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2021

2021 Year in Review Recap of LASD 1024 683 SIB Staff

2021 Year in Review Recap of LASD

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides A Year In Review Recap Of LASD, Crime Stats And Department Goals for 2022

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva provided a recap of 2021 during a press conference at the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. The Sheriff discussed the topics of crime, jail violence, personnel shortage, accountability, the Public Corruption Unit, accomplishments, homelessness and goals.

In general, violent crime went up, with a two-year increase in homicides by 94% and grand theft auto was up by 59%. Some crime went down due to the pandemic because people were home and businesses were closed.

Jail violence went down steadily for two years, but there was an uptick in 2021 and that was also as a result of the pandemic. Jail population in 2018 was 17,000, it was decompressed to 11,500 to prevent the spread of COVID in the jails, and now it is close to 13,000. The percentage of inmates suffering from diagnosed mental illnesses is up to 36%, and the lack of staffing due to budget cuts, has impacted violence in the jails.

Staffing levels in the department continue to create a challenge in daily operations. Patrol stations are operating at 71%. When deputies are either injured, relieved of duty, light duty, or retire, there is nobody to replace them. Deputies working at the stations have to cover absences and that impacts public safety. Positions continue to be filled in all other Los Angeles County departments, except for the Sheriff’s Department. 

The pandemic also affected the total volume of contact with the community. It decreased from 2.5 million to 2.1 million. However, statistically, the use of force was very small. Use of force involving a fatality was even smaller. Commendations from the public were greater than complaints and that shows the department is making progress.

Accountability is something Sheriff Villanueva takes great pride in. Under his leadership, a total of 949 personnel members have been disciplined, 132 have been discharged for offenses that include use of alcohol, false statements, sexual misconduct, domestic violence and excessive force. In addition, in 2021, Sheriff Villanueva ordered an organizational change in administrative investigations that allows for a concurrent administrative and criminal investigation for specific cases to speed up investigations. Currently, there is one case from 2016, one from 2017, two from 2018, 12 from 2019 (including the Ryan Twyman case), 19 from 2020 and eight deputy-involved shooting cases at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office that are still pending. Sheriff Villanueva expressed his frustration and said such investigations should take 90 days and not six years.

Sheriff Villanueva also discussed the Public Corruption Unit, a unit that has existed for decades but was never formalized. Since its formal inception during his administration, the unit has worked on 24 cases, 10 of them are open investigations, 14 of them are closed, three of them were presented to the DA and six of them have been presented to state and federal agencies. Sheriff Villanueva reiterated that the unit does not investigate individuals, it investigates complaints of criminal conduct.

One of the accomplishments Sheriff Villanueva is very proud of is the Special Alert System for 911 calls involving mental health crises. This program allows families to register a loved one who suffers from any impairment in our system so that deputies know ahead of time and use the best approach on the person involved. 

In 2022, Sheriff Alex Villanueva will start a pilot program in Men’s Central Jail. On February 1st, the Department will begin testing the use of 50 body-worn cameras inside of the jail. On February 13th, the Department will begin testing the use of the “live streaming” feature of the body-worn cameras in patrol for the benefit of the Mental Evaluation Teams. The Homeless Outreach Services Team will continue to provide help and house homeless individuals especially on tourist destinations like they did on Venice and Olvera Street. He will continue to put dents on illegal cannabis grows. Securement of rail corridors is in his immediate plans. Fighting crime and the safety of residents will continue to be a priority, but he urged the Board of Supervisors to support law enforcement.

Press Conference Video

Press Conference Material

Press Conference Slides – PDF

To view the video of the Ryan Twyman incident which occurred on Thursday, June 6, 2019, visit: https://youtu.be/pDDGCwucfto


To listen to the audio of Supervisor Janice Hahn from the Operations Safety & Customer Experience Committee Meeting, LA Metro -Thursday, November 18, 2021, visit: https://metro.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2024 and refer to minute 30:31-30:40

Image of a taped off street. Yellow tape reads: Sheriff's line do not cross. end of a police car is in the front and in the distance a congregation of sheriff's Deputies.
Arrests made in a series of armed robberies 580 424 SIB Staff

Arrests made in a series of armed robberies

Six cities in the County of Los Angeles have been impacted by a series of armed robberies in recent days. Hard working deputies from several of our patrol stations along with detectives from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau – Major Detail finally made a breakthrough and arrested three juvenile suspects in connection with those robberies. On December 14, 2021, Metro Detail investigators responded to armed robberies occurring in the city of Norwalk and in the city of Industry.

During their investigation, detectives discovered that they were looking for one to two suspects described as male Blacks and armed with a handgun. Additionally, detectives were also able to identify the suspects’ vehicle and a license plate. The license plate was entered as a “Felony Vehicle – Armed and Dangerous,” which alerted all LASD patrol stations in the County of Los Angeles. Shortly after, the suspects committed another armed robbery in the city of Bellflower.

A Lakewood Sheriff’s Station patrol deputy, patrolling his area, spotted the suspect vehicle and conducted a high-risk traffic stop. During the traffic stop deputies recovered over $1000 USD, and evidence linking the juvenile suspects to multiple robberies. The handgun used in these multiple incidents, is still outstanding. Several victims and witnesses positively identified the juvenile suspects as the ones who committed these armed robberies at the various locations.

Major Crimes Bureau – Metro Detail arrested three juvenile suspects responsible for a series of armed robberies that occurred between December 12 to December 14, 2021 at multiple gas stations, and convenience stores in the cities of Bellflower, Industry, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Whittier, and Downey. The juvenile suspects are currently detained, and the criminal case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau – Major Detail at 562-946-7150. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

Sheriff Alex Villanueva in uniform pointing at a screen with a long wooden pointer. the screen has a budget in a table with numbers annotated in red. the text is too small to read from the picture taken.
Effects of defunding the LASD on Public Safety 900 450 SIB Staff

Effects of defunding the LASD on Public Safety

The continued defunding of the Sheriff’s Department and the effects on Public Safety

During a press conference held Tuesday morning, December 14, 2021, at the Hall of Justice, Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed the significantly defunded budget of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).

He started the press conference by showing a segment of the December 7, 2021, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting in which Los Angeles County CEO, Fesia Davenport, and Fourth District LA County Supervisor, Janice Hahn, discuss the Sheriff’s Department budget. Supervisor Hahn believes it’s a myth that the BOS is defunding the Sheriff’s Department and asks Davenport for clarification. Davenport explains that last year and this year’s budgets are about the same, “but in 2019 the Board approved the CEO’s recommendation to set aside about 143.7 million dollars in the Sheriff’s budget for services and supplies. What essentially happened, supervisors is, we set that money aside at the outset of the budget year…” says Davenport, as Supervisor Hahn interrupts and says: “That’s not the answer that we want…” while she covers her mouth.

Sheriff Villanueva continued the press conference with a presentation in which the first slide showed the LASD budget of the last 10 years. The information obtained from the Los Angeles County CEO’s budget website, showed a decrease of the percentage of total county budget from 11.7% (during former Sheriff McDonnell) to the current 8.9% under Villanueva’s leadership. “If Supervisor Hahn’s position is that there is a myth here, well, then they’re perpetuating this myth, and the grim reality is the fact that we’re being defunded and at the worst time possible in the history of County,” said Sheriff Villanueva.   

Sheriff Villanueva noted that cities and states that defunded law enforcement agencies across the United States including: Rochester, NY; Rochester, MN; Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and the City of Los Angeles, had regretted it and had reversed the decision, except for Los Angeles County. In addition to the defunding, a total of 1281 were removed from the department’s budget. On top of the positions removed, the current vacancy is 1,370, of which 686 are sworn and 684 are civilian positions. One might argue that if a position is vacant, it wasn’t needed anyway, and won’t be missed if eliminated.  On the contrary, vacant positions across LASD are necessary and, because of already-existing staff shortages, are filled by paying overtime spots, which only compounds budget issues.

The national average for all metropolitan law enforcement agencies across the nation is 3.8 cops per 1000 residents; New York Police Department has more than four, Los Angeles Police Department has 2.2. The average for all agencies throughout the nation is 2.5 cops per every 1000 residents. LASD is operating at 0.9 cops per 1000 residents. Academy classes were cut from 12 to four per year, and as a result, there are not enough deputies to cover attrition. Patrol stations are currently at 71% staffing, which means mandatory overtime for deputies. LASD is the only county department that remains on a hiring freeze.

