LOS ANGELES - An LA County Sheriff’s whistleblower claims the deputy who shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado was trying to get into the alleged law enforcement gang known as 'The Executioners.'
“I call them a gang because that’s what gangs do. They beat up other people,” says Deputy Art Gonzalez.
During a video deposition, Gonzalez testified that 15 deputies at the Compton Sheriff’s Station belong to 'The Executioners.'
He says they all have matching skull tattoos and more deputies are allegedly trying desperately to get in.
Gonzalez says, “We call it Ink Chasers because they’re out there trying to show the rest of the members, the rest of the ink members that they are worthy of that tattoo.”
According to Gonzalez, after a shooting the alleged law enforcement gang members, celebrate by drinking and getting tattoos.
Under oath, Gonzalez testified the Deputy involved in the Andres Guardado shooting, Miguel Vega, was a prospect who was looking for skull tattoo.
The Guardado Family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s department and LA County.
Meanwhile, the attorney for the deputy involved in the shooting, Miguel Vega, issued the following statement:
“We are aware of the lawsuit recently filed against Deputy Vega. Unfortunately, the lawsuit is filled with reckless and erroneous allegations and appears to be a calculated effort to inflame and distort public perception against the Sheriff’s Department generally and Deputy Vega specifically. Deputy Vega categorically denies any wrongdoing and looks forward to the actual facts of this matter being made public. Facts which include Mr. Guardado illegally possessing an unregistered firearm, fleeing from two uniformed Deputies, and then disobeying multiple commands. From the outset, Deputy Vega made clear that he did everything possible that evening to avoid firing his weapon, including issuing clear and repeated commands to “not reach for the gun."
Deputy Vega went to work that day to protect the citizens of the community and, unfortunately, was forced to take actions that resulted in a loss of life.
Sheriff Villanueva declined an on-camera interview but he issued a statement that says in part:
"Because there is pending litigation in this matter, I am not allowed to share details in response to the accusations. However, I want to ensure the public that my expectation from all of our deputies is to deliver honest public service in upholding the integrity of our public safety mission for all documented & undocumented residents.”
Attorney John Sweeney, who encouraged Deputy Gonzalez to testify says Sheriff Villanueva needs to stop protecting bad cops. “He needs to root-out all these gangs that are in the sheriff’s department because they are policing in an over-aggressive and illegal and criminal manner in certain instances in an attempt to get ink, that’s their motivation,” says Sweeney.