Update on San Francisco Police Department Video Scandal: Total of 57 Cases Dropped

SF police officer obscures a video camera during an arrest. Click to watch video.
Update 11:31 a.m. KQED’s Peter Jon Shuler reports the following from George Gascon’s press conference on the SFPD scandal that involves illegal police conduct during arrests:

SF DA Gascon is dropping 42 more cases, putting the total at 57. These represent cases that are pending or open cases, or involve people in custody. They haven’t begun to look at cases that are closed. That’s the next step but Gascon won’t speculate on how many closed cases might be involved.

Update 4:38 p.m. The Chronicle has a story up now.

Earlier post:

Yesterday afternoon, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office sent out an update on the scandal involving the squad of undercover police officers whose purported illegal conduct during arrests — caught on a series of videos — has caused the D.A. to drop a growing number of cases. Matier & Ross report today that the D.A. may abandon more than 40 cases in total.

The D.A. is holding a press conference today, so we could have a more definite total soon…

Here’s the rundown of cases dropped so far, from Tamara Barak Aparton of the Public Defender’s Office.

Total cases dropped since scandal: 13

Cases with video dropped: 4 (3 public defender cases, 1 private attorney case)

Cases dropped Monday: 1 (public defender case)

Cases dropped Tuesday: 8 (5 public defender cases, 3 private attorney cases)

Tuesday’s dropped cases: 1. Public Defender Client: Man, 23, Charge: Grand theft from a person, misdemeanor.(Robbery Abatement Team case) Arrest: Jan. 12, 2011, Sixth and Market Officers involved: Buhagiar, Elias, Razzak, Forneris, Christ, Madrid, Kane Max exposure: 1 year

2. Private Attorney Client: codefendant of Client 1. Private Attorney: Nicole Gianciti Charge: Grand theft from a person, misd.(Robbery Abatement Team case) Arrest: Jan. 12, 2011, Sixth and Market Officers involved: Buhagiar, Elias, Razzak, Forneris, Christ, Madrid, Kane Max exposure: 1 year

3. Public Defender client: Man, 52 Charge: Multiple counts of possession of heroin and cocaine for sale, felony. Was scheduled for trial April 22 Arrest: Oct. 2, 2010, Tenderloin (was passenger in a car) Officers involved: Christ (reviewing officer), Razzak (reporting officer, testified at preliminary hearing Dec. 27 and 28) Elias, Madrid, Forneris, Yick, Buhagiar Max exposure: 35 years

4. Public Defender client, man Charge: possession for sale of crack, felony Arrested: July 30, 2010 in front of Henry Hotel (he was a resident). Officers involved: Elias Maximum exposure: 27 years, four months

5. Public Defender Client: Man, 35 Charge: Marijuana sales, felony Arrested: Feb. 16, 2011, Market and Sixth (sidewalk buy-bust) Officers involved: Madrid (reporting officer), Christ (reviewing officer), Buhagiar, Razzak, Elias, Kane, Forneris

6. Private Attorney Client: Man, 55 (Client #5 co-defendant) Private Attorney: Franz Feutsch Charge: Marijuana sales, felony Arrested: Feb. 16, 2011, Market and Sixth (sidewalk buy-bust) Officers involved: Madrid (reporting officer), Christ (reviewing officer), Buhagiar, Razzak, Elias, Kane, Forneris

6. Public Defender Client: Man, 43 Charge: Second-degree auto burglary, accepting stolen property (felonies) Arrested: Oct. 17, 2010, 10th and Bryant streets Officers involved: Razzak, Yick Maximum Exposure: Life

7. Private Attorney Client: Man, 28 Private Attorney: Jonah Chew Charge: Two counts of drug sales Arrested: Sept. 4, 2010 Officers involved: Buhagiar, Yick, Razzak

Aparton also said that she didn’t know how many more private cases connected to the scandal have been dropped.

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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