San Francisco Police Severs Agreement With DA Over Police Shooting Investigations Bill Scott. (AP)
By Eric Mack | Thursday, 03 February 2022 12:19 PM
The San Francisco Police Department will no longer work with the district attorney's office in police-involved shootings after the district attorney's office allegedly withheld evidence from the SFPD in what would be the first trial of an on-duty officer for brutality, Chief Bill Scott said Wednesday.
"Very serious concerns have been brought to my attention regarding recent testimony in the Superior Court of the County of San Francisco from a member of the D.A.’s Office who was assigned as an investigator to your Independent Investigations Bureau at the time of the incident in question," Scott wrote Wednesday in a letter to DA Chesa Boudin, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Other evidence that was brought forward to the court corroborated the D.A. Investigator’s testimony as it related to violations of the (Memo Of Understanding) agreement.
"It appears that the D.A.’s Office has an ongoing practice of investigations against SFPD officers that includes withholding and concealing information and evidence the SFPD is entitled to have to further ancillary criminal investigations in accordance with the MOU.”
Scott has sought Attorney General Rob Bonta's guidance on terminating the agreement and options for a new one, according to the report.
A spokesperson for the DA's office told the Chronicle it was "disappointing but no coincidence SFPD chose to withdraw from this agreement during the first-ever trial against an on-duty San Francisco police officer for an unlawful beating."
"Since the [Memo of Understanding] MOU between our office and SFPD went into effect, our office has made enormous progress toward reducing police violence against San Franciscans and particularly people of color," spokesperson Rachel Marshall's statement added.
SFPD Officer Terrance Stangel is facing criminal battery and assault charges for beating a man with a baton. He was responding to a report of domestic violence.
Stangel's attorney has argued for the case to be dismissed for "misconduct" in the DA's handling of the case after investigator Magen Hayashi revealed she was instructed to mislead police. She also said she was instructed to not share information with police for their underlying domestic violence case, the Chronicle reported.
The MOU had laid out the sharing of information in SFPD and DA investigations.
SFPD Commissioner John Hamasaki said terminating the agreement "appeared to be a clear case of tampering with a jury," but Scott called that "extremely insulting and disappointing," according to the report.
Stangel attorney Nicole Pifari alleged the DA withheld incriminating evidence against Dacari Spiers, who Stangel had subdued with a baton because Spiers was beating his girlfriend.
A witness interviewed by the DA reportedly saw Spiers assaulting his girlfriend, but that evidence was not shared with the SFPD investigators, according to the report.