For decades, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has struggled to combat secretive cliques of deputies who bonded over aggressive, often violent police work and branded themselves with matching tattoos.
A federal judge called out the problem nearly 30 years ago, accusing deputies of running a “neo-Nazi, white supremacist gang” named the Vikings within the Lynwood station. Others followed with names such as the Regulators, Grim Reapers, Rattlesnakes and the Jump Out Boys. Inside the county’s central jail, the 2000 Boys and 3000 Boys ran roughshod over the lockup’s toughest floors.
Now, despite past attempts by sheriff’s officials to discourage internal cliques, fresh allegations have arisen of deputies in the department’s Compton station adorned with matching skull tattoos.
One deputy acknowledged in a recent deposition that he and 10 to 20 of his colleagues at the station had the tattoos but denied there was a formal clique.
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