The Los Angeles Times reports that the Gang Enforcement Team of the LA County Sheriff's Department has become the subject of an internal investigation after it emerged its officers may have formed their own shoot-happy police-only gang.
That group members allegedly style themselves The Jump Out Boys, which is even lamer than the name of the "gang" my dad claims to have been involved with in 1950s South Philly. (I won't print that name here; ride or die, Dad.)
The probe was reportedly launched after someone in the department discovered a pamphlet laying out a code of conduct for the group's members, so at least we know the Jump Out Boys had put some real thought into this and were taking it seriously.
According to anonymous sources cited by the Times, the pamphlet was, in some ways, not unlike a Boy Scout handbook; for one thing, it extolled the value of "hard work and other positive virtues."
It also encouraged, in a roundabout way, that deputies become involved in the shootings of Los Angeles gang members, noting that officers who had been involved in such events commanded a level of respect others did not.
Official department policy states that officer-involved shoot-outs be regarded as a last resort, rather than as something it might be cool to do.
A spokesman for the sheriff's department said that, while detectives are actively gathering evidence and conducting interviews, it's unconfirmed whether the group even exists.
"We're going to be looking at this right now, but it really could be a fantasy, something that's not true…"
Which could mean that somebody dedicated a lot effort to putting together a nice, high-quality pamphlet for nothing.
For a full breakdown of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's surprisingly extensive history of internal gangs (including one clique of jailers who "earned their ink" by breaking inmates' bones), check out the LA Times story.