The ongoing acrimony between the SFPD and Chesa Boudin is escalating still with an officer facing assault charges saying that the DA’s office lied about and allegedly buried additional evidence that would justify his use of force.
Chesa Boudin was not even San Francisco's district attorney yet when two officers allegedly beat up a domestic violence suspect during Fleet Week 2019. But Boudin had just been sworn in as district attorney when that suspect sued the SFPD, as the suspect/beating victim Dacari Spiers said police used excessive force. The baton beating from SFPD left him with a broken wrist and leg, though Spiers was never charged.
Boudin eventually charged the officer, Terrance Stangel, with assault and battery in December 2020. Stangel’s attorney quickly fired back that “the DA can't get his facts straight” over the domestic violence call that promoted the incident. SFPD then released the audio of that 911 call, wherein the caller said “there's this guy who's beating up on this girl,” and that he was “holding her by the neck — like, dragging her by the neck.”
Now Stangel’s attorney says there’s more evidence that Boudin has withheld, and is asking the judge to wholesale dismiss the assault case against the officer. That evidence, they claim, is an interview the DA’s office conducted with a witness who allegedly said they saw Spiers assaulting his girlfriend.
“As far as the defense knows, the DA never told SFPD that they had obtained damning evidence against Spiers that would support his prosecution for [domestic violence],” Stangel’s attorney says in their legal motion. “Although it has the authority to do so, the DA itself never filed charges against Spiers for [domestic violence].”
The Chronicle adds that Stangel’s attorney also claims Boudin’s office “lied about it when providing an update on the investigation.”
Hey, if I were accused of assault and battery, I would also probably be trying to get the case thrown out. But the SFPD feels the deck is stacked against them, or at least more so than it has been in the past. Boudin has brought more charges against the police than his predecessors, notably homicide charges in the police shooting of Sean Moore, manslaughter charges in the 2017 shooting of Keita O’Neil, and a grand jury indictment against an officer in the 2019 Jamaica Hamptopon shooting. Earlier this month, Boudin dropped charges in a case where police claim they were assaulted.
Jury selection in this trial already started Monday, but we’ll keep an eye on whether the case does get tossed.
Related: Former Investigator Sues SF District Attorney In Whistleblower Complaint [SFist]