LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Civil rights attorneys Friday accused a deputy involved in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Andres Gaurdado of being a member of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department gang.
The accusations were made against deputy Christopher Hernandez, who did not fire his weapon in the June 18 shooting.
“The county knows that he’s a gang member, and he remains on the force,” attorney Humberto Guizar said. “Villanueva knows he’s a gang member, and allows him to remain on the force.”
According to Guizar, an undated photo shows Hernandez and other deputies posing and flashing gang signs affiliated with a department gang known as The 3000 Boys.
“The 3000 Boys was identified as a group of sheriff deputies who have special identifying tattoos, who commit acts of violence as a group, have special code words and language, and symbols known only to themselves,” a statement issued by Guizar’s firm said. “A former top jail commander told The Times that jailers would ‘earn their ink’ by breaking inmates’ bones.”
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But Hernandez’s attorney, Tod Yu, said the photo shows the deputies making gestures about the floor they worked on at the time — not gang signs.
“Deputy Hernandez is not part of a clique or gang,” Yu said. “Deputy Hernandez is an outstanding, hardworking deputy sheriff assigned to Compton Station, and he does not have any gang tattoos or any tattoos resembling his membership to a deputy clique or gang.”
According to Guizar’s firm, Hernandez has a “documented history of abuse and criminal misconduct.” The attorneys said they believed Guardado’s killing was a “deputy gang killing,” and said those involved should be arrested immediately.
Guizar has previously represented the family of 14-year-old boy fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers, the family of a 23-year-old man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies and a private investigator whose car was rear-ended by Councilman Jose Huizar.
LASD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.