Recently in the news, a number of police officers in California were questioned because in addition to getting their division logo tattooed, some of them allegedly added bullets to mark the number of people they killed in the field. The part that was alarming was this type of behavior was encouraged and the extra markings were like right of passage for the officers. This is still being investigated and it’s been hard to locate further information about it despite it not being the first time, police and tattoos have been in the news before.
People often associate tattoos with criminals or corruption for one reason or another. With Cops stories like the one above and the following it’s no wonder custom tattoos get a bad rap…
The Rampart Scandal
Los Angeles, California.
The City of Angels. Well back in the 1990’s, some of city’s Fallen Angels wore blue and we’re not talking about LA’s famous Crips. We’re talking about another gang, the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums or CRASH anti-gang unit of the Los Angeles Police Department, Rampart Division.
CRASH officers not only collected their paychecks from taxpayers, a few of them even collected money from incarcerated Hip-Hop Industry Head, Suge Knight, known for being a bad mofo and their were even a few officers involved in the Drive-By shooting of the late Rapper, the Notorious B.I.G.
One of the caught cops, in an ironic twist, ending up being the Narc and Narc’ed out other officers, a total of 70 accused, of which 58 were found guilty of wrong-doing and charged. The popular TV Show, The Shield, and the landmark video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas features elements inspired by the CRASH cats.
Those in Rampart embodied and embraced a pretty hard culture and a right of passage was to wear the tattoo of the unit logo: a skull with a cowboy hat, circled by a Poker “Dead Man’s Hand,” all Aces and Eights.
Kinda sends chills to think those who are paid to protect and serve might be breaking the law. Sounds a bit like the politicians…
While innocent until proven guilty, hopefully light will be shed on other corruption taking place out there.
Until the next time, this is your favorite Hawaii Tattoo Shop, 434 Tattoo, reporting.