Valeria Reyes, Section Editor
As of February of last year, claims against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been in development as allegations from Compton’s Deputy Austreberto Gonzalez come to light. Gonzalez made several claims involving a police gang called, “The Executioners,” that have corrupted many areas of Compton PD, specifically the station’s deputies. Detailing that about twenty, possibly forty, individuals of the police department may be gang affiliated. This group is said to have disrupted the work of the Compton PD by pressuring other police officers and using their own status in the station to give these cop gang members their wanted work assignments and duties. Police deputies are using their power to exert violence and brutality amongst the Compton area. Many are gaining their position as gang members by injuring and murdering Compton’s residents and solidifying their status withing the gang by earning matching tattoos depicting a skull with Nazi-like headgear.
Moreover, excessive police force and violence is not something new in the Compton area. Back in 2016, thirty-one-year-old Donta Taylor was murdered by a similar group of tattooed police officers in the Compton PD. Compton officers, Samuel Aldama and Mizrain Orrego believed Taylor was involved in a local gang. They claimed that Taylor had a semiautomatic handgun, however, no weapon was ever found. Even as recently as June, eighteen-year-old Andres Guardado was shot several times by Miguel Vega and another Compton officer. Witnesses on the scene believe that the police tampered with and destroyed video evidence of the shooting. One of Gonzalez’s many claims against Compton PD reported that Guardado’s death was a form of initiation into the Executioner Gang. Gonzalez noted that Deputy Jaime Juarez is one of the leading figures in this group. Since last year, not much has been done over these allegations, and the safety of Gonzalez and other citizens may be at risk. Not long after Gonzalez made his first excessive force lawsuit against the LASD, he has been threatened at work with several notes calling him out.
Late this January, District Attorney Xavier Becerra is said to be launching a civil rights investigation on the LASD. Examining whether the station has violated any constitutional rights or overall committed unconstitutional acts while policing. Rumors of a potential FBI investigation have also been circulating. Although an investigation into this alleged police gang is said to be underway, Compton’s residents, along with others continue to be outraged by the corruption in law enforcement but most specifically, LASD.