LA DA Won’t Charge ‘Banditos’ Sheriff’s Deputies For Fight With Other Deputies
No one will face criminal charges for a wild melee among Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies after a September 2018 party.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office has concluded that there’s “insufficient evidence” to prove four deputies accused of attacking fellow deputies committed any crimes.
The analysis said the location of the fight was dark and unlit, a nearby surveillance camera didn’t catch any of it, everyone involved had been drinking, participants and eyewitnesses made contradictory statements “and everyone involved has potential bias.”
Among the deputies who said they were attacked, one said he was punched multiple times in the face before being knocked out. Another said he was choked until he passed out.
The DA's office relied on an investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau.
The analysis said the four deputies who said they were attacked spoke to investigators, as did several other people who were at the party.
But all four deputies accused of carrying out the attacks refused to be interviewed, as did 21 other deputies identified as possible witnesses, according to the analysis.
After the fight, Sheriff Alex Villanueva transferred a number of senior officials out of the East L.A. Station, including the captain, and the four accused deputies were placed on paid leave.
The fight was one of the most alarming incidents listed in a lawsuit by eight Sheriff’s deputies who were stationed at the East L.A. station. The suit alleges the “Banditos” clique of deputies runs the station “like a prison yard,” harassing, intimidating and bullying deputies who fall out of favor.