Boom. Today five active police officers and one former cop were indicted on charges of extortion, drug dealing, and theft, and falsifying police reports (just to name a few) while working for the SFPD. The officers preyed upon people living in the city's SROs.
The cops, who worked at the Southern Station at the time, are also alleged to have conspired "to distribute controlled substances, against civil rights, and to commit theft concerning federally-funded programs. "
During a news conference at the Hall of Justice, a "visibly shaken" Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters, "I don't know that it gets any worse than this, other than an officer-involved serious injury or death, when the public trust is betrayed by a sitting San Francisco or any police officer...This is not only a betrayal of the public's trust...but also a betrayal of all the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department who work hard every day to do what they can to keep San Francisco safe."
The Southern Station suspects are as follows:
Officer Arshad Razzak, 41
Officer Richard Yick, 37
Officer Raul Eric Elias, 44
According to the first indictment, the SFPD defendants allegedly "conspired to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate occupants of single room occupancy hotel rooms by entering hotel rooms without legal justification." Razzak and Yick are also alleged to have "falsified a payment slip to an informant, and each of them is also separately alleged to have falsified police reports to conceal their unlawful activities."
There are two counts levied against the all the officers, Razzak and Yick face three more, each. All could result in significant jail time and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The other defendants, two active and one former officer, are:
Sergeant Ian Furminger, 47
Officer Edmond Robles, 46
Reynaldo Vargas, 45
According to the second indictment: "the Mission Station Defendants are alleged to have engaged in multiple criminal conspiracies, namely, to distribute controlled substances; to steal money and other valuable items, such as computers, electronic devices, and gift cards, from suspects; and to steal money, drugs and other valuable items that were seized on behalf of the City of San Francisco. Defendant Furminger is also alleged to have extorted property from an individual."
Te mission Station defendants face five other charges, and Sergeant Ian Furminger faces an additional charge. Penalties for those charges could result in fines of up to a million dollars, and as long as 20 years in jail.
The investigation started soon after San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon brought up the matter to federal authorities. San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who made public this damning footage in 2011 following the investigation, released the following statement:
"Today's indictments are confirmation that the constitutional rights of San Franciscans matter. I commend the U.S. Attorney for taking seriously the reports from ordinary citizens who had been humiliated, stolen from and hurt by police officers sworn to protect them. For years, our clients told us their rights were being violated, and for years we raised the issues in front of judges. Ultimately, it took a federal investigation to hold accountable those who would violate the public trust."