Cutting the LASD budget affects the services we provide and takes away vital law enforcement services from everyone. Defunding law enforcement ultimately hurts public safety and that is not a myth.

Press Conference Video

Press Conference Material

Press Conference Presentation

“Smash and Grab” Thefts
Victims Matter text, on a picture of yellow plice tape that reads "crime scene do not cross"
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Lancaster Homicide Update

Lancaster Children and Mother-in-Law Murdered by their Father/Son-in-Law  Will Not Get the Justice They Deserve, #VictimsMatter #LASD

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau investigators responded to a shooting death investigation of multiple individuals in the 3500 block of Garnet Lane in the city of Lancaster. Investigators determined the suspect murdered his four children and mother-in-law on Sunday, November 28, 2021, at approximately 10:27 p.m.

This heinous murders took the lives of the following victims: Erica England, 51-year-old female, Namyiah D., 11-year-old female, Germarcus D., Jr, 7-year-old male, Kayden D., 2-year-old male and the youngest Noah D., 18-month-old male. 

Homicide investigators arrested Germarcus Lamar David, male Black 29 years old, for the five murders. 

Germarcus David of Lancaster was charged with five counts of murder and three counts of assault on a child, causing death. He is expected to be arraigned January 12, 2022, in Department A01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch. His bail was set at $10,000,000.

Unfortunately, there were no special circumstances, such as multiple murders, filed by the DA’s Office, resulting in the offender not being eligible for Life without Parole. However, this means if convicted, and the suspect could possibly be eligible for elderly parole at 50 years of age.

#VictimsMatter

image of a person in an orange jumpsuit in hand cuffs, being lead down a dark hall, Text reads, "Make the Right call, dont drink and drive.
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Drugged and Drunk Driving Prevention Month

National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month

Millions of us will be traveling to visit friends and family over the holidays. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department encourages everyone to have a holiday game plan that includes a designated sober driver.

During the pre-Christmas and New Year’s holiday season Nov. 30 till well past the New Year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will have additional deputies on patrol looking for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Tragically, there is an uptick in impaired drivers during the holidays. During the 2019 Christmas (Dec. 24-Dec. 26) and New Year’s Day (Dec. 28, 2018-Jan. 2, 2019) holiday periods, there were more drunk-driving related deaths (210) throughout the country than during any other holiday period in 2019.

“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and be safe,” Sergeant Robert Hill said. “The more people who plan ahead and find a safe, sober ride home from holiday parties and get togethers, the merrier.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds drivers that a “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs. Driving under the influence (DUI) can have serious consequences. Call a friend, call a cab, or use a ride share app but make the right call. Don’t Drink & Drive!

text reads, "Crime trend update: Retail theft mobs". image of a store front with well lit shelves and designer clothes are on maniquins and folded neatly on shelves.
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Retail Theft Mobs

There has been a recent trend in retail thefts

Incidents are occurring at high end retail businesses, primarily in the West side of Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley. Suspects are primarily concealing themselves with hoods and masks, and most are wearing gloves. Also, vehicles primarily used are either with paper plates or no plates. Many of our suspects are from the South Los Angeles area and some are linked to criminal street gangs.

In one incident, bear spray was used against security.  We did recover the bear spray and it is being tested for any potential DNA recovery.

Arrests and Investigative Efforts:

There have been 9 arrests over the past few days through traffic stops, probation rollback searches, and warrant services resulting from investigative leads. Large quantities of recovered merchandise have been seized during follow-up investigations. 

We have been leveraging our partnerships with the FBI Task Force to locate potential suspects. And aggressive filing strategy has been made to present for filing consideration. 

