Ruben Palomares was raised in poverty, beaten by a drunken stepfather and bullied by other kids, the Los Angeles Times says. His favorite uncle – was killed in a drug deal. He became a Los Angeles police officer, but he now is in federal prison, the admitted mastermind of a violent band of allegedly rogue officers and others who committed armed robberies staged to look like law enforcement raids. He has agreed to cooperate with investigators in hopes that he’ll be released some day; he has agreed to plead guilty to charges that carry a potential life sentence.
Court files containing a psychological evaluation of Palomares and interviews with friends, family, and co-workers offer revealing details about his journey from idealistic officer to corrupt cop, the Times reports. The documents portray a man who began his career as a wide-eyed recruit, wanting nothing more than to fulfill the LAPD’s motto of “to protect and to serve,” one psychologist wrote in a court evaluation. Ultimately, he “threw in the towel and gave in to being the type of bad person he had so long fought against becoming.”