Los Angeles County sheriff's officials launched an investigation Friday into a "stupid joke" a deputy from the agency's jailhouse intelligence unit allegedly played on two black colleagues, a department spokesman said.
The deputy sent an email to the rest of his unit — including his boss — singling out the two black deputies, the spokesman confirmed. "Due to the recent tension between the black and Hispanics, I implemented a new unit," Deputy Mickey Manzo, who is not black, allegedly wrote. "Please give them your full support."
Apparently attached to the email was a document depicting a Black Power fist in between the words "BLACK PANTHER LASD." At the bottom of the document is a slogan for the fictitious new unit, "PUTTING IT DOWN AND KEEPING IT REAL," and the names of the two black deputies.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department received notice of the 2009 email in January. He said a departmental review panel looked at it and recommended a low-level probe. But after a call from The Times on Friday, he said it was decided the agency would conduct a formal internal affairs investigation.