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Apparent Secret Clique in Sheriff's Department That Glorifies Deputy-Involved Shootings Probed
There are tight-knit groups throughout Los Angeles county that have their own nicknames, hand signs and code of behavior. Investigators recently found evidence that one of these groups glorifies members who are involved in shootings. We're not talking about the Bloods, the Crips or the Mara Salvatrucha but instead cliques working within law enforcement.
Now the Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives have launched a probe into one of these groups called the "Jump Out Boys" within the department's elite gang unit, according to the Los Angeles Times. The probe was launched after a document turned up that includes a sort of code of ethics for deputies in this secret clique.
The Times doesn't have a copy of the document, but an anonymous source familiar with the case described it to the Times. This source said most of the pamphlet sounds alright—it lauds the importance of hard work—until it gets to the part about officer-involved shootings. These kinds of shootings are described positively, and there is a distinction made between deputies who have been involved in a shooting and those who have not. The document makes it clear that deputies involved in a shooting are more respected within this group.
Of course, the department line on deputy-involved shootings is that they're a necessary evil and a last resort—they're certainly not something that officers are supposed to be doing to earn the respect of other officers.
The alleged group is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau, which was recently overtaken by Sheriff Lee Baca, according to Witness LA.
The department acknowledges the probe and the pamphlet, but it isn't formally acknowledging that the group exists beyond the document.
"We're going to be looking at this right now, but it really could be a fantasy, something that's not true but right now we're going to find out exactly what is and what isn't and that will determine what our next step is," spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Times.