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Officials Investigate Alleged LASD Secret Society

"The nature of the problem is secrecy. And that's full stop," said Max Huntsman, LASD Inspector General.

During a meeting with the Sheriff's Civilian Oversight Commission outrage occurred as people reacted to claims that a secret society exists within the Compton Sheriff's Station.

"The nature of the problem is secrecy. And that's full stop," said Max Huntsman, LASD Inspector General.

The allegations stem from a wrongful death lawsuit relating to the 2016 deputy-involved shooting of Dontra Taylor.

One of the defendants, Deputy Samuel Aldama, said he received a tattoo of a skull with a Nazi-style helmet holding an assault rifle two months after the shooting. Other deputies had the same tattoo.

While Aldama denied the body ink was related to a renegade clique of violence-prone and racist deputies, the attorney for the dead man's family argues that's exactly what it is.

The LASD Sheriff Jim McDonnell Thursday indicated a formal probe is underway.

"Renegade cliques erode public confidence as well as internal morale and they will not be tolerated within the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department," said McDonnell.

McDonnell said the controversy should not taint the entire Compton station.

Data shows the Compton station has seen a decline in crime, increase in arrests and improved engagement with the public. But, issues related to secretive cliques of deputies go back decades fostering an ill-will that boiled over at the hearing.

A member of the audience profanely referred to the commission chair, Robert Bonner, as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Bonner, a former federal judge, had enough and left the room.

Members of the commission expressed frustration over the whole thing. They said they want an expedited investigation as to whether this clique actually exists at the Compton station.

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