Southern California breaking news and trends

Investigation underway into suspended sheriffs deputies' conduct

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2010.

A quick update on the news that seven Los Angeles County sheriffs deputies have been suspended with pay: the initial investigation into the allegations of possible misconduct will be led by the Sheriff's Internal Affairs division and will be overseen by the civilian Office of Independent Review. 

Reports from the LA Times allege the group--which reportedly includes members of the department's gang unit--behave like a street gang, with matching tatoos that glorify officer-involved shootings.

Sheriffs Spokesman Steve Whitmore says it's not clear whether members of the so-called "Jump Out Boys" have been involved in any misconduct. "What I can say is that Sheriff Baca and his management team take this very seriously," he says.

Whitmore says there isn't much information he can make publicly available at the moment. California law has a number of privacy protections for peace officers accused of misconduct and/or involved in personell issues. 

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'Jump Out Boys' investigation: 7 sheriff's deputies placed on leave

Los Angeles County Sheriff insignia.

Photo vis conner395 via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles County Sheriff insignia.

Seven deputies suspected of belonging to an aggressive, secret faction inside the Los Angeles County sheriff's gang unit have been placed on leave, sources confirmed to the L.A. Times on Wednesday.

Suspected members of the clique, the "Jump Out Boys," are said to celebrate shootings and have matching tattoos that are modified based on specific activities. 

The design of the tattoo, confirmed by two sources to the newspaper, reportedly includes an oversize skull with a wide, toothy grimace and glowing red eyes.

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 named others involved.

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'Jump Out Boys' sheriff's clique may have glorified shootings with tattoos

Los Angeles County Sheriff insignia.

Photo vis conner395 via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles County Sheriff insignia.

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.

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'Jump Out Boys' investigated as secret clique inside LASD gang unit

Los Angeles County Sheriff insignia.

Photo vis conner395 via Flickr Creative Commons

There are concerns about cliques of aggressive deputies within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and a new faction called the Jump Out Boys is being investigated.

The discovery of a document suggests "the group embraces shootings as a badge of honor," was recently discovered, reports the L.A. Times. Not much is known about the behavior or membership into the Jump Out Boys, and sources emphasized that internal affairs is still in its early stages.

It is believed that the investigation will focus on the department's Gang Enforcement Team -- a unit subdivided into two platoons of deputies who reportedly work with a substantial amount of autonomy. The units target violent neighborhoods where gang incidents and intimidation are a concern.

Sheriff's Department officials said internal cliques have been accused of fostering agressive, gang-like mentality and behavior among its members.

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