Former SFPD officer gets prison time for illegal search

A former San Francisco police officer convicted of conducting an a illegal search of a residential hotel room and writing a false report about it was sentenced by a federal judge Tuesday to one year and two months in prison.

Arshad Razzak, 44, a member of the Police Department for 19 years, was also fined $12,500 by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco.

“The betrayal of public trust by a sworn police officer is extraordinarily serious,” Seeborg said.

Seeborg called Razzak’s action in entering a resident’s room at the Henry Hotel on Sixth and Market streets without consent or a warrant during a 2010 drug investigation “a brazen violation of the Fourth Amendment rights” to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

But Seeborg said that in setting the sentence, he took into account the fact that Razzak was not motivated by financial gain, unlike two other San Francisco officers who were convicted in a separate case of charges related to stealing money and property from drug suspects in 2009.

In the other case, former Sgt. Ian Furminger was sentenced to three years and five months in prison and former officer Edmond Robles was given a term of three years and three months by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.

Razzak was convicted by a jury in Seeborg’s court on Jan. 22, 2015, of four counts of conspiring to violate civil rights, violating the rights of a Henry Hotel occupant during a search on Dec. 23, 2010, falsifying an informant’s pay slip and falsifying a police report.

The report written by Razzak falsely said officers knocked on the resident’s door and received her permission to enter.

Another officer who was present at the hotel, Richard Yick, was acquitted of three charges at the same trial.

Razzak told Seeborg Tuesday, “I want to apologize to my colleagues and my family for bringing them into this situation.”

Razzak has been working as an Uber driver since leaving the police force, according to his attorney, Michael Rains.

In both the Furminger and Razzak cases, federal probes of the officers’ drug searches were set off by hotel surveillance videotapes made public in 2011 by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. The tapes appeared to show officers entering rooms without permission.

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