The World’s Largest Street Gang
by William Norman Grigg
Sure, the “3,000 Boys” are a group of tattooed thugs from Los Angeles who spend a lot of time in jail, share cryptic hand signs, have a cultivated sensitivity to being “dissed,” routinely beat up people at parties and instigate fights in bars – but don’t you dare call them a “gang.”
While law enforcement officials will concede that the group engages in “gang-like activity,” they refuse to designate the group itself as a gang. This may have something to do with the fact that this little knot of miscreants is composed of LA County Sheriff’s Deputies employed at the Men’s Central Jail.
For years, inmates have complained about “horrific” conditions in the 3000 Block of the Men’s Central Jail, particularly the routine abuses carried out by the violent clique of guards called the 3,000 Boys. Those protests were consistently dismissed as ACLU grievance-mongering – until members of that officially sanctioned prison gang assaulted a fellow members of the sanctified guild of official coercion during a Christmas party at L.A.’s Quiet Cannon banquet hall last December.
A comment that was interpreted as a “diss” provoked seven of the 3,000 Boys to swarm and pummel two other deputies. A female officer who tried to intervene was punched in the face. “This was not mutual combat, this was not one-on-one,” related an attorney for the victims. “This was a beat-down.”
One of the participants in that assault was fired; six others were subject to various forms of “discipline.” None of them was brought up on criminal charges. A lawsuit filed by the victims accuses LA Sheriff Lee Baca of fomenting a culture of “lawlessness” among the deputies working as jail guards – an accusation made, it should be recalled, by two of Baca’s own deputies.
If the victims had been Mundanes, even the trivial, perfunctory “punishment” of termination most likely would have been avoided. This was demonstrated in the case of bar bouncer Chris Barton, who had a run-in with Deputy David Ortega, a member of the 3,000 Boys.