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LA Panel on Sheriff Gangs Stymied as Witnesses Fail to Show Up

  • Commission to seek jailing of former division chief Burson
  • ‘Climate of fear’ in Sheriff’s Department, commissioner says
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex VillanuevaPhotographer: Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo

A Los Angeles commission probing the presence of gang members in the county sheriff’s department is being stonewalled, with witnesses refusing to testify despite being subpoenaed and some claiming they fear for their safety or careers.

A planned five-hour hearing was cut short when no witnesses showed up Friday, prompting the commission to direct its lawyers to seek enforcement of a subpoena in state court issued to Matthew Burson, a former division chief in the LA Sheriff’s Department who failed to appear.