Federal grand jury may be probing San Francisco police allegations

Public Defender Jeff Adachi's allegations of police misconduct may have inspired a federal grand jury probe.

A federal grand jury may be looking into misconduct allegations about San Francisco police officers made by Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

Police union President Gary Delagnes said Monday that “some of our members have been called to testify as witnesses” about the allegations at a proceeding on Golden Gate Avenue, where the federal courthouse is located.

“I know that those are the questions that are being posed to these guys, so it had to be a result of the Adachi inquiry,” Delagnes said. He said between two and four officers are believed to have testified earlier this month.

Adachi said his office had provided federal prosecutors with witness statements, videotapes and other evidence.

“We’ll see,” Adachi said. “That’s the purpose of a grand jury. And we’ve handed over the evidence to them, and I trust that they will thoroughly investigate these allegations.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jack Gillund would “neither confirm nor deny” that a grand jury had been convened.

Last March, Adachi and other defense attorneys began releasing videotapes they say show officers illegally entering residential hotel rooms in the South of Market, Mission and Tenderloin neighborhoods during drug arrests in 2010 and 2011.

Other accusations included falsified police reports, excessive force and the theft of suspects’ valuables. At least eight officers from the Southern Police Station and six from Mission Police Station were named, but have yet to be charged with any crime. The FBI has said it is investigating the allegations.

Union members remain “frustrated” and “a little nervous” about the results of a possible grand jury probe, Delagnes said.

“I guess there is enough smoke from the Adachi allegations to at least investigate … the merit to the charges,” Delagnes said, though he said nothing any of the officers did appeared to rise to the level of
criminal conduct.

Grand juries, which are closed to the public, can be a precursor to a criminal indictment.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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