Four deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department killed themselves yesterday, and the department issued a press release: just a coincidence.
Department officials refused to answer questions Monday afternoon after news of the death of Cmdr. Darren Harris was posted to the coroner's office website. Sheriff's Information Bureau officials referred information requests to the Homicide Bureau, which did not respond to requests for comment regarding the status of the investigations. Sheriff Robert Luna issued a prepared statement via email through a spokesperson Tuesday afternoon. "Our LASD family has experienced a significant amount of loss and tragedies this year," Luna's statement said. "We are stunned to learn of these deaths, and it has sent shockwaves of emotions throughout the department as we try and cope with the loss of not just one, but four beloved active and retired members of our department family. During trying times like these it's important for personnel regardless of rank or position to check on the well-being of other colleagues and friends. I have the deepest concern for our employees' well-being, and we are urgently exploring avenues to reduce work stress factors to support our employees' work and personal lives."
"The Sheriff's Department is beyond saddened to learn of the deaths involving four LASD employees, one retired and three current members of the department. The Sheriff's Homicide Bureau is investigating all four deaths. On (Monday) at approximately 10:30 a.m., Homicide Bureau responded to a death in Valencia. Later in the afternoon, detectives responded to a death at 12:53 p.m. in Lancaster and later in the evening at 5:40 p.m. in Stevenson Ranch," read the statement shared Tuesday afternoon by Nicole Nishida, spokeswoman for the LASD.
One problem with so many LASD officers being in gangs or otherwise involved in criminal enterprises is that it invites a pervasive cynicism that extends far beyond the usual topics of misconduct, brutality and so on. Which is to say: sure.
As of press time, witnesses say they saw Martin Scorsese leafing contmplatively through a collection of sentimental rock songs that become strangely affecting in unexpected contexts.