What is going on with the San Francisco Police Department? In the midst of serious questions about the department's use of force in the shooting death of Mario Woods, and following the repugnant SFPD racist texting scandal, new allegations of racial profiling, assault, sexual harassment, and targeted prosecutions of African Americans were unveiled in a filing made in court last week.
The filing, reports SF Weekly, includes sworn statements from 14 people arrested during a federal drug sting in the Tenderloin. All of them made claims of racism and sexism against numerous members of the police force, with a focus on SFPD Sgt. Shaughn Ryan of the Tenderloin Station.
The allegations are disturbing, and include detailed descriptions of sexism, racism, harassment, and assault. (You can read the fill filing below)
"I once observed [Officer Darren Nocetti] choke a man named Joe in the Tenderloin, who Officer Nocetti suspected as having drugs inside of his mouth," writes one of the defendants. "Joe denied having any drugs. In response, Officer Nocetti placed him in a chokehold until blood vessels in his eyes appeared to pop, turning Joe's eyes red."
A separate defendant recounted one of many alleged incidents of sexual harassment.
"In or around 2008, while being transported to San Francisco County Jail by Officer Ryan," recalls the defendant, "Officer Ryan said a comment to me like, 'I just got married and you better be glad. . . or I’ll take some black pussy.'"
And yet another defendant detailed what she said was a disturbing encounter with Office Ryan.
"Officer Ryan also requested to smell my hands because he believed that I had placed drugs in my genital area and that my hands smelled like my vagina," explained, again, a totally different defendant. "His comments were disgusting and it made me feel very uncomfortable."
Ryan is not the only officer accused of sexually harassing suspects, with still another altogether different defendant providing the following sworn statement.
"In 2013, Officer Crosby, dressed in street clothing, approached me on Sixth Street and said, 'I want to handcuff you to a bed and fuck you.'"
Another disturbing statement regards the allegedly random beating of an African American man.
In the fall of 2014, I parked a car near the intersection of Eddy Street and Post Street. My sister and girlfriend were in the car with me. Shortly after parking the car and exiting from it, I made contact with an unknown, Caucasian San Francisco Police Department officer. I then began walking away from the car, while my sister and girlfriend remained inside. As I walked away from the car and down the street, several officers swarmed me and began physically assaulting me. At least five or six officers hit me on various parts of my body. The officer that I had made eye contact with stated that I had “mugged him” before they seized me.
In conversation with the Weekly, Danielle Harris of the San Francisco Public Defender's felony unit said the allegations "describe a pattern of racial profiling, sexual assault and brutality by the very people entrusted with citizens’ safety.
"It is crucial that these allegations are thoroughly investigated and that the involved officers are off the street in the meantime," said Harris.
The Weekly reached out to both SFPD and the U.S. Attorney's Office for comment, but neither responded to the request.