House subcommittee requests federal probe of ‘criminal gangs’ among L.A. County sheriff’s deputies

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A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department vehicle is seen in a file photo on the Lancaster Sheriff's Station's Facebook page. (LASD)

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicle is seen in a file photo on the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station’s Facebook page. (LASD)

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A congressional subcommittee has requested that the Department of Justice investigate allegations of systemic abuses by “criminal gangs” that employ aggressive policing tactics within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“The allegations of abusive behavior by these criminal gangs within the LASD are deeply disturbing,” Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) wrote Thursday in a letter to Assistant Atty. Gen. Eric S. Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “If true, they represent egregious violations of the civil rights of the residents of the communities subjected to their violence and to the deputies who oppose these heinous practices.”

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Sheriff’s Department spokesman said that the letter is “filled with unsubstantiated allegations and inflammatory rhetoric” and that the FBI and state attorney general were already asked to monitor certain ongoing investigations within the agency.

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