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Ex-Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva torches oversight report on alleged ‘deputy gangs’: ‘Political hit job’

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, whose tenure was largely outlined by refusing to implement native authorities’s vaccine mandates for deputies amid a hovering crime wave, deemed an oversight fee’s newest report on so-called “deputy gangs” simply one other “political hit job.” 

Villanueva contends {that a} 70-page report by the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Fee, which comes a number of months after he stepped down within the wake of November’s election defeat, was meant as “character assassination” from defund-the-police supporters who’re afraid he’ll pursue elected workplace once more. The report discovered “deputy cliques,” which regularly devolve into “deputy gangs,” undermine the chain of command and function as a number of energetic teams “engaged in dangerous, harmful, and infrequently unlawful, habits.” 

“They’re politically motivated. That is all. They do not care concerning the fact,” Villanueva instructed Fox Information Digital concerning the fee in a telephone interview this week. “It’s not simply defund. . . . [T]hey need to discredit and so they need to delegitimize regulation enforcement. What higher method than to say, ‘Hey, they’re all a bunch of crooks’? That is the implication after they’re attempting to accuse folks of being deputy gang members with out a shred of proof. Actual proof.”

Villanueva referred to as on Particular Counsel Bert Deixler, who led the county watchdog’s investigation, “to testify below oath about all of the false data he supplied.” 


“I have been talking to that oversight fee since I took workplace, and so they grew more and more hostile to the sheriff’s division, and so they misplaced any legitimacy, as a result of it grew to become a political arm of the Board of Supervisors like an assault canine,” Villanueva stated Thursday. “And I participated with their advert hoc committee concerning the concern. We gave all of them the data that we had.”

Former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva calls the oversight commission's new 70-page report on "deputy gangs" a "political hit job."

Former LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva calls the oversight fee’s new 70-page report on “deputy gangs” a “political hit job.” (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Instances through Getty Photographs)

“They intentionally excluded something that countered their false narrative. And that the entire thing was a farce from the very starting,” Villanueva stated, claiming he had volunteered to talk earlier than the particular counsel to supply counterarguments, however the fee allegedly refused. “They did not need anybody to cross-examine their alleged witnesses as a result of their entire testimony would crumble.”

Attorney Bert Deixler questions an LASD sheriff over teleconference, whose voice is digitally disguised, during the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission hearing on May 24, 2022. Deixler recently released a 70-page report on "deputy gangs." 

Legal professional Bert Deixler questions an LASD sheriff over teleconference, whose voice is digitally disguised, in the course of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Fee listening to on Might 24, 2022. Deixler not too long ago launched a 70-page report on “deputy gangs.”  (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Instances through Getty Photographs)

Deixler’s probe asserted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Division below Villanueva “at minimal tolerated, if not rewarded” deputy gangs, together with the Banditos, Executioners, Regulators, Spartans, Reapers, Rattlesnakes, Cowboys, Vikings, Wayside Whities, 3000 Boys, and 4000 Boys,” which operated on the “highest ranges.” 

“A few of these teams have engaged in acts of violence, threatened acts of violence, positioned fellow Deputies susceptible to bodily hurt, engaged in acts celebrating officer concerned shootings, and created a local weather of bodily worry {and professional} retribution to those that would converse publicly concerning the misconduct of such teams,” the report says. 

“Most troubling, they create rituals that valorize violence, resembling recording all deputy concerned shootings in an official ebook, celebrating with ‘capturing events,’ and authorizing deputies who’ve shot a neighborhood member so as to add elaborations to their frequent gang tattoos,” it provides. 


Villanueva contends that the fee relied on nameless witnesses whose allegations couldn’t be corroborated and concerned a number of circumstances thrown out of the court docket system for lack of proof. 

LASD Undersheriff April Tardy testified in the Civilian Oversight Commission's investigation on deputy gangs. Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva accuses Tardy of lying under oath. 

LASD Undersheriff April Tardy testified within the Civilian Oversight Fee’s investigation on deputy gangs. Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva accuses Tardy of mendacity below oath.  (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Instances through Getty Photographs)

“As a result of the allegations are one factor. However when you’re doing all your complete report on allegations, nicely, you must present the proof in court docket. And time and again, these circumstances get thrown out of court docket for lack of proof,” Villanueva instructed Fox Information Digital. “The oversight fee refuses to confess the easy reality. It was faux, designed to discredit the sheriff’s division and to discredit the occupation of regulation enforcement. That is a part of the Democratic Social gathering agenda.” 

