A Tradition Of Violence review

Rating –

A Tradition Of Violence logo

Sitting in my house in Britain, despite ridiculous amounts of government corruption and ineptitude, I am usually thankful that I don’t live in America. No offense to my American friends, they seem to have the same problems, but with the added threat of gun violence.

Being a cop in the USA, must be an awful job, facing real danger of death at every call. Journalist Cerise Castle has changed my opinion somewhat though. Allow me to explain.

So what’s it about?

Residing in the LA Sheriff’s department are a number of organized police gangs. These gangs are no different from the criminal organizations the police are sworn to stamp out. Tales of extortion, theft, and even murder are rife, and seem to be endorsed from the highest offices in the state.

As with criminal gangs, these groups of Sheriff’s deputies have scary names and all sport tattoos showing their commitment to each group. Whilst mostly white males, these gangs also recruit a number of ethnic groups to avoid being tagged as “white supremacist”. Having said that, there are some who are actual white supremacist groups (I mean, of course there are right?)

This podcast dives into stories of these gangs, and no punches are pulled. The stories and language are graphic and awful. It’s mind blowing to me that this goes on in the 21st century.

Is it any good?

Again, this is one of those podcasts I’m loath to describe as “good”. It’s a brilliantly written and researched podcast, and it’s absolutely necessary to shine a light on this behavior. For the most part though, the series is heartbreaking and rage inducing in almost equal measure.

As if the stories are not bad enough, when the deputies concerned actually make it to court to face justice, they invariably get off. The court costs? Picked up by the taxpayer. The Los Angeles taxpayer it seems is the LASD’s piggy bank to cover any legal costs they may get bothered with.

You may wonder why this is allowed to continue, why the people in charge don’t stop this. Well, the people in charge are also gang affiliated. Because of this, it makes it very hard for anyone else to move in and clean things up. I sincerely hope that this is a situation that can change. 

Final thoughts

This is a hard hitting and harrowing series that attempts to shed light into the corrupt inner workings of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. I appreciate that the stories told here may not be for everyone, but I do urge you to listen to it despite this.

Of all the possibly triggering podcasts I’ve reviewed, this ranks pretty low on the list, for me at least. Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone though. Real life isn’t all sweetness and light, and stories like this need to be told.

I would hope that if enough people listen to podcasts like this and cause enough of an outcry, then maybe things could change. You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.

You can read more about it, and find podcast links here:


Or wherever you get your podcasts