San Francisco to Dismiss Dozens of Drug Cases For Police Misconduct
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced today that his office will drop at least 57 drug cases due to perjury, illegal searches and other misconduct by police officers.
The investigation has been prompted by a series of surveillance videotapes — released by Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender, and private defense lawyers — showing officers suspected of falsifying reports, illegally entering residences and, in one instance, making a purposefully flawed arrest for drug possession.
“This is not a game,” Mr. Gascón said. “This is real, this involves people’s lives, not only for those who have been incarcerated, but for victims.”
The feds are now investigating officers from the city's Southern Station. The public defender says thousands of cases may be in jeopardy. [More...]
The current police chief has vowed that every undercover officer in San Francisco will undergo retraining in search and seizure procedure. "“It doesn’t make a difference to me if there’s a hundred or a thousand, they’re all going to get retrained,” he said." He also has promised an audit of "every operation in the city."
This continues a poor record by San Francisco law enforcement. Last year, hundreds of cases were dismissed due to fraud by a lab tech who was stealing cocaine from the seized samples.
Before becoming District Attorney, Gascon was the city's police chief. Good for him for taking decisive action. But this misconduct dates back several years. Why didn't he catch it during his tenure as chief?
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