Members of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department are joining gangs

One way to think about these gangs is as the equivalent of mafia “families” within the context of a larger organized-crime operation — which is what LASD is, at least to some extent. In February 2020, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca reported to prison for his role in a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into abuse and misconduct in the jail system he managed. But he was involved in all kinds of other shenanigans, too, including a scheme to make reserve deputies out of political supporters and helpful celebrities, rewarding them with a badge and the ability to carry a gun legally, a right that is very difficult to acquire in Los Angeles County and most of the rest of California. People who gave the sheriff personal gifts or made donations to his campaign were rewarded with concealed-carry permits…

This sort of thing appears to be endemic to law enforcement in Los Angeles. For years in the 1990s, the single most dangerous crime syndicate in Southern California was the LAPD, where members of the Rampart Division created a blue crime wave involving everything from falsifying evidence to bank robbery to selling huge quantities of cocaine stolen from evidence rooms to murder.

On one end of California, you have politicos such as San Francisco mayor London Breed and Governor Gavin Newsom blowing off COVID-19 rules as obligatory for the little people but optional for the high and mighty. On the other end of the state, you have a sheriff’s department acting as the goon squad for the elected official at the head of the agency, while deputies mob up like Crips and Bloods. Political enlightenment comes when you begin to understand that, in spite of the superficial differences between Nancy Pelosi’s beauty-parlor antics and the deeds of the East Los Angeles Banditos, they are two manifestations of the same phenomenon.

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