Enforcement and Preventive Strategies:

  • Agencies are working closely with neighboring jurisdictions (LA County Sheriffs, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills) to pre-identify potential suspect crews and vehicles.
  • Monitoring of social media for suspects posting planned crimes or bragging about recent seizures.
  • Police vehicles parked strategically at businesses.
  • High visibility patrols require police vehicles to have emergency lights on while driving.
  • California Highway Patrol is assisting with extra patrols.
  • Uniform foot beats at shopping locations.
  • Overtime funding approved to augment uniform presence. 
  • Aviation:  One dedicated helicopter to primary areas of occurrence has proven effective over the past few days as a deterrent.
  • Mounted Unit Deployment:  Officers on horseback are assigned to high risk retail locations as a visible deterrent.

Business Strategies:

  • It is encouraged to increased lighting and expanding security cameras. 
  • Retail and business owners should work closely with law enforcement by providing updates via in-person or virtual meetings. 

If you see something, say something, report crime by calling 911 if it is an emergency, or contact your local Sheriff’s Station or police department, or remain anonymous by calling Los Angeles-Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

a couple is shopping online, they are sitting on a couch both using a computer. the camera is looking at the computer and keyboard, the wife is holding the credit card and the husband is navigating on the keyboard.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips 900 900 SIB Staff

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

This Thanksgiving weekend is the start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday provide an opportunity for consumers to find a great deal. In order to help the public have a crime-free shopping season, LASD periodically informs & continues to warn the public through social media about holiday safety

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

  • Neighbors watch out for neighbors! If you will be staying home or traveling, help keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report it to your local law enforcement. This makes communities safer.
  • Let someone you trust know when you’re traveling. Have them watch your house and retrieve any newspapers and collect your mail. If you are going to be gone long, contact your United States Postal Service and put your mail on hold.
  • When out shopping, stay vigilant! Park in a well-lit area.
  • Avoid shopping alone! Consider shopping with friends or relatives so everyone looks out for each other.
  • If you are shopping with children, coach them on what to do if they become separated. Make sure they know their first and last name, have contact phone numbers memorized and teach them about 911.
  • Do not leave packages in plain view in your vehicle. Lock your vehicle and place all your merchandise in the trunk.
  • If you place packages in your vehicle and plan to go back inside for more shopping, please consider driving away from your current parking spot and park somewhere new, so no one knows what valuable items you just left unattended.
  • Remember where you parked and be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car. Prior to getting into your vehicle take a look inside and around before entering.
  • Be cautious of strangers approaching you for any reason. Many thieves will use different methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or merchandise. Consider Instead, volunteering or donating to a charity.
  • Keep a secure hold on your purse. When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep your home safe! Set lights on timers, giving the impression the house is not alone. Make sure to close all blinds and lock all entry points such as windows, sliders, and all your doors.
  • Celebrate responsibly by planning ahead. Even if you’ve had only one drink, play it safe and designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home. If you plan on drinking, don’t plan on driving.
  • Don’t use a debit card. Many people like using a debit card due to convenience or as a budgeting tool, but debit cards lack the same consumer protections that credit cards do. Should your account be compromised, you can be responsible for a greater share of the loss than if you had used a credit card
  • Be wary of online deals that are too good to be true. Do your research on whoever you are buying from.
  • If an online seller asks you to wire payment, be suspicious. Many times fraudsters will advertise a great deal on a high dollar item, but will only accept a money wire transfer. Once the money is wired to an account, it is very difficult to recover it if later on it turns out you were the victim of fraud.
  • Only do business with vendors who use secure websites.
  • Keep an eye on your credit cards at all times. A common tactic of fraudsters employed by a legitimate company is to take the card you present as payment, swipe it through the legitimate payment system, and then swipe it again through their own collection device. Your credit card information can then be used by the crook for their own purpose or sold to other crooks.
  • Guard your identity the same as you would your pocketbook. Criminals not only want your money, they want your identity. With it, they can use it to get credit and make purchases while sticking you with the bill. Your information is valuable and can be sold to other criminals as well.
  • Be suspicious of people claiming to be from your credit card company who need to “verify” information. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from your credit card company asking you to verify Personally Identifiable Information be careful.
  • The caller could be a scammer who is gathering information that will later on help him steal your identity. If you feel there is some legitimacy to the callers questions, terminate the call and call back the company using a phone number you know is legitimate. You can find these numbers on your credit card statement or the company’s website.
  • Monitor bank statements for suspicious activity. With increased activity during the shopping season, it is easy for a bad guy to slip in a few unauthorized transactions without you knowing it. Monitor bank and credit cards regularly for suspicious transactions and question anything that does not look legitimate regardless of the amount. Most financial companies offer online access to your account and you can monitor transactions in real time.
  • Limit use of free Wi-Fi. Don’t use free wireless networks, such as those in coffee shops, when you shop online. Fraudulent Wi-Fi hotspots are too easy to set up and are often disguised to look like legitimate services offered by reputable companies. Bad guys use these fraudulent sights to capture your data or install malware on your device. Waiting until you have a secure connection at home or using data from your own personal cellular plan is a good way to eliminate this type of operation.
  • Stay informed by following the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters social media pages and your designated patrol station to help keep you up-to-date on crime trends and safety tips.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wishes everyone a safe, productive crime free shopping season.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva is standing behind a wooden Podium and is pointing off to the right to a screen.
Sheriff Villanueva Addresses Public Safety Concerns at LA Metro 1024 573 SIB Staff

