Training and scheduling, MFTO, T/O, operations. They help control the tempo of the station.

    Yep, they are bullies. Off-training parties cost trainees several hundred if not thousands to sponsor eating and drinking for all who want to come. When the bill arrives, pay up trainees, its part of the right of passage.

    Every station has a sticker, a tattoo, a hat, something that separates them from the rest and shows compradore among themselves. When it gets to the point of selective days off, who gets what shift, car assignment, and beatings at parties. They are simply the thugs from where we hired them.

    In 30 plus years I have never seen an attempt to curtail their activity. Maybe forcing the departments hand with a hefty lawsuit will pave the way.

    Cops that don’t back their partners on calls have NO PLACE ON THE DEPARTMENT. Simply inexcusable.

    • I might add that many deputies opt not to go to patrol because of that reason. It makes sense to enjoy your job, time and sanity as opposed to getting caught up in stupid B.S..

  • I was a fool to vote for this freaking Bafoon! I definitely regret it. Back to the TANAKA days. Region 2 ways. Just chalk it up to “TRAINING ISSUEs” sound familiar. Morale is down the drain cronyism in full effect. Stand by 2 stand by.

  • Madame Dong, I am glad you are thinking outside the box because lord knows this has been a problem for a long time. Although better than the usual fare of simpleton, Trumpian solutions you propose, it falls short. I do not think Father Boyle can solve this problem. And, its not a Latino, or Latinx as you say, problem. Yesterday the Vikings, today the Banditos, different devil but same hell. Its an institutional problem. Give a chump a gun and a badge and he is Superman. Don’t keep him in check, and this is what you get.

    I have yet to hear the usual, Lock ‘Em Up cries I normally hear from our porcine brethren on this site. If these fights had broken out at Burger King, WalMart or just about any other private employer, these folks would have been long fired. Why not just prosecute them like they would anyone else that engages in such behavior. And, once convicted do not let go into protective custody. We’ll see how gangster they really are. I reckon there would be some loud squealing from those cells.

    • Funny how quickly social justice warriors will turn on people of color when it suits the agenda. Cf’s blind hatred of “cops” has led her to dismiss an icon of social justice in the east la community, and instead of looking for an alternative to mass incarceration she cries out for revenge. Very disappointing, I’m sure there’s a very sad story behind all that hate.

  • None of this happen while on Sheriff AV watch! For decades this has been going on while under-sheriffs have these damn tat’s. WLA: Go interview past executives i.e Stonich and Waldie.
    OK, anybody have any idea on what to do about this???

    • Prosecute and fire anyone caught up in such violations of law and department policy. Problem is no one at the top has the guts to do it! The current Sheriff seems to be one of the,.

      • Interesting generalization you make, “Dumb people do dumb things.” I would presume that you are correlating actions with IQ? If so, I would like to see some empirical date that stipulates that IQ has a correlation with negative behavior. Behavior is how a person reacts to a particular situation and or stimuli. Whereas, a person’s “IQ” is used to determine educational assessment and or intellectual disability (i.e., being an R Tard). I believe you may be confusing a person’s IQ with their cognitive abilities. Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental processes such as “attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity, and thinking” Furthermore, if the median IQ of LEO’s is between 21 & 22 (which has an IQ rating of 104, above average) wouldn’t this make all LEO’s do “dumb things” as you stated? Just because a person has a high “IQ” does not necessarily equate to not doing “dumb things.” For example, take Baca & Tanaka, they both had high IQ’s and look what they did. Nothing derogatory against them, just an observation.

        • Pat Rolman:

          “I would like to see some empirical data that stipulates that IQ has a correlation with negative behavior.”

          Sure–the official U.S. Army After-Action report on troop performance in the Korean War.

          In the opening battles of the Korean War Army troop performance was poor–troops fled the battlefield, leaving wounded & equipment behind–and the Army conducted a study to find out why. The Army ascertained that how well a soldier performed on the battlefield was basically a function of how smart he was.

          This report was never released to the public, but the tome I read when I was a paratrooper in the 187th Infantry immediately after the Korean War–yeah, I’m that old–is more than likely still up on the same bookshelf I pulled it from at the Post Library at Ft. Campbell, Ky. some sixty two years ago.

