As if Sheriff Lee Baca needs more stress (not that he ever appears to feel it), reports today have outed a sheriff's sergeant alleged to have pointed a gun at a fellow law enforcer while on-duty.
Stupid b-movies about crime fighters almost always seem to feature a locker-room / squad room scene in which cops duke it out and / or pull a gun. But this shit is real, at least according to the Los Angeles Times and WitnessLA.com.
Not only that, but the outlets report that the copper in question, Timothy Cooper, is a reputed member of a law enforcement gang. Really:
The victim alleged via District Attorney's records that Cooper “had ties to the Vikings, a deputy clique that in the 1990s was alleged to have brutalized minorities, falsely arrested suspects and engaged in wrongful shootings,” according to the Times.
WitnessLA has a similar allegation, but a different gang:
According to our sources, Cooper is a Regulator, another one of the gang-like deputy cliques like the now infamous 3000 Boys and 2000 Boys, and the Vikings before them, that have matching tattoos, flash hand signs, and take pride in policing very aggressively—in certain cases, some say, brutally.
In any case, the story of deputy gangs inside the troubled L.A. County Jail is a remnant of the 1990s and early '00s, and Baca certainly doesn't need this today.
He's already under fire for the allegedly unprovoked beatings of inmates in his jails as well as a string of employees allegedly gone-bad (people accused of smuggling drugs inside the jails, others accused of fighting).
Anyway, the alleged gun-pointing happened in 2009, according to the Times. The victim was named as Sgt. Mark Moffett.
Even though a committee recommended demotion, the alleged pointer received a 15-day suspension, the paper says.
Here's what allegedly happened:
Cooper revved his engine at Moffett in a sheriff's station parking lot the morning of the incident: Later, inside the station, he pointed his gun at him and mouthing “I'm gonna kill you,” according to the victim's accusations, published in the Times.
Suffice it to say, Moffett is suing, and Baca claims he's cleaning up the disciplinary process.