Who is Cecil Rhambo?

Part one: The LASD version of Cecil Rhambo that everyone knew:

Coverups, questionable shootings, ‘deputy gangs’ and his best friend, Viking Paul Tanaka.

‘Candidate’ Rhambo is unrecognizable to the thousands who served along side and under his command at the LASD. His campaign makeover borders on fraud.

In what appears to be the most impressive case of transformation ever, the campaign promises of Cecil Rhambo have sent shockwaves through members of the LASD. Insiders who visited Rhambo’s campaign website say the “new” Cecil Rhambo is a baffling and unrecognizable transformation from the Rhambo they used to know.  Once regarded as “one of the fellas” former friends and subordinates are left speechless, only shaking their head in disbelief at what can only be described as blatantly pandering hypocrisy.

To say Cecil Rhambo had a devoted following during his ascent to assistant sheriff on the LASD would be an understatement.  He was said to be a cops cop with a bright future.  While a lieutenant, Rhambo endorsed very aggressive county-wide policing styles and as Captain he is said to have been one of the deputies’ more favored commanders of the Compton Sheriff’s Station.  Then at the rank of division chief who oversaw a group of patrol stations boasting the highest number of deputy involved shootings, he routinely gave the benefit of the doubt to deputies who ‘mistakenly’ shot unarmed suspects. In fact as a division chief,  Rhambo preferred to deal with “bad shootings” as simple training issues. 

Friends say Rhambo rarely used his biracial ancestry as an excuse or a reason for advantage. He was a smooth and likable guy who would rather talk about a good cigar and his custom suits than department related business. Deputy unions and lawyers charged with appealing harsh discipline for a variety of duty-related misconduct liked to deal with Rhambo for his propensity to overturn the department’s disciplinary guidelines. Rhambo was seen as a genuine deputy who climbed the ranks and despite negligently shooting two of his own partners in the line of duty on two different occasions, Cecil Rhambo enjoyed a solid following from the rank in file.

Don’t misunderstand, strong leadership and appropriate support of subordinates is a very good thing.  But when you were at the highest ranks of the worlds largest sheriff’s department for years, and then run a campaign that blames decades of poor leadership for today’s problems like you had nothing to do with it, that’s where the wheels come flying off.

Soon after Cecil Rhambo announced his candidacy for sheriff, those who knew him for decades were struck nauseous by his drastic flip to reinvented policing philosophies obviously shaped to appeal to the “defund the police” mentality in a post George Floyd world.  Rhambo’s videos and campaign statements  went viral among department members both present and past. Members of a closed Facebook group that lists over 2500 department employees were not shy about exposing the truth.

Take special note that Rhambo’s associations with Paul Tanaka and Bernice Abrams are mentioned repeatedly. You will see these names again in future articles.

The legacy which Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo left behind is not a record he can run on.  It’s okay though. The Candidate version of Cecil Rhambo says he will fix all this.

During his time as Captain of Compton Sheriff’s Station, Rhambo led from the front and his deputies had few complaints. But today, Compton Sheriff’s Station is rife with allegations of deputy gangs and allegations of murder. The alleged deputy gang called the Executioners existed under Rhambo’s command and he knew it while he was in charge.  What did he do about it?  Nothing. 

When he was promoted to Division Chief on the recommendation of his best friend Paul Tanaka, Chief Rhambo oversaw patrol stations in Compton, Lennox, Century, Carson, East LA, West Hollywood and Cerritos.  All of these stations have their own allegations of “deputy gangs” among their ranks.  Lennox  Station, (now South LA Station) are known for their “Grim Reapers”, Century Sheriff’s Station has not one but two “deputy gangs” who reportedly fight with one another.  One is called the Regulators and the other the Spartans.  And East Los Angeles Station, said to have had deputy gangs for generations, is known as the home of the notorious Banditos.  As Assistant Sheriff in charge of Custody Division, Rhambo knew about the ‘2000 Boys’ and the ‘3000 Boys’ both alleged deputy gangs who were accused of terrorizing inmates at the Men’s Central Jail.  The scandal regarding abuse by the 2000 and 3000 Boys resulted in an FBI investigation that led to the imprisonment of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and a dozen deputies and supervisors.

Yet the new and improved version of Candidate for Sheriff Cecil Rhambo wants us all to believe he stood up to corruption and testified against his friend Paul Tanaka in that FBI investigation.

As the Assistant Sheriff in charge of Custody Division, the buck stopped with Rhambo, not Paul Tanaka.  Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the FBI and the Department of Justice had to have investigated Rhambo along with Paul Tanaka.  So how did Rhambo escape prosecution?  Could it be he decided to testify in lieu of prosecution? 

Think about it.  How does the person in charge of the world’s largest jail escape prosecution for a pattern of ongoing inmate abuse?  He agrees to cooperate with the FBI of course.  So when Cecil Rhambo tells us he fought corruption and points to the fact he testified against Paul Tanaka, you need to ask yourself a serious question that goes to Rhambo’s motive. 

There’s an old saying that there is no honor among thieves.  There’s also no honor among corrupt cops either.

We will be exploring the record of Cecil Rhambo much more in soon to be released posts. Whether you agree with his campaign promises or not isn’t the point. Similar to the problem of Alex Villanueva’s own stunning political makeover, the serious matter in front of voters is deciding Rhambo’s true identity. There is a better choice than these two.