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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SFPD Officers Committed Perjury in Reporting Drug Busts, Public Defender Claims

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Lawyers at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office today accused multiple police officers of committing perjury by falsely describing drug busts they conducted in written police reports.

At a press conference, deputy public defenders Tal Klement and Anne Irwin showed video taken by surveillance cameras during separate drug raids in December and January at the Henry Hotel, a residential hotel on Sixth Street's skid row.

In both instances, the defense attorneys said, the police officers failed to get consent from the apartment-dwellers before conducting warrantless searches for narcotics.

The officers also misrepresented their searches in later police reports,

the lawyers said, claiming they had secured consent beforehand when, in fact, they hadn't. Since these reports are written under oath, this was tantamount to

perjury, according to Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

"We are talking about a violation of constitutional rights and officers who lied about violating those rights," Adachi said, adding that he had already raised his concerns about police misconduct with District Attorney George Gascón. "We're asking for a complete investigation. Perjury is a crime. It is a felony."

That investigation might be complicated, however, by the fact that Gascón was police chief when both incidents took place.

Four officers were involved each time; two officers, Richard Yick and Arshad Razzaq, were involved in both incidents. While thesearches uncovered large amounts of heroin, cases against the defendants were dismissed by a judge and dropped by prosecutors, respectively, after the video footage surfaced.

You can read the police report on the December search here and on the January search here.

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Peter Jamison


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