Deputies’ Secret Societies Cost Los Angeles County $55 Million

Los Angeles County has paid out approximately $55 million in settlements in cases that involved allegations that sheriff’s deputies belonged to secret societies, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The document includes a list of payouts in the dozens of suits and claims involving deputies associated with groups accused of glorifying an aggressive style of policing. The report prepared by county attorneys lists nearly 60 cases, with some still pending.

The county paid out nearly $21 million in the last 10 years alone. The deputy groups use monikers such as “Vikings,” “Regulators,” “3000 Boys,” and “Banditos.”

These groups have operated within the department for decades, but sheriffs have failed to bring the subgroups under control despite multiple internal investigations and, more recently, a probe by the FBI, the Times found.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva put measures in place in February that prohibit deputies from participating in subgroups, but Inspector General Max Huntsman said he is “aware of no implementation whatsoever.” (Source: Los Angeles Daily News, August 5.)


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