LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A deputy at the Compton Sheriff’s Station has filed suit, alleging the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department put his life in danger after he made a report alleging illegal activities by a group of deputies.
Austreberto Gonzalez, a decorated Marine Corp combat veteran with a daughter diagnosed with diabetes, anonymously reported “criminal activities of a deputy gang at Compton Station which existed to violate the rights of the public and other sheriff’s department employees,” in February, according to the suit.
Following the report, the suit alleges that the department turned over a recording of that call to the gang — putting Gonzalez in danger.
“The department took zero steps to curtail the deputy gang,” according to the suit.
The following month, Gonzalez met with LASD investigators to again report alleged activities by deputies he claimed were affiliated with the Executioners. The suit alleges nothing was done in response to the report.
Instead, the suit claims, the department had taken several steps to assist Jaime Juarez, the alleged leader of the deputy gang, to be put back on patrol after being removed to due his involvement in questionable shootings. In addition, Juarez was transferred back to the Compton Station, according to the suit.
“This created a culture of impunity and violence at the (Compton) Station which had been shaped and enabled by the department,” the suit alleged.
The lawsuit also alleged that an associate of the gang was promoted to watch deputy, a position for which Gonzalez had also applied, because the deputy was prohibited from carrying a firearm while on duty and the position allowed him to still collect a salary without going out on patrol.
Gonzalez is alleging discrimination, work environment harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, discrimination or harassment and civil rights violations.
A representative for LASD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)