          About a month after this Report appeared up on the library bookshelves the Army began removing from the Army soldiers whose I.Q. didn’t meet a certain threshold–what that threshold was I have no idea, but a lot of bunks in my barracks all of a sudden got emptied out.

          And there went my squad leader, a sergeant who fought all through the Korean War with the 187th just a few years earlier.

          He loved the Army, and I thought his dismissal because of a low I.Q. was really unfair.

          So there you have it.

          The report I read was never made public, but it’s probably still in the Post Library at Ft. Campbell, Ky.

          And my squad leader, if he can still be found after sixty plus years, can give personal testimony.

  • Terrifying! The Sheriff Dept. needs to be downsized. Those involved in the acts named should be suspended Without Pay! And when it’s all over fired! There are so many LAPD that we don’t need that many sheriffs. And, get rid of Villanueva too. He’s in over his head.

    • First off, how would you downsize the Sheriff’s Department. By law they are responsible for the care and custody of all inmates in the LA County Jail System, which by the way has turned out to be a housing area for what would have been state inmates. The county system was never designed to house long term sentenced inmates who should be serving their time at CDCR. (Thanks CDCR)

      The Sheriff’s Department is also responsible for the patrol law enforcement functions of the entire unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, which LAPD resides within. They also have been hired by various cities who would rather contract with the Sheriff’s Department than have their own police department. I believe the number is 42 cities who contract with LASD of the 88 cities in the county.

      The Sheriff, is ultimately responsible for the entire county should a large scale emergency operation be required. That is why you see the Sheriff with 5 stars and the various chiefs of police within the county with 4 stars. LAPD and LASD do not work the same areas. I lived in LAPD’s area and smartly resides in LASD jurisdiction now.

      As for the other issues, yep. I agree. These bullies should have already been terminated. And yes, I think AV is out of his league. The old saying that some people will promote to their level of incompetence seem appropriate right now.

      • You may not have any choice of downsizing if you can’t find competent people with character to hire. People will learn what it means to arem themselves and protect what is theirs when it takes hours if not days to get law enforcement on the job. Which would people most want fewer competent deputies or gang banger types to respond and take their reports. Many department do not send a cop to take a report unless there is immediated arrestable persons at the scene. That means over the phone paper, long waits for DB investigations if ever and more crooks free on the streets.

      • sounds like someone didn’t get the promotion he wanted but thinks he has the answer and solution to everything including the cure for cancer. GTFOH.

        AV is out of his league? Hahaha.. How the fuck can you say that with a straight face? I guess winning the election against an incumbent wasn’t good or convincing enough for you. Last time i checked, i didn’t see “side lines” on the ballot.

        AV has done more in 9 months than the last 3 Sheriff’s i worked for did their entire terms in office. Try something new this time, minus your frustration for not having the position you think you’re entitled to.

        • Mr. Obvious,
          More than happy with the rank I retired at. Did not even apply for the next rank because I could care less about the politics involved. I don’t have all the answers, just trying to answer the questions of the previous post.

          I had never heard of AV, maybe he is the best. Sold out on the democratic ticket and the previous sheriff was not one I cared for either. AV has been in the papers more than I care to remember. I am sure trying to bring back CM was the best, I am sure changing the promotional process without a meet and confer with the unions is great. Maybe firing everybody and moving people from LT to A/S was perfect. Your call, you have to live with it. Piss of the BOS who provide the money for your raises. Great. Send folks out to patrol with little to no experience. Enable the inmates of custody to run the facilities rather than the staff. Folks I talk to say the sheriff loves them, just can’t fix the issues.

          I am calling you the angry elf. Place your name on the ballet.

          • Actually, it was McDonnell that allowed the inmates to run the jails. AV actually put the pendulum back in the middle.

          • @Skippy
            You are right, although the practiced started when big red took over custody. My understanding from folks who work custody is that the pendulum is very slow to move. Perhaps the maintenance crew can supply a bit of grease to get it to swing.

            I don’t blame any of the past or present sheriff’s for what has happened within custody, I blame the voters and pipe smoking liberals who fail to understand that SOME on the people in custody are serious bad apples and have brought the strong holds of the prison gang mentality to county jails. We are going to have some real problems someday and I truly hope our staff remains the priority in keeping them safe when it explodes.

