Seven Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have been notified that the department intends to fire them for belonging to a secret law enforcement clique that allegedly celebrated shootings and branded its members with matching tattoos, officials said.On the one hand I have visions of a gang of rogue cops straight out of the flick "Training Day." On the other hand, I am very concerned that these deputies are being fired without any criminal charges against them.
First, we might assume that these officers are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, and are simply being targeted as part of a political witch-hunt to court favor with constituents for a "cleaner, more professional" sort of department. It's not unreasonable to think that these cops, working some of the roughest streets in America, might take on a sort or fraternal camaraderie and even "glorify" deadly action in certain ways like tattoos, commemorating their most frightening and life changing experiences. We certainly would not be questioning combat troops who bragged about, or otherwise marked deadly encounters in a combat zone. Indeed we actually hand out medals for that.
A second alternative though, of course, is that this group was a real-deal criminal gang of thugs embedded within the department, but not answerable to it. These members could very well have been carrying on a criminal enterprise facilitated by public trust and extensive law-enforcement resources. A gang of robbery and murder, and all sorts of nefarious activity for their own benefit, yet twisted as justified because of a badge juxtaposed to who their victims were. A frightening supposition which fiction tales aspire to in dramatic prose.
But there is a third, even more sinister plot which might be playing out here. That these 7 are being hung out to dry, for doing exactly what was expeted of them by more powerful factions, and are now being hung out to dry as the scape-goats in order to cover up and protect the truly sinister within the department. Too often we see that the police get away with blatant violations of law and miscarriages of justice, with little or no admonishment for their wrong doing. Too often too, we see that police who are prosecuted or fired, are left out in the cold because they actually tried to do some good, and stand for true justice.
That is the claim of rogue ex-LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, who has justified his murderous rampage on the police as being a counterpoint to corruption throughout his own department, right on down to his own personal experience. Dorner was fired and blackballed for supposedly lying that his training officer and Sergeant had viciously beat a mentally handicapped person without cause. there is actually substantial evidence that he was not actually lying, but rather he was blackballed by the department for pressing the truth of the matter.
Could these seven deputies be caught up ina web of similar persecution? Is there perhaps some blend of truth here? We will probably never know, but the case is interesting nonetheless. We can only hope that justice is indeed being carried out here.