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LA Sheriff's Oversight Panel To Subpoena All Records On Kobe Crash Photos

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Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. (Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission today voted to subpoena the Sheriff's Department for all records, documents and communications regarding allegations that photos of the Kobe Bryant crash site were destroyed and that an investigation was suppressed.

The commission granted County Inspector General Max Huntsman's request for a subpoena; he detailed a long list of materials he wants to inspect, including "county employees involved in deciding how the matter involving the photographs would be handled."

Villanueva indicated yesterday he would defy any subpoena from Huntsman, saying he has no authority under state law to issue one.

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It's been reported that some deputies who arrived at the crash scene Jan. 26 took graphic photos and shared them. The Los Angeles Times subsesquently reported that there was a coverup, and NBC4 reported that Villanueva admitted he ordered deputies to delete photos.

The sheriff said his department is investigating the incident and will make its conclusions public when it's done.

The oversight panel also voted to "take all necessary and appropriate steps" to enforce another subpoena that Villanueva ignored, which called on him to appear at today's meeting to discuss his efforts to contain COVID-19 in the jails. Those steps could include asking a judge to order the sheriff to comply with the subpoena.

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