By Knowladgey Team
November 18, 2023
Elected ALADS board member Jason Zabala's controversial "station tattoo" depicting a skeleton in a cowboy hat raises eyebrows and sparks allegations of association with the Regulators, a deputy gang.
Zabala's participation in two fatal shootings resulted in a total legal payout of $4 million for the county, triggering concerns about his suitability for the board and implications for addressing deputy gangs within the Sheriff's Department.
Despite Zabala's denial of Regulator affiliation and his claim that the number 140 symbolizes camaraderie, allegations persist. Sworn testimony and the controversial tattoo have become focal points in discussions about his role on the board.
ALADS President Richard Pippin defends Zabala, emphasizing his dedication, while critics, including James Nelson from Dignity and Power Now, express concerns that Zabala's election may hinder efforts to address deputy gangs.
The LASD grapples with deputy gangs, including the Regulators. Despite acknowledgment by Sheriff Robert Luna of the need to eliminate such groups, the delay in implementing an anti-gang policy raises doubts about the effectiveness of ongoing negotiations.
Despite the controversy, ALADS insists that Zabala's election won't alter their mission. With Zabala assuming his role, the LASD faces renewed scrutiny over its commitment to addressing deputy gangs and ensuring accountability among its members.