Adachi claims police misconduct in new videos

November 3, 2011 8:28:56 PM PDT
San Francisco's public defender is releasing a new piece of video he claims shows yet another case of police misconduct.

Jeff Adachi has released a series of security camera videos since March. He said they show excessive force, false arrests and thefts by police. Now, he's got another video. He's also running for mayor and that makes some suspicious of the timing of Thursday's news conference.

Through a translator store owner Charles Tran said, "I was detained and abused without any particular reason by several police officers."

Tran said a police officer arrested him in August while he was simply reporting a fight that happened between his employee and a truck driver. Adachi said the officer falsely accused Tran of taking a fighting stance.

"Dishonesty of this kind cannot be tolerated. We're calling today for a zero tolerance policy," said Adachi.

Security tape shows what happened. An undercover cop leaves while Tran talks to a uniformed officer. Adachi said the officer pushed him away and for no reason cuffed him. Then, pinned against a wall, he says the officer used excessive force by kicking Tran's legs out, causing him to fall.

"I don't think that there's the smoking gun here that Mr. Adachi would suggest," said San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.

Suhr said he saw Tran make a fist while his hand was at his side.

"It speaks to him clenching a fist, it shows that in the video. He does posture which would appear to be offensive and in the report, it speaks to a fighting stance," said Suhr.

Suhr also said the officer was just trying to help Tran sit down when he kicked his legs out.

"Maybe it would have been better if the officer actually would have had hands on his upper body, but if you view the videos, nothing appears to be over the top," said Suhr.

Adachi is a candidate for mayor. Interim Mayor Ed Lee, who's also running, questions the timing of the video's release.

"I'm hoping that Mr. Adachi isn't using this time frame to unveil videos that he may have had in his hand because that's kind of sleuth campaigning if you will," said Lee.

Adachi said his investigation ended just this week and that he did consider holding the video until after the election, but he said he deferred to the victim and his family.

"After meeting with the individuals, they expressed that they wanted to go forward," said Adachi.

Adachi also spoke of five cases where he said Mission station officers stole property and cash during searches. All of these cases and the video have been turned over to the FBI. Suhr gave the video to Internal Affairs.


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