LA Sheriff's deputy removed a colleague's gang tattoo by shooting it

I started reading this thinking it would be a funny, Jeff Foxworthy “hold my beer”, kind of a thing.



It’s not just tolerated, it’s become an integral part of the LASD. The previous sheriff, I believe, was a member of one of the gangs himself. The current sheriff ran, in part, on a promise to clean this up, and then promptly did jack shit to actually do that, so I suspect he’s a member as well.

Federal judges do not have that authority. At all. That’s just not what they do. There would need to be some kind of federal investigation, and then criminal charges, and then a trial, before a judge ever got involved. I would say at this point, the FBI should be investigating. They probably aren’t, but they should be.


Even if a Federal Judge had the power to issue such an edict, who is going to enforce it? For many years the LASD (and the LAPD) have been operating under a number of different legally-binding Federal Consent Decrees that they’ve then gone on to openly defy.


When your only tool is a gun, every problem looks like a target.


One of them wasn’t:

Records also show former deputy Anthony Paez was at the gathering. At the time of the Dove Springs camping trip, Paez had already been fired for being a deputy gang member. Paez is one of seven known deputies fired for deputy gang membership in the history of LASD, according to LASD records. He did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

At the time of the desert gathering, Paez had been criminally charged and awaiting trial for two counts of perjury, filing a false report, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and peace officer altering evidence stemming from a 2011 incident where Paez and another deputy were caught on video planting guns at a South L.A. marijuana dispensary to justify making an arrest. Paez also shot and killed Arturo Cabrales, a 22-year-old father, in March of 2012.

Department policy forbids employees from socializing with people who “are under criminal investigation or indictment,” or “have pending criminal charges filed against them.” Despite this, no attendees were disciplined for fraternizing with Paez during the trip, including Thomas Inocente, assigned to Operation Safe Streets Bureau, who attended the camping trip.

But then, of course:

The criminal charges against Paez were dropped in 2019 by then-LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Paez eventually won his job back, along with back pay with interest.


After reading the article it sounds like there hasn’t even been enough evidence gathered to incriminate anyone or fully blow the cover story. Pretty disheartening.


Previous sheriff was Alex Villanueva, who I think was very good. He did take some action against the gangs. The sheriff you’'re probably thinking of was the criminal Sheriff Baca, several sheriffs ago, who had a lot of tolerance for these gangs.

Right, obviously, that’s what I meant. Someone would need to file a lawsuit or bring criminal charges. Judges don’t go out and investigate stuff. As you said, the FBI should do this but it doesn’t look like they are.

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The article also points to the fact that the shooter in this incident was promoted under Villanueva. When he was asked why this happened, he denied having any involvement in the process. I didn’t have any knowledge of these gentleman prior to today, but it seems to me that Villanueva is more of the same.


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Because I, and many other Los Angeles County residents, didn’t think so and voted his ass out of office.


I’ve only set foot in California once in my entire life, and even I knew Villanueva was bad.


He was. Villanueva wasn’t as bad as Baca, but to make that the basis of a claim that he was “very good” is indicative of one having very low standards for police conduct. He was elected as a reformer but from the start made it clear he was more interested in preserving the institution than he was in substantive reform.

As to that institution, its culture is so rotten – even more so than most American law enforcement agencies – that anyone heading it up will be dragged into its corruption to one degree or another. Villanueva didn’t have to be dragged very far.


Seriously. Villanueva turned out to be notoriously bad about deputy gangs (among other things) and is even testifying about that under oath this morning after defying several subpoenas about the issue when he was in office. We kicked his ass out for very good reasons.

Edit to add: here’s a live YouTube stream of his testimony. (From this morning even though the title says October) I just listened in for a few minutes and he isn’t coming off looking very good. He admitted that during his tenure, and despite what he called a “zero tolerance” policy, he never once disciplined or transferred any deputies for being members of a gang, for example.


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