SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi With Fernado Santana, a photo by zennie62 on Flickr.
In a press conference today, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi showed a series of videos that, his office holds, shows the San Francisco Police Department conducting illegal searches and committing police brutality.
This is the second time in three months the San Francisco Public Defender has stepped forward with video showing SFPD misconduct. The first time resulted in a still-ongoing Federal investigation.
Mr. Adachi's department has provided this blogger with the videos, which were segmented. They are, as this is written, being put into sequential order to run as one video. That video will be ready this afternoon.
Adachi, along with his Chief Attorney, Matt Gonzalez, called for a zero-tolerance policy for police officers who commit perjury in San Francisco.
As to what happened, on December 30th, four San Francisco police officers - Ricardo Guerrero, Peter Richardson, Robert Sanchez, and Sergeant Kevin Healy - entered the residential hotel called The Jefferson Hotel. They were in plain clothes, without badges, and looked like, "thugs" to quote a person at the scene.
There, they illegally (without a warrant) searched the room of 48-year-old Fernando Santana, and in the process, they say, stole his property.
The officers claimed that crack cocaine was in his hands, outstretched, but the video shows Santana's hands in his pockets.
A bystander named "Joe," walked up to see what was going on. As the video shows, officers Ricardo Guerrero and Peter Richardson race to catch the man, after he realized he was going to be beaten up, as he believed. Remember, and he told this blogger, he did not know they were cops.
They caught him,and as the video shows, roughed him up and at one point choked him. They searches him and found nothing. The police report does not go into detail, calling it a brief "detention."
The main problem for the SFPD is explaining why Guerrero walked out of Santana's room with a black duffel bag. The bag was never booked as evidence.
Also, Guerrero found Santana not after "seeing him conducting a narcotics transaction" but after "casing the joint" that is the hotel, going from floor to floor, looking for trouble, armed with a residential master key that allows him to just walk into any room of the building.
This is the latest in a string of incidents where videos show a reality different that what is in the SF police reports.