(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A federal grand jury has indicted five San Francisco police officers and one former officer on charges including extortion, drug dealing and theft. The indictments follow a broad federal investigation initiated after San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi released a series of surveillance videos in 2011 that he says showed a pattern of misconduct by officers. We discuss the charges and the fallout from the indictments.

Guests:
Jeff Adachi, public defender for the City and County of San Francisco
Jim Hammer, former San Francisco prosecutor

  • thucy

    I’m sorry, but Jeff Adachi is literally the only politician in San Francisco I can trust. His team at the Public Defender’s office is unbelievably bright and disciplined. They’re also fearless. Thank you, Mr. Adachi.

  • Guest

    When I was on a business trip a couple years ago, I picked up a local paper and there was a story about a small town police chief going to prison for inducing drug-offending minors to have sex with him. I asked around and people said another cop in the same small town was in jail for selling prescription drugs.

  • thucy

    I’d like to know if any of the indicted officers had previously worked in SFPD’s Narcotics Division. I am neither a drug user nor a drinker, but after I was harrassed for no reason by a white, male SFPD Captain (who came out of the Narcotics Div), I met several times with Jeff Adachi’s staff members, and for my own “peace of mind” contacted a journalist who had covered this Captain’s previous misconduct, which had included severely beating a suspect, then claiming the suspect had “injured himself” by falling down.
    The Captain (then an officer) was not only not fired for that offense, but promoted.
    That Captain was working in Narcotics at the time of his beating of the suspect, and many I spoke with said that Narcotics officers have a higher rate of misconduct. It’s also journalist David Simon’s assertion that Narcotics divisions have largely corrupted police departments across the country.

    • thucy

      One thing I found deeply troubling was learning that all meaningful details of the SFPD Commission minutes for police misconduct have been ENTIRELY redacted online. In the case of the Captain who harrassed me, I only learned details of the misconduct because the minutes up to the late 1990’s are still available in bound volumes at SFPL. That’s right – if you want accountability in this town, you gotta go to the little old ladies at the library (go to the Gov’t section). But for over 15 years now, the public has had no access to details of police misconduct, NOR THE AMOUNT THE TAXPAYER HAS HAD TO PAY TO VICTIMS OF POLICE ABUSE. How does that constitute accountability?
      People say that New York and New Jersey are corrupt. I beg to differ. People simply NOTICE corruption back East because they are actually paying attention to City governments. Here, it’s considered impolite for citizens to demand accountability. And if you do demand accountability, expect to pay a steep price.

  • thucy

    Please ask Prosecutor Hammer why the SFPD Commission minutes on police misconduct have continued to be withheld from the taxpaying public since the late 1990’s. Currently, all meaningful details, including the name of the officer, and the details surrounding their misconduct, are redacted ENTIRELY.
    It is grossly unfair and disrespectful to good officers to cover-up the abusive officers.

  • Bob Fry

    Only 6? No doubt more than those, and no doubt the corruption goes way higher up. As usual, find the fewest, lowest level scapegoats you can.

  • Ben Rawner

    I have personally experienced police lying over and over again. It’s like a fraternity of corruption that goes all the way to the top. Power corrupts and then corrupts some more.

  • Chomsky_P

    I am skeptical that this behavior is limited to these 6 individuals. Why not legalize drugs and eliminate the incentives for abuse? That seems to me to be the only way to eliminate the incentive for police abuse and for unjust incarceration and treatment.

  • thucy

    Prosecutor Hammer is in denial, police ROUTINELY lie, as required by prosecutor agendas. From The NY Times:

    “Peter Keane, a former San Francisco Police commissioner, wrote an article in The San Francisco Chronicle decrying a police culture that treats lying as the norm: “Police officer perjury in court to justify illegal dope searches is commonplace. One of the dirty little not-so-secret secrets of the criminal justice system is undercover narcotics officers intentionally lying under oath. It is a perversion of the American justice system that strikes directly at the rule of law. Yet it is the routine way of doing business in courtrooms everywhere in America.”

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/02/03/opinion/sunday/why-police-officers-lie-under-oath.html

  • Don

    Why would I trust an organization that parks legally to have breakfast. Who ignore people on the street asking for help? It’s just things as simple as parking in front of a fire hydrant rather than passing for a meter that show that sfpd seem entitled to do what they want.

  • Dominick Elias Kaufman Simonet

    doesn’t disprove that the drug wars not working we spend billions of dollars to trying to enforce this and all it does is lead to corruption

  • Michele Bertolli

    90%
    of police officers and staff are criminals. I’m sorry, but that figure
    is not a fantasy. We all know for a fact, the Tenderloin precinct makes
    200% of its’ revenue from extortion, theft, drug dealing and other
    crimes. The real question we need to be discussing is, what are we doing
    to dismantle the nationwide Prison Industrial Complex, NOW?

  • thucy

    Dear Host Myrow:
    PLEASE use this opportunity to get Jim Hammer on the record about the total redactions in the SFPD Commission minutes dealing with police misconduct since the late 1990’s.

    • thucy

      Jeez, moving onto the next segment early? It was such a basic, necessary question.

      • Michele Bertolli

        I’m sure the whole discussion was carefully prescripted

  • don

    as a suburban white male i could never relate to the distrust that many segments of the poor or minority communities have toward the police. i would have never believed that police actually commit crimes against citizens and i think most people in my position will never be the victim of a crime committed against them by a police officer. my world was rocked, however, when in 2009 i was in a working class neighborhood (mostly hispanic i think) in the outer mission waiting in front of a corner store for my boss to pick me up for work. it was around 6a.m. and there were few people out. two caucasian police officers walking by very aggressively demanded to know what i was doing in the neighborhood. with hardly a second to respond i was forced against the wall and every pocket dug through. i don’t bring a wallet to work because i work in construction and it gets in the way. thus, my pockets usually have only keys and cash on work days. after the search the officers told me to ‘get out of our neighborhood and we better not see you back here’. i was very frightened and felt grateful i wasn’t beat up or worse because that’s what it seemed like they were prepared to do. i walked as fast as i could the two blocks to mission street and caught a bus home, missing work that day. it wasn’t until i got home that i checked my pockets and realized they had taken the $120.00 i had in my pocket. when i tell my white friends about this they are aghast – not a single white person i know has ever been shaken down or assaulted by a police officer. we often think the police are our friends and that people calling for accountability and meaningful citizen commissions are just trying to keep police from doing their job.

    i still reel in shock when i think about what happened to me. i never thought it would happen to me and i thought that police only rob citizens in third world countries where they don’t get paid enough. i still don’t think police are all bad or unnecessary but now i believe without a doubt that poor and minorities communities are rightfully distrustful of the authorities because now i believe that reports of police abuse coming out of those communities are more true than not.while i might live in an area where i would still call the police for help i can see why other communities don’t. therefore, no matter how good things are in nice communities, if the police department victimizes and fails to protect citizens in higher crime communities then it is a failure in whole in my view.

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