Today, the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) announced it was launching a “Full-Scale Investigation into Deputy Gangs.” The problem with their announcement is the COC and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) already launched that investigation, almost three-years ago. In all that time, not one deputy “gang member” has been identified.Then in October 2020, the Board of Supervisors (Board) voted (3-2) to explore “Options for Removing the Sheriff… or strip him of authority.”
The same Board who appointed both the OIG and COC (although former Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas has since been replaced and is now federally indicted for 20-counts of Public Corruption).Almost 6,000 pages were provided to the OIG on this subject almost a year ago, and LASD.org has an entire webpage dedicated to this topic. There is nothing new. Not ONE of my personnel has been named by the Board, OIG, or COC as violating 13670 PC, yet almost all continue to lie to the public and create a “straw man” argument, based on bias not facts or the law. There are no facts to present, just a “fishing expedition” and political theater.
The law clearly states, “”Law enforcement gang” means a group of peace officers within a law enforcement agency who may identify themselves by a name and may be associated with an identifying symbol, including, but not limited to, matching tattoos, and who engage in a pattern of on-duty behavior that intentionally violates the law or fundamental principles of professional policing” must exist. As I have previously stated, “I openly challenge every elected leader, or their appointees, to provide facts to me and name individuals who they can prove are “gang members,” as defined by California Penal Code section 13670” (a law I sponsored and was based on existing LASD policy). Not one elected official, or their political appointees, have provided me even one name.
I await whatever new FACTUAL information they can provide. I can see this for what it is, the weaponization of government in order to influence the outcome of an election, nothing more.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva