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latest news Los Angeles undersheriff changes course on downturn in deputy gang-run work

In an apparent change to his affidavits to the Civilian Oversight Board last year, Undersheriff April Tardy testified in a civil trial on Tuesday that there were no confirmed work slowdowns led by Compton Sheriff’s Deputy gangs in 2019.

“The information I had about the slowdown in labor was all allegations,” she told the court this week. “When I testified, I just didn’t utter the word ‘allegations’.”

The alleged slowdown in work at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Compton station has become a centerpiece of the retaliatory action launched by Lt. Larry Waldiewho said he was targeted and demoted after “openly opposing” a gang of deputies commonly known as the executioners.

The executioners have been the target of numerous reports and investigations, and last month several of their alleged members were ordered to show their tattoos and submit to questioning by the county inspector general’s office.

Although an MP said last week that the group had no official name, its members are identified by their sequentially numbered tattoos of a skeleton holding a rifle and wearing a Nazi-style helmet.

According to Waldie’s lawsuit, this group was behind the alleged downturn that began in 2019, when he was the acting captain overseeing the station. Early that year, Waldie refused to give a coveted job to anyone he suspected of being a member of a deputy gang – a move he said angered the alleged gunman. group, deputy Jaime Juarez. According to Waldie’s account, Juarez retaliated by initiating a labor slowdown.

In July 2022, during the Civilian Oversight Commission’s investigation into MP gangs, Tardy apparently confirmed this account when she said she had moved Juarez to another station “because of the information I had received about the slowdown in labor”.

Sarah Moses, one of the commission’s special advisers, asked for more details during last year’s investigation: “So Deputy Juarez triggered a work slowdown at Compton Station in 2019 when the then-Captain didn’t select Deputy Juarez’s preferred deputy as the scheduler Deputy Is that what you’re referring to?

Tardy agreed and told the commission that she confirmed the information was true before transferring Juarez.

In court Tuesday, Tardy said she should have phrased it differently.

“At the time I testified, I should have used the word ‘allegations’,” she said. “When I carried out the removals and transfers, it was before the conclusion of the investigation.”

In the final analysis, she said, monthly data for arrests and response times do not appear to support claims of a labor slowdown. Figures presented in court on Tuesday showed the station’s number of arrests in March 2019 – the month of the alleged downturn – was significantly lower than February 2019, but only marginally lower than March 2018.

Last week in court, Juarez spoke up and denied ordering a slowdown. He also showed the court his own skeleton tattoo, revealed the names of other MPs who wear the same ink, testified about inking parties and talked about the process for deciding who can get tattoos.

He said his tattoo was a “positive thing” and his design includes the number 18 because he was the 18th person to get the design. In total, about 40 MPs have the same tattoo, he said, adding that no one had a full list.

He also said there was “no name” for the tattooed group, but those with the skeleton tattoo were sometimes referred to as “new ink” at the station. MPs who sported another tattoo – the gladiator image Waldie tattooed on his leg – were referred to as ‘old ink’.

It’s unclear how many inked deputies there are, and previous witnesses have said they don’t know how many inked deputies were at the Compton station or how many were affiliated with gangs or drug cliques. assistants.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Tardy said the sheriff’s department does not ask sworn personnel if they are members of banned subgroups. Under the former sheriff, the department prohibited employees from joining cliques or deputy subgroups promoting behavior that violates people’s rights.

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