The investigation into the "Jump Out Boys," thought to be a secret clique of aggressive deputies within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, has turned up allegations that group members "had matching tattoos of a gun-toting skeleton, which deputies would modify to celebrate their involvement in a shooting," says the L.A. Times.
Per the Times:
- The design of the tattoo, confirmed by two sources, includes an oversize skull with a wide, toothy grimace and glowing red eyes.
- A bandanna wraps around the skull, imprinted with the letters "OSS" -- representing Operation Safe Streets, the name of the larger unit that the Gang Enforcement Team is part of.
- A bony hand clasps a revolver. Investigators suspect that smoke is tattooed over the gun's barrel after a member is involved in a shooting.
- To the left of the skull are two playing cards -- an ace and an eight -- apparently an allusion to the "dead man's hand" in poker, sources said.
The recent discovery of a document, which led to the investigation, suggests "the group embraces shootings as a badge of honor," it was previously reported.
One deputy reportedly came forward to admit association with the clique and has ID'd other involved deputies who are expected to be questioned by internal affairs. Sources told the Times they believed the investigation is focused entirely on deputies in the Gang Enforcement Team.
In the late 1990s, anti-gang officers associated with the LAPD Rampart Division scandal were also known to have matching tattoos.
Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner