The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has taken steps to fire seven deputies over their alleged involvement in a secret cops’ clique that called themselves the Jump Out Boys.
The group of L.A. cops was members of an elite gang enforcement team that formed a clique that celebrated police-involved shootings and aggressive policing tactics, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The secret cops’ clique had their own tattoo -- a skeleton head with red eyes brandishing a gun. Jump Out Boys members who were involved in at least one shooting had smoke tattooed over the gun, the paper reported.
Jump Out Boys members were not accused of any legal wrongdoing, but sources told the L.A. Times that the secret cops’ clips members ran afoul of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office policies.
A Jump Out Boys member who spoke to the paper insisted the group was a positive force within the sheriff’s office, saying the secret cops’ clique “promoted hard work and bravery.” He added that the group’s beliefs aren’t sinister and that the clique is a proponent of proactive policing.
The Times, which first reported on the secret cops’ clique last year, obtained a pamphlet that outlined the group’s ethos.
“We are alpha dogs who think and act like the wolf but never become the wolf,” the group wrote, referring to criminals.
“We are not afraid to get our hands dirty without any disgrace, dishonor or hesitation,” read another passage obtained by the Times.
While the group claims it operatives in a positive way, an informant told the sheriff’s office that the secret cops’ clique “exhibited completely inappropriate behavior,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Steve Whitmore told Reuters.
The spokesman said the group was relieved of its duty with pay last year, and now the sheriff’s office is moving to fire the group.
Should the seven members be fired, it would mark one of the largest group terminations in the department’s history, Reuters noted.
Whitmore confirmed that the secret cops’ clique had matching tattoos but declined to confirm the skull design.