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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Homeless Man Beaten By Sheriff’s Deputy Set to Receive $150K From SF

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:58 PM

click image Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lewelling, beater of homeless man, coster of $150,000. - ABC 7
  • ABC 7
  • Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lewelling, beater of homeless man, coster of $150,000.
A week after San Francisco police shot and killed a homeless man in the Mission District, another homeless man is set to receive a $150,000 settlement from the city for his own violent (but less lethal) encounter with law enforcement. 

On Nov. 3, 2014, Fernando Guanill was beaten up at San Francisco General Hospital by sheriff’s Deputy Michael Lewelling. Lewelling, who was prosecuted by District Attorney George Gascon, received only three years of probation after his conviction on a felony charge of assault under the color of authority — and after initially arresting Guanill on a false charge of assault on the deputy.

Guanill had arrived early at the hospital for an appointment regarding knee replacement surgery and had fallen asleep in a waiting area. Video surveillance footage shows Lewelling, 34, confront Guanill, who was 59 at the time and walked with a cane, before attacking the man.

In January, despite the video evidence and calls from the District Attorney’s Office for jail time, Superior Court Judge Ellen Chaitin sentenced Lewelling to three years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

“It makes me think there is no justice,” Guanill told ABC7 News in January.

According to the most-recent reports, Lewelling is still a deputy in Sheriff Vicki Hennessy's department. 

The $150,000 settlement, which the Board of Supervisors received for approval Tuesday, comes just days after another homeless man, Luis Gongora, was fatally shot by police officers in the Mission District. SFPD claims Gongora was posing a threat to officers, but numerous witnesses dispute that assertion.

Police are expected to hold a town hall meeting today to discuss the shooting — but, as SFist pointed out, it might be difficult for many to attend since it’s scheduled for noon. Typically, these types of community outreach efforts are held in the evening. 
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