Compton: Violent gang of LA sheriff's deputies have Nazi tattoos, colleague claims

'The Executioners' run a station in Compton using force and threats, Mr Gonzalez says

There are no black or female members in the gang, Mr Gonzales says
There are no black or female members in the gang, Mr Gonzales says

A violent gang of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who call themselves “The Executioners” control a patrol station in Compton through force, threats, work slowdowns and acts of revenge against those who speak out, a deputy alleges in a legal claim.

Austreberto Gonzalez, a former Marine and a sheriff's deputy since 2007, said in a notice of claim ahead of a planned lawsuit that the gang retaliated against him for months after he anonymously reported a fellow deputy for allegedly assaulting a coworker in February “to further the reputation of the gang”.

Mr Gonzalez later received a text message with a photo of graffiti at the station, he said. The graffiti allegedly said, “Art is a rat”.

On Tuesday, Councillor Michelle Chambers said she saw the graffiti at the station as recently as last week. It has since been removed, she said.

Ms Chambers said at a news conference that it's unacceptable Compton residents are still dealing with reports of excessive force in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody last May.

Ms Chambers, as well as Compton Mayor Aja Brown and City Attorney Damon Brown and others, called on the state attorney general's office and the US Department of Justice to investigate the sheriff's station.

Other community members at the news conference told stories of their interactions with deputies, which ranged from disrespectful exchanges to motor vehicle stops to arrests.

Mr Gonzalez's 23 June claim was first reported by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

The allegations against the Compton deputies follow accusations of other gangs in the department — called the Spartans, Regulators, Grim Reapers and Banditos — that also share tattoos and a history of violence, the Times said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said last week during a Facebook Live event that “there is no gang of any deputies running any station”. But he later issued a statement saying he takes the allegations seriously “and recently published a policy specifically addressing illicit groups, deputy cliques, and subgroups”.

The statement said the issue is being investigated.

Another departmental statement, issued after the Compton news conference on Tuesday, said multiple investigations are underway — including one by the FBI.

Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokesperson, said she could not confirm or deny the existence of a potential investigation into the Compton sheriff's station.

The state attorney general's office also said “to protect its integrity, we are unable to comment on a potential or ongoing investigation”.

Compton has contracted with the sheriff's department since 2000 to provide law enforcement for the city. The $22m (£16.8m) annual contract is in the third year of a five-year agreement, officials said.

Mr Gonzalez estimates that there are 20 “inked” members of the Executioners gang in the station, and another 20 who are prospective members or close associates.

The “inked” members have matching tattoos — “a skull with Nazi imagery, holding an AK-47” — that indicate their affiliation with the gang, Mr Gonzalez alleged in his claim. There are no black or female members.

The deputy also accused the gang of threatening work slowdowns by disregarding radio calls or responding to them slowly, as well as instituting illegal arrest quotas, if they did not get their desired schedules or assignments.

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in