New alleged SFPD misconduct video surfaces

March 7, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
There are new accusations of police misconduct in San Francisco. Two more drug cases have been tossed and there are two new undercover officers whose conduct is being questioned. Last week three cases were dropped.

The list appears to be growing. ABC7 learned Monday that one case involved a drug arrest that was supposed to go to trial next week. But the district attorney dropped it because some of the officers in that case are the same ones under investigation. The second case happened in early December.

Attorney Scott Sugarman pointed out in a security video that his client was wearing a black jacket when he went into the Henry Hotel in early December. Officers later raided a room where the man and several others had gathered. They found drugs in the pocket of a light colored jacket draped on a chair and claimed it belonged to Sugarman's client.

"Officer Buhagiar says that the man is wearing a white and tan jacket and in fact, he's wearing a black jacket," San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said.

"The officers made a false accusation and jailed an innocent man," Sugarman said.

The man was jailed for three weeks. He was released when prosecutors dropped the case, fearing they would have to reveal in court documents the name of an informant who was in the room.

The video is the fourth video to surface showing what Adachi claims is police misconduct. He says the previous three cases involved illegal searches and falsified police reports. Last week, he released three videos of police raids at two South of Market hotels.

Adachi says the latest case involves something more frightening.

"The police in this case framed an innocent man," he said. "That represents the scariest thing that could happen to anyone in this society."

The three cases reported last week were either dismissed in court or dropped by prosecutors. The six officers participating in those raids were re-assigned to desk duty while the FBI and district attorney's office investigate.

In the latest case, not only were many of the same officers involved, but they were also joined by others. That concerns Adachi.

"What that suggests is that the pattern and practice we've seen in these cases are not limited to one small group of officers," Adachi said.

San Francisco police declined to talk about the two new cases, saying only that they are under investigation just like the other three.


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