San Francisco police have released body-worn camera footage from a 2019 police encounter that left a man with a broken leg and wrist, after District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Monday the officer involved has been charged with assault and battery.
Prosecutors have charged Officer Terrance Stangel with battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault likely to cause great bodily injury and assault under color of authority in connection with an Oct. 2019 encounter with Dacari Spiers in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf area.
In addition to body-worn camera footage, police have also released the initial 911 call made reporting a man choking a woman. When Stangel and his partner, Officer Cuahtemoc Martinez, responded, a struggle ensued between Spiers and the two officers.
At one point, Martinez brought Spiers to the ground and Stangel struck Spiers’ legs with a baton multiple times. As a result, Spiers suffered a broken leg and wrist, as well as lacerations to his leg. He required surgery and stitches and was wheelchair-bound during his recovery, prosecutors said.
Although Spiers was not arrested, he was handcuffed and later cited for obstructing an officer, according to police.
“While I steadfastly believe that officers should be held accountable when they violate the law, I feel just as strongly that there needs to be balance in holding individuals accountable when they assault, physically attack, or unlawfully obstruct police officers in their duty to respond to public safety emergencies,” Police Chief William Scott said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the job of protecting public safety and preserving order becomes exceedingly difficult when that balance is absent.”
Boudin on Monday vowed to hold accountable any officer who fails to promote public safety, and instead inflicts violence.
Stangel’s attorney Nicole Pifari said the officers were acting lawfully as they were attempting to protect the public from a potentially dangerous situation.
“We will provide accurate information to the public and the courts that will clear Officer Stangel of these false and malicious accusations from the DA,” Pifari said.
Stangel’s case marks the third on-duty SFPD officer facing charges over allegations of misconduct in less than a month. Late last month, Boudin’s office filed manslaughter charges against former police Officer Christopher Samayoa, who fatally shot unarmed Keita O’Neil, 42, in the city’s Bayview District in 2017. Then last week, a grand jury indicted Officer Christopher Flores in connection with a 2019 Mission District officer-involved shooting that left a man in critical condition.