Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Results of High-Profile Cases Suppressed by the DA

Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Results of High-Profile Cases Suppressed by the DA

Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Results of High-Profile Cases Suppressed by the DA 1024 679 SIB Staff

On Thursday, November 3, 2022, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference to discuss the results of four high-profile cases that were suppressed by the Office of the District Attorney (DA). The cases are: Anthony Weber, Andres Guardado, Dijon Kizzee, and Enzo Escalante.  

Sheriff Villanueva said whistleblowers from the District’s Attorney’s Office provided Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) with “disturbing and disappointing information.” Cases assigned to the District Attorney Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) were intentionally withheld from the public’s release to avoid criticism from supporters during the recall effort of District Attorney George Gascon as well as to affect the outcome of the Sheriff’s election. 

The shooting of Anthony Webber happened on February 4, 2018, during the time of Villanueva’s predecessor. The case was submitted to the JSID by the LASD Homicide Bureau on September 25, 2018. On February 17, 2022, the case was signed off as justifiable by Deputy District Attorney Joseph Iniguez. 

The shooting of Andres Guardado occurred on June 18, 2020, and the case was submitted to the JSID by the LASD Homicide Bureau on December 19, 2020. Director Diana Teran signed off the Deputy Involved Shooting case on January 12, 2022, as justifiable.   

Dijon Kizzee’s shooting occurred on August 31, 2020. The case was submitted to JSID by the LASD Homicide Bureau on June 22, 2021, and District Attorney George Gascon signed it off on May 25, 2022, as justifiable.   

Lastly, a use of force incident that occurred in the San Fernando Court lockup on March 10, 2021, was submitted to the JSID by the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau on April 14, 2022. This case was signed off by George Gascon last month, on October 3, 2022, and he declined to file charges.  

The Sheriff mentioned these types of cases presented which are presented to the DA are devastating for both parties. Many times, there is a tragic loss of human life. Families need closure; deputies do not know if they will be charged, and lives are disrupted on both sides. Administrative investigations must wait until results from the DA’s office are disclosed. The Community is also forming and making decisions based on the information, or lack of information, that the DA had in these cases and chose not to release for months.     

“When we do our investigations, good, bad and different results, we have to present them and do what we’re supposed to do, take action, administratively we take action. We present the case to the District Attorney and the Attorney General if it’s a federal case. Still, we don’t withhold things for material gain or political advantage, and this is exactly what’s happened with all four cases, and I’m… I’m disappointed but not shocked,” said Sheriff Villanueva. 

The Sheriff’s Department will contact the Office of the Attorney General to request an investigation and examine if the District Attorney has been engaged in electioneering and using his office to influence the outcome of the election by suppressing information.