SFPD officer with disturbing allegations from his past raises questions on background checks

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- How an SFPD officer with disturbing allegations from his past could be accepted into the police academy is raising questions.

Just how thorough are those background checks mandated for every peace officer? It appears background checks don't catch everything, which may explain why this particular officer was able to slip through the cracks.

In a news conference last month, the officer detailed the harassment he says he's endured while working at the San Francisco Police Department.

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"I experienced racial and religious harassment and also witnessed blatant misconduct against citizens," he said.

The officer, of Afghan descent, doesn't want to be identified for safety reasons. But since coming forward, ABC7 News has learned that he was the subject of a Napa Police all points bulletin five years ago for claiming to have been a high-level CIA agent on a dating website and that he was involved in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Then, two years later, the officer applied to Oakland Police, but a source says was kicked out for "untruthfulness" in class assignments.

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"There could be all kinds of reasons that people leave the police academy and still could be hired somewhere else," said Retired SFPD Captain Rich Corriea. Corriea is also co-chair of USF's International Institute of Criminal Justice Leadership. He says every peace officer goes through a state-run background check.

"If you're not arrested and a police report is not generated, then you might not pick it up in a backgrounds investigation," said Corriea.

According to his attorney, the officer "denies putting himself out there as a CIA agent and using an alias. He also denies saying anything about Osama Bin Laden". As for the officer's complaints against SFPD, they're still under investigation -- being conducted by the department's internal affairs and the city's Equal Employment Opportunity office.
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