While it's extremely unlikely that suddenly, more officers with the San Francisco Police Department are allegedly committing crimes, one thing seems evident: More of them are being arrested following Internal Affairs probes. Since March, we've seen at least four SF cops arrested following three different investigations, the latest one booked just yesterday for what police say is a case of overtime fraud.
41-year-old SFPD officer Dean K. Lee, police say, joined the recent ranks of former officer Jason Lai (Unlawful Possession of Local Criminal Offender History Information and Misuse of Confidential Department of Motor Vehicles Information, but he also allegedly raped a woman and sent a lot of racist texts), former Lieutenant Curtis Liu (Making a False Statement in a Police Report and Delaying or Obstructing a Peace Officer, but also embroiled in Lai's text exchanges), and Officer Saqib Aslam (allegedly used his position as police officer to obtain confidential status with the Department of Motor Vehicles for the license plate on his brother's car, of all foolish things) Monday, when he turned himself in to his colleagues.
According to a press release sent by SFPD late Monday, Lee, a Daly City resident, had been under investigation for "overtime fraud, based upon information provided by a Department source."
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr has, in recent months, emphasized the need for police officers to avoid the appearance of an insular "old-boys" network and to instead report wrongdoing among their ranks when they see it.
Suhr's expectation that the police more actively police one another has riled members of San Francisco's powerful police union — following yet another investigation into police misconduct, in this case involving allegedly racist and sexist remarks from a Bayview Station officer, former POA president Gary Delagnes took to Facebook to complain that "Two other officers who heard the [allegedly racist] statement immediately raced to their superiors and snitched him off as our officers are now taught to do."
As of publication time, Delagnes' public-facing Facebook page does not contain any posts addressing the fraud allegations against Lee.
According to the SFPD, Lee, a 15-year veteran of the force, "was booked at San Francisco County Jail for one count of grand theft and four counts of defrauding a government agency (all felonies)" Monday. He's also been suspended without pay, according to police.
A call to SFPD for Lee's booking photo was not returned at publication time.
A spokesperson with the San Francisco Sheriff's Office confirms that Lee has since been released on $50,000 bail. As of publication time, Lee's next appearance in court had yet to be scheduled.
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