            I really hope AV can move the department forward. Although retired, I am extremely proud of the Department and grateful for the men and women who keeps us safe at all times regardless of their assignment.

          • Wow. Succinct and correct. I’m embarrassed to be a part of this regime. AV is not only unqualified, he has the nerve to create qualifications sergeants and lieutenants must meet to promote, so that his inept friends or friends of friends who have been passed up for not meeting the bar or sitting on their butts their whole career, can be promoted all the way to the top (golden parachute?). This will truly drain the county and the Dept. in terms of the ridiculous strain on our LACERA pension and the county because of numerous lawsuits by people who weren’t promoted (sergeants who scored band 1 only to be told AV doesnt follow a legally binding MOU) or were retaliated against by a vindictive, insecure, inexperienced bonehead. Oh, the deputies may be happy now, but wait til you try to make management ranks and don’t meet his master race, I mean rating of record requirements. Seems like the insecurities will be washed away if everyone’s career mirrors his. Lord help us the next 3 years.

      • I see what you mean about the
        territory they cover. But LAPD could handle some of that in the city. And, between the two of them they are doing in the tax payers along with sheriffs going rogue. This is too much!

    • PF: Are you crazy? How in the hell are you going to get this done? have you heard of the LAW? Administrative rights sound familiar? Hear of Peace Officer Bill Of Rights? LAPD is WORSE!!! Down size? Ok, who can step in and fill TEN THOUSAND JOBS? YOU?

      I’m serious; what ideas does anyone have to solve this issue?

      • Terminate the offenders first. Then conduct an all out recruiting drive with higher standards and better pay, including some tangible family benefits in the areas of health care, eductional assistance, and metit pay raises along with promotions based on eduction standards and merit. Raise the time in grade for promotion to Sergeant and Lieutenant and conduct promotion academies, with emphasis on leadership and management rather than deputy 5&6 positions, not just genelman courses for a week. Remove unneeded harrassment programs, ie; supervisor squeel sheets on deputy calls, and give more positive recognition that might even include merit pay raise for a period of time. We used to reward DX marksmanship, why not work. Now that I have run off at the mouth, it means little to nothing since I am of the old school and been retired for 25 years.

        • No, not at all. You’re clinically fucking crazy and no one takes you seriously. I’m sure you’ve heard that many of times before. Go away and troll your ex or something, that’s even if you have one.

    • Wtf are you talking about? Downsizing the Sheriff’s Department? Too many LAPD so we don’t need Sheriff’s?

      You cant make this shit up. Lol

  • Omg. If you people only knew the source of this info. How one way and mIserable and incompetent. One of them is a termite every place that person goes. If only a jury could see it.

  • Another baseless lawsuit that’s going to go absolutely nowhere. I’m sure all the keyboard experts are dying to chime in with the usual, “LASD has a history of gangs”… “ELA deputies are bad”.. “Tattoos are bad”… “I have the answer to and solution to everything, but only while im online”…”The Sheriff who took office 9 months ago is responsible” “You’re a Bandido” Whaaaa, whaaaa.. Whaaaa.

    Another ambulance chaser leading a group of sour sheep being promised $$$$$. And the leader of the sour sheep is the infamous Zerooodini… Definitely someone who is living in a glass house throwing bricks all over the place. This dude is the clown of clowns. Loud mouth empty suit with a lot of baggage. There’s stacks of photos and a swapmeet line of people who are dying to testify against him on all of his 10-30 shinanigans. I expect this lawsuit to end before it begins once everything is presented.

    Celeste, at some point you have to vet these baseless stories from your blog. I understand you’re looking for audience interactions and clicks on your page, but it’s time you focus on attracting other organizations into the mix to help your site. LASD childish drama has been your bread and butter over the last 6 years and it’s time to divert your focus. Not saying don’t publish credible stories, just ones with true substance, logic and accuracy. I won’t even venture in the arena of being somewhat balanced. The art of reporting has turned into nameless banter on blogs. Lemme hear it now.

    Finally, I love how you exclude your buddy Mcbuckles out of your story, but chose to mention Block and AV. Where was your outrage, stories, snitches, etc. when all this occurred under Mcbuckles tenure. Not a comma from you. why is that?

