California has its share of illegal activity, and law enforcement works hard to protect and serve the citizens of its cities. As in many big metropolitan areas, the police in Los Angeles County seem to be under a more scrupulous eye as accusations of abuse and public corruption bring nationwide attention to law enforcement agencies. Recent reports of suspected gang activity within the county police department have raised concerns with officials as well as the public.
The concerns surfaced during the deposition of an officer named in a wrongful death lawsuit following a police shooting. The officer admitted under oath during a deposition that he and up to 20 other deputies had matching tattoos. The tattoos depict a skeleton with a rifle. During questioning, the deputy said he received the tattoo on his leg a few months before the incident, which the district attorney determined was a justified shooting.
Nevertheless, the sheriff and others are seeking evidence that the officers inked with the skeleton are part of a rogue gang of police who may be acting outside the law. The officer claims the tattoo simply represents hard work for the people of the county. However, the sheriff seems to suspect corruption among his ranks. He explains that gangs within law enforcement do not help police forces uphold the confidence of the public.
No formal charges of gang involvement have been filed. However, California officers wearing these tattoos may be feeling the pressure of scrutiny and the heaviness of suspicion that they are part of a wider public corruption. In such situations, those under suspicion of wrongdoing have every right to seek advice from an attorney skilled in criminal defense, even if they have not been formally charged with a crime.