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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Videogate Cop -- Who Told Weekly He'd Never Resign -- Resigns

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Andrew Cohen, the outspoken cop who directed a video that caused the VideoGate scandal we wrote about in a 2007 feature, finally resigned from the force yesterday. Citing his fatigue from fighting a department seemingly pitted against him and railing him with an increasing number of disciplinary charges, Cohen will leave the department for good in July.

This is a 180-degree turnaround for the cop who told the Weekly back in 2008 that there's no way he'd give the department the pleasure of him going so easily. "They would love it if I quit," he said then. "The only reason I'm still around is I intend to see this thing to the end. If I were to lose, if I'm guilty of anything, I would fight it up to the Supreme Court. There's no way they're going to get away with this crap."

But four years after VideoGate and with the department under a new chief, it seems Cohen's fight has petered out. Cohen had hoped he could turn over a new leaf with Chief George Gascon; just a half year ago when Gascon was sworn in, Cohen told SF Weekly he was hoping the new chief would pardon him for the video that his superiors deemed racist and sexist, but Cohen insists was a parody stuffed with inside jokes meant for a department Christmas party. Cohen even put in a request to be a department public relations officer under Gascon, and asked reporters he'd spoken to for recommendations on his media savvy.

The public relations job pitch never went anywhere. But the chief did

send Cohen a letter in August agreeing with the department's Weapon Return Panel that Cohen remain stripped of his gun, a punishment for the video incident.  

It was just one more battle lost in what's been a bad war for Cohen since the 2005 video incident.

Cohen was reassigned from his Bayview beat to pushing paper in

the SFPD records department while he awaited his day before the

Police Commission. Yet the back-logged commission hasn't gotten around to

Cohen's case or those of the other six officers reassigned to "public

non-contact jobs" after the video. Cohen started penning a blog airing the department's

public laundry in which he called former Chief Heather Fong "Mommy

Dearest" and Gascon a "political puppet." Two years ago, we wrote about Cohen injuring himself on the job,

wrenching his shoulder in an attempt to save a recycling bin from

tipping over at the Hall of Justice while acting as the self-pronounced

"recycling czar of the records room."

So just where will a cop who makes politically incorrect videos go next? We can't be sure, but we heard Reno 911! is taking applications.


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Lauren Smiley


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