Judge blocks investigation into Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's notorious deputy gangs

L.A. County's Sheriff's Department is famed for deputy gangs. These cliques function little differently to any other gangs, complete with tattoos, rituals and criminal enterprises, and the new Sheriff was elected on promises to get rid of them. But the deputy gangs' big advantage over their street brethren is obvious: they're cops. And cops have "unions"–and friends in high places.

The union for sheriff's deputies filed a lawsuit after the Office of Inspector General ordered 35 deputies suspected of being "Banditos" or "Executioners" to answer questions about deputy gangs and show their tattoos. The judge in his ruling found that the county is required to bargain with the union before making significant changes to their employment, such as being forced to show their tattoos. …

"I'm disappointed that deputy gangs will remain for now and I expect the county will appeal," Inspector General Max Huntsman said. "It's been a year and a half since California outlawed the gangs without meaningful investigation by law enforcement."

Even without the supposed corruption that commentators here assume, it's right there in black and white that that cops revealing their gang tattoos to investigators would be considered a "significant change to their employment" by their unions (which are really just fraternities). It shows how much power these groups have over governments when it comes to hiring and firing cops, and they are the most important beam to break in tearing down this problem.