San Francisco

DA Responds to Accusations of Withholding Evidence in SFPD Use-of-Force Case

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San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin fired back against accusations his office withheld key evidence that could exonerate an officer accused of excessive force.

Boudin in a briefing held Thursday morning insisted his independent investigations followed the rules. The press conference comes after Police Chief Bill Scott the previous night announced a decision to dissolve a key agreement regarding the investigation of excessive force cases.

"The MOU dramatically improved police accountability, and it decreased unnecessary, even if and when lawful, use of force by police," Boudin said.

The district attorney is facing tough questions after one of his investigators testified last week that she was pressured by DA staff to withhold information from the police department.

The recent fallout is tied to the ongoing trial involving Officer Terrance Stangel, who is accused of beating Dacari Spiers while responding to a domestic violence 911 call in 2019.

During a police commission hearing on Thursday night, Scott defended his move to dissolve the agreement.

"Very shaken, for lack of a better term, by what was brought out in court regarding nonadherence to the MOU," Scott said.

Boudin insists this is all designed to distract from the Stangel trial.

"We have done absolutely everything by the book in this case," Boudin said. "There is not one iota of evidence in this case of misconduct under my administration."

Without the MOU in place, Boudin said they will revert to investigate police officer use of force cases the way they used to.

"We'll go back to continuing to show up as quickly as we find out," Boudin said. "we'll go back to talking to witnesses outside of police lines if they don't let us in."

Boudin said he will be reaching out to talk with Scott to see if the agreement is salvageable.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya released the following statement on Thursday:

"Apparently, Chief Bill Scott has joined the tens of thousands of San Franciscans who have zero trust in District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s ability to discern right from wrong. Implicit bias against police officers is rampant amongst the cadre of public defenders and criminal defense attorneys that Boudin recruited to his office. As a former criminal defense attorney himself, Boudin’s continued win at all costs efforts on behalf of defendants, no matter the damage to crime victims, has spread like a cancer in his office and has made our city less safe."

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