LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A deputy at the Compton Sheriff's Station is suing Los Angeles County, alleging the department put his life in danger when he reported the activities of an alleged deputy gang known as the Executioners.
Austreberto Gonzalez's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges discrimination, work environment harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, discrimination or harassment and civil rights violations. He seeks unspecified damages in the suit filed Thursday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
According to the suit, Gonzalez, a decorated Marine Corp combat veteran with a diabetic daughter, called an anonymous tip line in February to report the “criminal activities of a deputy gang at Compton Station which existed to violate the rights of the public and other Sheriff's Department employees.''
The department turned over a recording of Gonzalez' call to the gang, placing the plaintiff in danger, the suit alleges.
“The department took zero steps to curtail the deputy gang,'' according to the suit.
In March, Gonzales met with LASD investigators and again blew the whistle on the Executioners' activities, but once more nothing was done, the suit alleges.
Gonzalez later learned that the department had taken several affirmative steps to assist the leader of the deputy gang, Jaime Juarez – who had been previously banned from being on patrol due to his involvement in questionable shootings -- to be put back on patrol, the suit alleges.
In addition, Juarez, who had been transferred from the Compton Station due to his alleged gang activity and racketeering, was transferred back to the station by the department, according to the plaintiff's court papers.
“This created a culture of impunity and violence at the (Compton) Station which had been shaped and enabled by the department,'' the suit alleges.
An Executioners associate was promoted to watch deputy, a position for which Gonzalez had tested and deserved because of his seniority, according to the suit, which alleges the position went to the other deputy because he was prohibited from carrying a firearm while on duty and the watch deputy job allowed him to still collect a salary without going out on patrol.
Fearing for his safety and aware of a violent attack by the gang on another station deputy, Gonzalez contacted an attorney to represent him in his disputes with the LASD, the suit states.
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