Sheriff Villanueva Addresses Public Safety Concerns at LA Metro

Public Safety Concerns Regarding LA Metro Policing Services

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Chief Gene Harris from the Los Angeles County Police Chief’s Association, along with Special Operations Division Chief Jack Ewell and Transit Services Bureau Captain Shawn Kehoe, held a press conference to address public safety concerns for LA Metro and the pending vote to significantly alter dedicated law enforcement services as we know them.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) is contracted to provide police services for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to areas within Los Angeles County. As part of a transit policing team, LASD works with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and Metro Security Services, to ensure the safety of transit riding patrons and Metro employees. The LASD Transit Services Bureau (TSB) is comprised of over 300 personnel, including personnel specially trained to handle: transit patrol services, transit mental evaluation, transit homeless services, explosive detection, canines, transit special assignments, transit investigations, transit dispatch, and transit support. All of these components are essential for the safety of public transportation users.

On June 18, 2020, on a motion by Metro Board of Directors Bonin, Garcetti, Hahn, Dupont-Walker, and Solis, authorized the creation of the “Public Safety Advisory Committee.” This committee developed a new scope of services, budget, and other provisions for the multi-agency police contract renewal.

On November 3, 2021 this official paid advisory committee voted, 14 to zero, to recommend abolishing all three policing contracts, shifting the burden of policing to local agencies and using the $75 million to fund undefined alternatives such as non-profits and yet-to-be developed Metro Ambassadors. The recommendation from this newly-created committee will be considered by the Metro Board of Directors on November 18, at their “Operations, Safety, and Customer Experience” committee meeting, and on December 2, by the full MTA Board of Directors.

“If we’re re-imagining things without any input, any serious consideration for what the outcomes could be, then what we might as well start doing is imagining of the carnage that it’s going to ensue. The chaos that’s going to happen when we don’t have law enforcement officials to address the situations we just heard,” said Chief Gene Harris.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019 over 370 million people rode Metro, an average of over one million riders a day. Post pandemic, over 200 million riders per year used the metro. Although there was a reduction of riders due to the pandemic, crime remained

constant. In the past three years, there have been 6 murders, 26 rapes, and 1,450 robberies or assaults on the Metro. The statistics show the need to increase the number of law enforcement officers, not abolish them.

Sheriff Villanueva planned to show a video clip with a compilation of crimes that occurred on the transit system but Stephanie Wiggins, Metro’s CEO, refused to consent to the release of the videos because it would harm public trust in the Metro system and it would also constitute a breach of contract between Metro and the Sheriff’s Department. Instead, Sheriff Villanueva described the eight violent crimes.

“We need to take these matters seriously because lives are at stake, lives are being endangered on the system and that callous disregard for the safety of the passengers is alarming and I think every single member of the MTA Board of Directors needs to be held accountable,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

Ultimately, voting to defund police services for LA Metro will hurt public safety, especially for those community members who have no other choice but to rely on public transportation.

