LA taxpayers paid out $55 million in lawsuits against cops in violent secret societies

Los Angeles taxpayers are on the hook for about $55 million stemming from "dozens of lawsuits and claims involving Los Angeles County deputies associated with tattooed groups accused of glorifying an aggressive style of policing," reports The Los Angeles Times. These secret cop societies have names like the Vikings, Regulators, 3000 Boys, and the Banditos, and their street gang-like criminal behavior extends back to 1990. Elected sheriffs and an FBI probe have been unable to stop the violent groups from operating.

From The Los Angeles Times:

"This has been a cancer of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department for decades," said Ron Kaye, an attorney who represented Carrillo. "The only reason that this type of illegal activity and lawlessness under the color of law can survive is if the department and its administration looks the other way."

Another lawsuit involving a bicyclist shot and killed by deputies in South L.A. was settled for $1.5 million in 2018 in part because one deputy had probably committed perjury when he denied that he was a member of the Regulators operating out of the Century station, officials said.

Several of the payouts involve the 3000 Boys and the 2000 Boys at Men's Central Jail. A top jail official had described exclusive gangs of deputies who would "earn their ink" by breaking inmates' bones.