As of late, a series of videos has been making headlines more often for busting cops than for catching robbers. Today, Public Defender Jeff Adachi has gotten his hands on yet more surveillance that he says shows cops being the robbers.
In the latest episode of Adachi vs. the SFPD, San Francisco police officers are blatantly stealing a laptop and a camera from a man's hotel room -- items they never booked into evidence, according to Adachi. The scandalous clip has just gone up on his YouTube channel.
Police Chief Greg Suhr says the cops have been removed from their
plainclothes duties while the department investigates the allegations.
This particular drama began on February 25, 2010, at the Julian Hotel, a residential hotel at 179 Julian Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets in the Mission. The cast: Mission Station Officers Ricardo
Guerrero, Reynaldo Vargas, Jacob Fegan, Christopher Servat, and Adam
In the police report, Fegan wrote that police had been
tipped off by a confidential informant about Jesus "Jessie" Ryes, 64.
The cops approached him as he was sitting in his minivan and Reyes
agreed to let the police search his van and hotel room.
Yet Reyes tells a very different version. He says he never
gave permission for the cops to rifle though his van or his room -- he even asked the officers whether they had a search warrant, but they never responded. After Reyes was booked into jail, his reading glasses were taken away, and he was later asked to sign a form that he thought was to release his property back to him, according to the public defender's office. What he was really signing was a search consent form.
Reyes' version of the story already puts the cops in a bad light, but then you add the new allegations that the officers stole some of his property, and it becomes even more nefarious.
When Reyes got out of jail, his wife said that a laptop computer and Sony camera had gone missing from their room. Adachi has footage from the hotel
that shows Guerrero leaving the hotel with a bag that looks
suspiciously like it holds a laptop. Vargas is carrying a second bag, yet neither bag was checked into evidence, Adachi says.
In a statement, Adachi said "This incident, coupled with similar footage
at the Henry, Royan, and Jefferson hotels, indicates there are groups of
officers engaging in systematic misconduct."
Chief Suhr was quick to react. The newly minted chief released a statement, saying that if the investigation
confirms these allegations, the officers will be punished.
discipline will be swift and severe, up to and including termination
depending on the findings. The hardworking men and women of the San
Francisco Police Department will not tolerate dishonesty within their