Whereas the Civilian Oversight Fee publicly put their religion in new Sheriff Robert Luna on eradicating “deputy gangs,” Villanueva instructed Fox Information Digital that Luna’s personal undersheriff, April Tardy, has a station tattoo herself, which she didn’t acknowledge when she was interviewed by the oversight fee in a particular listening to. 

LA Sheriff Robert Luna replaced Alex Villanueva. The county oversight commission said it has full faith in Luna on eradicating "deputy gangs."

LA Sheriff Robert Luna changed Alex Villanueva. The county oversight fee stated it has full religion in Luna on eradicating “deputy gangs.” (Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Lengthy Seaside Press-Telegram through Getty Photographs)

“She went on to say that these station teams had been exclusionary. They didn’t enable girls or folks of shade to take part. And she or he stated it whereas she has her personal station tattoo,” Villanueva stated. “So she principally she lied below oath.” 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Fee instructed Fox Information Digital it “stands by” the report, which “outlines a long time of points within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division associated to deputy gangs, together with the unfavorable impacts on each the neighborhood it serves and people honorable deputies working in public service.”

“The Fee seems ahead to partnering with the Sheriff’s Division to implement the suggestions to eradicate deputy gangs from the ranks. These gangs put a stain on all of the constructive work that’s being carried out by honorable deputies every day.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division instructed Fox Information Digital, “Sheriff Luna was conscious of her tattoo, and as Undersheriff Tardy has stated, she was not in a Deputy gang. April Tardy was chosen because the Undersheriff by means of an intensive and intensive course of, and Sheriff Luna is pleased with her work historical past and expertise. He has full confidence in her.”  

“Greater than 20 years in the past, once I was assigned to the Temple Station, I obtained a small tattoo on my ankle that claims ‘TEM V LASD’ to commemorate my service at that station,” Tardy stated in an announcement to Fox Information Digital. “It has no Deputy gang affiliation, which means or design. The roman quantity V is as a result of Temple Station was the Division’s fifth station, when it opened in 1926. I’ve by no means been in a Deputy gang, and am dedicated to eradicating them from this Division.”

On Tuesday, Luna met with the leaders of the Affiliation for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and the Los Angeles County Skilled Peace Officers Affiliation to debate the report and suggestions of the particular counsel. 

“I’m happy that our labor companions will work collaboratively with us to make sure twenty first Century policing ideas are the cornerstone of our work, that we defend public security and improve public belief, and that we defend the due course of rights of our staff,” Luna stated. 

Villanueva pointed to a California State College, Los Angeles, research finalized in November, just a bit too late for the election, which discovered no correlation between deputy tattoos and misconduct. 

The analysis, titled “Traits in Deputy Misconduct: A Reflection on 2012-2022,” posed inquiries to station captains or watch commanders concerning the subject of “deputy subgroups.” 


“Station tattoos have lengthy been a convention amongst sworn personnel, like that of army branches or items who put on tattoos as an emblem of pleasure, and to commemorate a time limit,” the research discovered. “Whereas conducting interviews within the discipline, the researchers noticed station insignia on the partitions, which regularly mirrored attributes of the communities they serve, or different figuring out traits.” 

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva lost re-election in November. 

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva misplaced re-election in November.  (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Instances through Getty Photographs)

“Individuals had been requested to debate the correlation between tattoos and misconduct, if any, in addition to potential impacts that declining to obtain a tattoo would have on station operations. Amongst members who spoke on this relationship, all remarked that the presence or absence of a tattoo doesn’t affect the extent of assist of respect for the person,” the report says. “One participant declined to obtain a station tattoo a few years prior however acknowledged that it made no distinction by way of station dynamics, nor did they really feel excluded in consequence.”

The Cal State LA research additional found, “Lastly, 100% of interview members felt there was a false correlation drawn between the presence of tattoos, and the incidence of misconduct. Misconduct is a person habits and happens unbiased of tattoo standing. Quite, circumstances involving the presence of a tattoo and allegations of misconduct are coincidental.”


The findings had been decided by analyzing information linked to public complaints over a 10-year timeframe in addition to misconduct reported from an inner supply or exterior company, conducting a qualitative evaluation of 100 randomly chosen Inner Affairs Bureau summaries from eight of 24 substations, and thru particular person interviews with station captains or watch commanders. 

The report says that 21 of 24 stations participated, leading to a response price of 87.5%. It additionally concerned a evaluation of related insurance policies, assets and budgeting. 

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