- Rep. Maxine Waters is asking for a federal probe into the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
- Waters called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the alleged “Executioners” gang.
- The group was accused of celebrating police shootings by a whistleblower within the station.
Rep. Maxine Waters on Tuesday called for Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General Kirsten Clarke to conduct a federal probe into the alleged “Executioners” gang within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
According to the Los Angeles Times and whistleblower Deputy Austreberto “Art” Gonzalez, the “Executioners” are a group within the Compton station accused of having matching, offensive tattoos and celebrating police shootings.
A spokesperson for the LASD claimed the letter was made up of “unproven allegations which she is portraying as facts.”
The alleged groups were first reported on by the Los Angeles Times in 2018, after multiple deputies within the Compton station testified to having identifying tattoos, including one who had a tattoo of a skull with a rifle and military helmet, engulfed in flames.
“I ask that the DOJ take two immediate actions: launch an independent investigation into the existence of the ‘Executioners,’ both at the LASD Compton station and within the greater LASD community, and launch a pattern or practice investigation into the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for potential civil rights and constitutional violations,” Waters wrote in the letter.
Members of the alleged “Executioners” were also involved in the police killing of 18-year-old Andres Guardado, according to the testimony of a whistleblower deputy at the Compton station. Guardado was shot in the back five times by LASD deputies in an alleyway following a foot chase. The shooting was ruled a homicide by a Los Angeles County inquest.
“The gang allegedly sets illegal arrest quotas, threatens and harasses fellow deputies, and holds parties after shootings, called ‘998 parties,’ which are in part a celebration that a new deputy will be inked by the gang,” said Rep. Waters, citing Gonzalez’s whistleblower testimony.
“The killing of Andres Guardado is not the only example of the LASD’s excessive and brutal tactics in the Los Angeles community. On August 31, 2020, LASD deputies fatally shot Dijon Kizzee in South Los Angeles,” Rep. Waters added.
The LASD spokesperson pushed back on the assertion: “Additionally, the uses of deadly force Congresswoman Waters cites have been thoroughly investigated and turned over to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Justice System Integrity Division for further investigation and review, along with monitoring by The California Office of the Attorney General and The Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
Rep. Waters’ letter also called for a broader focus on the “pattern of police associating with militant groups nationwide.”