Press Conference Video

Material Used During the Press Conference

Powerpoint – PDF
Part 1 Crimes 2019-2021 – PDF

Videos of Crimes Occurring on the Transit Systems – PDF
Transit Agency 4 Year Comparison – PDF
Defund Movement – PDF
MTA Crisis Letter to Supervisor Solis from Capt. Kehoe – PDF
LACPCA Letter to Supervisor Solis – PDF

Image of Search and rescue heliocoptor on a runway. The heliocoptor is green and gold, is very large with a slideing door on the side where Search and Rescue personnel operate a wench. The markings on the heliocoptor are the Sheriff's star, and the words "Rescue 5".
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hiking tips

Here are some of the tips we regularly tell people:

  • Hike with someone! (Most of our searches are for people who went hiking alone).
  • Have a plan of where you’re going and when you expect to return.(LA Sheriff Hiking Plan – PDF). Fill out this form and leave a printed copy on the dashboard of your car.

TELL SOMEONE YOUR PLAN and have an agreed time when someone should consider you missing and call for help.

Take the ten essentials:

  • Navigation:  Map, compass, GPS device and/or emergency beacon.
  • Headlamp and flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Sun protection.
  • First aid.
  • Knife.
  • Fire starter.
  • Shelter (can be a tent or simply an emergency blanket).
  • Extra food.
  • Extra water and purification tablets. (1 liter per hour while hiking).
  • If you are hiking with your hiking K-9 partner, consider bringing more water.
  • Extra clothes. (Layers with NO cotton).

Regarding the use of cell phones:

  • When going into the mountains either turn off the phone or put it in airplane mode.
  • DO NOT HESITATE to call 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 automatically sends your current position.
  • IF YOU BECOME LOST: STAY WHERE YOU ARE!  Search teams will be looking for you based on your plan.
  • Create a shelter.  Either what you brought, or use natural resources (branches leaves, etc).
  • Make yourself visible from the air. Helicopters will be looking for you.
  • Use brightly colored fabric.
  • Create a large “X” with rocks or tree limbs.
  • Ration your food and water.
Sheriff alex villanueva graphic. portrait of sheriff in tan shirt black tie. Sheriff's uniform, on greeen background with the hall of justice building behind him faded in the back ground.
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Lawsuit claiming Deputy Gangs is thrown out of court

AUSTREBERTO GONZALEZ’S LAWSUIT CLAIMING “DEPUTY GANGS” AT HIS STATION IS THROWN OUT OF COURT

November 5, 2021

On November 4, 2021, Judge William F. Fahey dismissed with prejudice the case brought against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez due to lack of evidence and absence of triable facts.  The Court also highlighted Mr. Gonzalez “may not contradict his deposition testimony by proffering different testimony in a later declaration.” 

The unproven allegations in this case alleging “deputy gangs” by Mr. Gonzalez have been used as the primary basis for attacks on the Department by some members of the Board of Supervisors, a former member of the Board of Supervisors (who has been indicted for public corruption), the Office of the Inspector General, the Civilian Oversight Commission, other elected officials, and the media.  Their statements have been presented as “facts” in reports by RAND, the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy, and Knock LA.  The LA Times alone has referenced these unsubstantiated allegations in at least a dozen articles.  These writings have served to attack and undermine the perceived credibility and legitimacy of our organization, even though they were based on what we now know to be an uncredible source.  I predict not one of these entities will amend or correct their work, but as John Adams once stated, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” 

In addition to having his case thrown out of court for lack of evidence, absence of triable facts, and impeaching his own testimony, Mr. Gonzalez and his attorneys were additionally sanctioned monetarily by the Court for their failure to comply with orders of the Court.   

At this time, the Department is unable to provide any further information on Mr. Gonzalez, other than he remains on paid leave.  As Sheriff, I have remained focused on providing our communities with transparent and truthful information.  I am deeply concerned to hear that after all of the facts in this case were uncovered, Mr. Gonzalez, as one of my deputies, may have supplied incomplete or misleading information to the legal system, as noted in the Court’s ruling, and appropriate measures will be taken so that we continue to assure our communities deputy sheriffs can, and must, be trusted. (see full Court Order)

I remain committed to transparency and accountability and almost two-years ago I became the first Los Angeles County Sheriff in history to successfully implement a policy banning “deputy cliques.”  Recently, AB 958 was signed into law, a bill I sponsored based on the current LASD policy, which will now be the model policy for all law enforcement in our state.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva