The San Francisco Police Officers Association has come to the defense of five active and one former SFPD officer indicted on federal charges for extortion, drug dealing, theft and other alleged dirty deeds while on the job. After pledging last month to offer their "full resources" to preserve the reputation of the accused, the POA is now raising money for a legal defense fund by raffling off prizes including a vacation to Ireland, a 60-inch TV and an iPad.
When the news of the allegation broke, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr called it one of the worst situations a department could face short of an officer-involved death. "This is not only a betrayal of the public's trust," Suhr said, "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."
SFPD President Martin Halloran countered with a statement questioning the sources of the allegations:
These indictments are apparently based on the questionable testimony of unreliable informant witnesses. However, we do understand that these are nonetheless serious charges. It is important to remember that the accused officers will have their day in court since Federal Grand juries only hear one side of the story.
The six accused officers were part of a plainclothes team that was meant to seek out illegal activity at local SROs, but allegedly conspired to sell illegal drugs, falsify police reports and extort residents.
The fundraising event, should you feel compelled to attend, will be held this Thursday at Don Ramon's Mexican Restaurant and comes with a flyer that notes the accused are "Innocent until proven guilty!!" and that "Sometimes there's justice. Sometimes there's just us."
Previously: 5 SF Police Officers Indicted For Extortion, Drug Dealing