  • @ Been there, a GROUP of Deputies beating up another Deputies is sensationalism and nothing? Really? And this isn’t the fist time this has happened in the last few years. Seems to me that there is a problem here no matter how much you want to put your pinhead in the sand. Oh yes, the tattoo thing has gone on for years at various places, but it was never some “group” of morons who felt that the other Deputies were in some way inferior or outsiders who were looked updown nor did not deserve back-up.

    You may recall, that the prior group who attacked another group of Deputies were shielded by the Baca/Tanaka administration (to enlighten you both Capt John Clark and Cmdr Bob Olmsted went to Tanaka and Baca in an attempt to head that all off and were rebuffed). THAT was the time when there should have been hell-on-earth for that group of asshats – and I mean all of them who had those stupid tattoos. An example should have been made of them. But a failure of leadership let the Department down.

    Now we have this latest group of pequeno pitos who have done the same damn thing.

    As a guy who put in my 35 years and saw A LOT, I have to ask WTF is going on in the Department that these things happen? Is it the quality of those who have been hired during the many hiring rushes? Is it the sign of the times when maturity (IMHO) ain’t what it once was (sorry out there, but most of us didn’t live with our parents when were 21)? Or is it the lack of leadership that has not and will not take the bull by the horns and kick some ass? Or maybe it is a combination off all of the above and much, much more.

    Whatever is the cause, it is something that Sheriff Villanueva had better deal with much more stringently than he already has – and don’t bullshit us with “I’ve transferred 36 people and station brass, blah, blah, blah.” Short of giving ELA a complete cucaracha fumigation and setting an example of what will happen to the next wanna-a-be group, he’s going to give all those who question his leadership abilities just what they’ve been wanting – another flaming (flaming is a replacement word for another “f” word) failure.

    • Sure Einstein. Why didn’t you do anything about it over your looooong tenure. You probably sat around and hid behind your keyboard like you’re doing now. Fucking spineless jellyfish. AV has done more than Baca and Mcdummy regarding the ELA drama by physically moving everything from to the troublemakers. What did Mcstupid do after the 3 consecutively lawsuits at that station? oh, wait, he did remove something, their logo. GTFOH with your bullshit.

      • @Obvious, my inarticulate former colleague, I would submit that the only “fucking spinless jellyfish” under discussion are those Deputies who form groups to prey on other Deputies. Or was it calling you a pequeno pito?

    • You are absolutely right, as is Side Lines. Some here refuse to acknowledge reality. Tanaka did the same. Worked out well, didn’t it?

  • In my tenure I have worked patrol in two of the fastest stations in LA County, I would not consider them “ghetto” stations. But they were fast and we were busy. Each station had a group that shared a common tattoo.

    I did not have a tattoo and was never invited to receive one. IT NEVER AFFECTED THE PROFESSIONALISM OF MY PARTNERS. They were always there when I needed backup, assistance or a question answered. I was never looked down upon for not being of the tattooed group.

    Of course, I am not speaking for every station but I don’t want one or two stations to speak (metaphorically) for my partners.

    Identify the bad apples and handle them. But a tattoo, logo, or bumper sticker doesn’t necessarily determine who is a turd and who is not.

  • I just realized something about this blog. For close to a decade now, this blog has been frequented and participated by predominantly LASD past and present folks with banter, shit talking and other funny senseless stuff that only we could understand and relate to. But lately, it appears as though this blog has been saturated by the unemployed crazies, activists and psychos who show up during regular business hours at the LA City Commission hearings, the BOS weekly meetings and the COC meetings. Celeste, please stop inviting your friends to our blog. This is where only we can act like children. We now have people talking about downsizing LASD because LAPD has a lot of officers. What has this blog turned into? It just went down one notch from 1 to 0.

    • @Obvious,
      How is your shit talking any better than the other shit posted in this forum?? Wasn’t it YOU last month, circling the wagons to protect that worm, Carl Mandoyan? Wasn’t it you attacking anyone who called out Carl for his aggressive dating tactics? Carl is to the LASD what John Balian was to Glendale PD, and the new lefty Sheriff is willing to go down in flames for that fool, and take the ENTIRE Dept with him. Maybe the activist moron who posted the comment about downsizing is one of the Sheriff’s hand picked top staff members. You never know.
      Stop telling Celeste how to police her blog.

      • Dude, isn’t the Mandoyan case over and done with? That’s old news and the wrong topic. No, i never circled any wagons months ago and only come here to straighten people like you out. I’m not obsessed with this blog like you. Who the fuck remembers who or what was said here months ago? You have some serious issues and have absolutely no life and a lot of time on your hands.

        You obviously have an obsession with Mandoyan. He either broke your heart (if you’re a girl) or screwed your wife. Other than that it’s obvious you got punked by him somehow.

        But, you’d rather troll him and run your mouth behind his back while hiding your identity. Real tough move there.

        If you’re hurt by him so much, do the noble thing and confront him like a man instead of whining like a girl, because you sound terrible.

        • You just showed up? Cuz, you know, you use a lot of the same expressions and take the same positions as Fed Up, who seems surprisingly quiet at the moment.

          BTW, if you’re going to make fun of someone for paying too much attention to this blog, while simultaneously claiming not to be “obsessed” with it, you might want to edit your prior statement, in which you comment about the content of this blog for “the last decade.” Your credibility takes a bit of a hit there.

  • Obvious, it took you 10 years to figure something out. Boy, do we have a great brain trust on the force feeding off the government trough. Are you related to Madame Dong? This really is not that complicated, its fairly simple, maybe not easy because of the politics, the union, etc, but simple. Fire the pieces of shit that do not do good work, fire the ones that lie, fire the ones that have sex in the city car, fire the ones that think they are gangsters, fire the ones that lie to get disability benefits, fire the one that are rude and disrespectful, as you would in any other employment where interaction with the public is important. These are glorified security guard positions, not rocket scientists. And, where do you get that we need this many porcine on the force? Money can be better spent elsewhere than paying a pension and healthcare for life for aging porcine that worked for only 25 years.

    • Cf, such an angry woman, one thing you cop haters will never understand, the public will never support getting rid of cops. Even if the whole thing collapses the cops will be the last to go. Every now and then politicians will throw a cop or two to the mob, but the idea of of doing without cops is unthinkable to the public. The sooner you realize this the less anxiety you’ll have in your life.

    • @cf

      Valid points raised. However, if we fired everyone for the causes you mentioned, we’d have no executives left on the 8th floor. Lol

  • And now the BOS will file a motion to make LASD stay in budget? Ok, why wasn’t McDonnell held to the same standard. More theatrics and no solutions.

    • The departments deficit is because of McDonnell. AV just inherited it. If the BOS really cared, then I guess they should pay back the 80 million dollar jail project they just flushed down the toilet.

  • Deputy-on-deputy beat-downs during at least two MCJ Christmas parties and an ELA off-training party; unconventionally earning your station tattoo; eye-fucking, bullying and physically intimidating the FNGs; doling out the prime OT spots to the juiced/inked/”hard-working” OGs leaving scraps for non-ghetto gunslingers; intentionally making the learning process unreasonably more challenging to see if they can pack their mud; displaying general thug-like and dishonorable conduct at work and off-duty? I’m not talking about a TV show. Our worst enemy is denial. If we are refusing to acknowledge an extremely serious problem, if we are avoiding facing evidence and facts, if we are making excuses for and minimizing the consequences of a long term critical situation, we are in denial. Things will not improve until the organizational leadership unequivocally acknowledges the problem.

  • @InterestedParty Fake News! First off we all know the truth. If that was truly the case there would be more than just this lawsuit. We do have bad apples and does need to be addressed, but spread that “ fake news” cancers to the entire county.

    We all know that I can easily say. There is a population of deputies at every station that want to challenge the status quo. They want to point fingers to “inked guys and girls” and say they are bullies, knowing damn well they are the ones that find the shady tree or guard the 7/11 P lot. They don’t step to help on critical incidents. They are the ones not writing their partners 998, setting up a containment, or running a CP. They blame the cliques for their lack of work ethic and dedication. Behind the scenes these peer leaders are doing more than running the show while 10-8.

    -Assist with Fundraising for partners
    -Arrange station functions and bbq for Baker 2 Vegas
    -Stay late on almost all serious capers (No OT saved or Paid)
    – guide and mold young Dep’s looking for guidance
    -attend training and coordinate training on or off duty
    -team building

    Etc.

    Get the point I can easily say all that and blanket the whole county!

  • Also, rumor has it that one of these poor victims/plaintiffs was the biggest A Hole at ELA playing trainee games and playing the OG deputy. He literally did everything he’s alleged others of doing. SMH. How quick the tables turn.

  • I just finished reading the lawsuit, what a joke. This is called throwing everything on the wall to see what sticks. Let’s ignore the obvious timeframes that are laughable, but I concur with the observation that one of the defendants was one of the biggest assholes at the station, responsible for the conduct he is now suing for. You just can’t make this shit up. There are plenty of inconvenient photos to prove my point, I’m sure they will come out.

    Celeste, there are no deputy gangs, just occasional assholes like one of the plaintiffs, who make life miserable for their coworkers. I trust they will be dealt with, but that doesn’t fit either your narrative or that of the Times, does it?

  • Fed up: BZ may be an asshole who was chasing the ink for a long time. And the victim Deps were by no means the greatest cops ever. But what about the other allegations? The Bandidos are not your typical clique.

    Fake news: There was more than this lawsuit. The dept has been sued several times in the past because of the Bandidos. The Bandidos do NOT assist with fundraising for B2V, fundraise for partners, coordinate/attend training, etc. That may be the case for cliques at other stations but not ELA. Bandidos are more of a cool guys social club.

  • BZ BZ BZ Dude. This is what you want. The only time you are gonna get recognition. Because all of this nonsense you fed the media is not reflective of real honest hard work. Oh wait you wouldn’t know what hard work is. You just talk (a lot of talk) about it. Thanks dude. Today’s current social media environment allowed you to have the bs platform you always wanted.

  • @Fed Up, I hope this time you aren’t tipping off some future AV party line of blowing off this whole “gang” thing as just a few assholes being assholes who will be dealt with. Sure one of the plaintiffs was one of the assholes-turned alleged victim, so what? Did a bunch of Deputies gang up on their fellow Deputies after that off training party? Did the same thing happen a few years ago at the CJ Xmas party? Will even some of the allegations in the law suit stick? Has ELA been known for years for this kind of treatment of Trainees? Did AV transfer the Captain and others out of ELA and publicly admit their was a failure of leadership?

    The answer to all of the above is yes. Of course AV can answer no and continue to have his head in the sand. But he needs to realize that ELA is not the only station with “problems.” Even from my lawn chair, I know of at least two other stations where there are “rival” (I’ll call them ) groups of Deputies. These supposedly have developed when station OG’s weren’t including former CJ shotcallers (remember the Tanaka-shielded knuckleheads @CJ?) who had arrived in patrol in the “in crowd”, so they decided to start their own “groups.” Station Deputies were even being asked “Who are you with?” WTF is that???? Imagine working at a unit and having to “chose sides”!!!!

    So, Mr. Fed Up, there are more than just a few assholes who need to be dealt with. There is a culture that needs to be dealt with. Let’s be clear though, this is NOT AV’s fault. This has been going on for years and is something that he inherited. But it his to fix or it is his to kiss off as “Oh, well a few bad apples don’t ruin the barrel.” Unfortunately for him, there are a lot more bad apples than he thinks and the barrel it is now HIS. The BOS and the Times are going to continue to hammer him on this issue at every chance they get and he should take this recall “rumor” very serious because this kind of issue goes well beyond the pity-patter of Mandoyan’s rehire fiasco. The term “Deputy Gangs” has a real stench about it that will be used against him over and over, and the public will react in a very negative way. If he thinks his Latino name and ability to speak Spanish will save him, he better think twice, especially when it comes out that the Deputy victims of the “Bandittos” are almost all Hispanic. He can only go to that well so many times.

    • Just read the long useless rant trying to say something about nothing. You could have condensed it all to 2 sentences. Deputy clicks been around forever. AV inherited them and there’s other rival stations with mean CJ deputies that scare you as well.

      3.5 minutes of my life i cannot get back now after reading your nonsense.

    • I just Googled “LASD Deputy gangs” and I found more than a couple of headlines that said “FBI investigating deputy gangs….”, so I think AV is going to have a lot more to worry about than what the LAT or BOS might do.

      Good post, by the way.

  • No different than other divisions amongst the deputies including LASPA & ALADS.
    Beginning with Baca as Sheriff, LASD has slid to the bottom of the hill like a snowball, full of B.S., shenanigans and drama.

  • AV can say the Bandito situation didn’t start on his watch, but his support of the Banditos started before he was sworn in. Why was East Los Angeles station given reserved seating at AV’s swearing in ceremony. That was a snub to all the hard working sworn and civilian members that don’t work East Los Angeles station. Tanaka took care of all his region 2 guys. AV immediately showed if you East Los Angeles station, you were “in the car.” Does AV have a tattoo?

    AV’s nepotism makes Tanaka’s look like child’s play. At least Tanaka made his cronies “work” their way through the ranks. How long until AV’s boy Lt Garcia makes Chief or A/S?

    • Nepotism? Who has AV promoted or taken care of from East LA? I’m now curious. There were no reserved seating for ELA during the inauguration because me and my partners sat amongst the ELA and other deputies in the center row. Also, last time I checked, Garcia never worked ELA as a deputy or a supervisor. If you’re envious that he’s Av’s aide and you’re not, then that sounds like a personal problem. Stop hating on people. Maybe you should have paid your dues and not rely on promises made to you and worked for what you feel you’re deserving of. Aside from that, your sniveling won’t get you anywhere. Finally, if you’re not happy, kick rocks and beat feet to another agency.

  • Ashamed, key word in your words, “before he was sworn in.” Why not give them reserved seating, he knows them, worked with them, what? He worked there and they were his peers and friends, I think it’s called loyalty. Wrong…. no snub, he knows who the hard working sworn and civilian personnel are. Tanaka’s gone, give it a rest. What do you mean, “in the car” explain, nice to be able to quote an adage without any supportive evidence. And finally, who cares if he has a tattoo, a lot of LASD sworn and civilian personnel have tats, pretty lame post in my opinion, lotta innuendo, but no substance. And if he makes Al, “hefty bag” Garcia, if he is who I think he is, more power to him, it’s his choice.

    Later,

    Esch

  • Oh, I forgot, Ashamed, if you’re ashamed to be one of the proud members of the LASD, Quit! There are a lot of other LE departments out there in California that could probably benefit from your experience, insight, and knowledge of how a department should be run. We don’t need you.

  • This issue of “Deputy Gangs” is going to continue to manifest its ugly head until someone does something about it. I have no issues with tattoos and camaraderie. However, what I do have a concern with, is the behavior that some of these Deputies (i.e., shot callers), are exhibiting. Further, in my opinion, this can be attributable to a couple of things:

    1.) Leaders (or lack thereof), neglecting to do their job
    2.) Deputies and Supervisors not being held accountable.

    The aforementioned individuals should then be talked to and the consequences of their continual, irresponsible behavior explained. Moreover, follow through on a formal discipline process. In addition, if the Lt. or Captain fail to do their job, they too will be held accountable and dealt with accordingly. This approach may seem harsh and or unwarranted, however something has to be done to address this caustic environment that has been perpetuating and permeating throughout the organization. Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions and inaction(s). It is not fair, nor conducive to morale, when line personnel are being held to task and managerial staff is given a slap on the wrist

    • Agree.

      The fact that some of these deputies think it is alright to assault FELLOW deputies makes me curious on how they behave towards the general public they took an oath to protect.
      Don’t care about tattoos and camaraderie, poor attitude and assaultive behavior needs to be addressed. Poor front line leaders need to be checked if they allow it.

  • The difference between the personnel who display pride in their patrol stations and that of a certain E.L.A folks is that their ink comes with a MONIKER. And this should be of great concern to all. And when line supervisors on up don’t do shit about it, they are part of the problem.

  • Bandido monikers like:

    Cholo
    Bam Bam
    Reaper
    Crook
    Silver
    Big Listo
    G-Rod
    Tanke

    That’s just Bandidos still at the station.

    Like little wannabe gang members. I bet they scratch their names on the toilet seats and mirrors in the restrooms.

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