Los Angeles deputy says colleagues are part of violent gang

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Compton, Calif., Mayor Aja Brown, left, calls on the state attorney general's office and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Los Angeles County Sheriff's station at a news conference in Compton Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. A violent gang of sheriff's deputies who call themselves "The Executioners" control a patrol station in Compton through force, threats, work slowdowns and acts of revenge against those who speak out, a deputy alleged in a legal claim. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)

COMPTON, Calif. – A violent gang of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who call themselves “The Executioners” control a patrol station in Compton through force, threats, work slowdowns and acts of revenge against those who speak out, a deputy alleges in a legal claim.

Austreberto Gonzalez, a former Marine and a sheriff's deputy since 2007, said in a notice of claim ahead of a planned lawsuit that the gang retaliated against him for months after he anonymously reported a fellow deputy for allegedly assaulting a coworker in February “to further the reputation of the gang.”

Gonzalez later received a text message with a photo of graffiti at the station, he said. The graffiti allegedly said, “ART IS A RAT.”

On Tuesday, Councilwoman Michelle Chambers said she saw the graffiti at the station as recently as last week. It has since been removed, she said.

Chambers said at a news conference that it's unacceptable Compton residents are still dealing with reports of excessive force in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody last May.

Chambers, as well as Compton Mayor Aja Brown and City Attorney Damon Brown and others, called on the state attorney general's office and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the sheriff's station.

Other community members at the news conference told stories of their interactions with deputies, which ranged from disrespectful exchanges to motor vehicle stops to arrests.

Gonzalez’s June 23 claim was first reported by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday.