Seven deputies suspected of belonging to a "police gang" that supports street crime crackdowns backed by shootings have been suspended from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, according to officials. The so-called "Jump Up Boys" apparently operated like a squad within a squad, with members believed to sport similar tattoos and cheer on aggressive policing, investigators believe. Officials were alerted to the existence of the Jump Up Boys when a supervisor found a pamphlet for the crew that lauded shootings by cops, reports the Los Angeles Times. One member eventually came forward and identified others.
The suspended deputies all work in the city's Gang Enforcement Unit. The Jump Up Boys' tattoo features a skull with glowing red eyes pointing a gun, according to the Times. Investigators suspect that smoke may be added to the tattoo if an officer fires his gun on the job. Despite the group's aggressive position, there's no evidence at this point that members have been involved in anything illegal or in improper shootings. The deputies have been placed on leave until an investigation is completed. Last year the department fired six deputies who were members of an aggressive clique known as the "3000" operating in the Men's Central Jail. They were canned when they brawled with other deputies at a Christmas party. (Read more Los Angeles stories.)