The SFPD says Chesa Boudin buried an interview that would have absolved an officer in a police beating. But it turns out that officer had eyewitnesses asking to be interviewed at the scene, and wouldn’t talk to them.
The ongoing trial of SFPD Officer Terrance Stangel is believed to be the first-ever attempt to prosecute a San Francisco police officer for a beating committed while on duty. And as such, the police department is pushing back mightily. They’re now refusing to cooperate with DA investigations of police misconduct, and claiming DA Chesa Boudin had buried an interview with allegations of domestic violence that Stangel claims would have justified the use of force — force which left the above man Dacari Spiers with a broken wrist and broken leg, courtesy a baton beating from Officer Stengel.
(Stangel claims the allegedly buried interview corroborates the claim that Spiers was choking his girlfriend, and committing other acts of domestic violence.)
Though ironically, the tables may be turned when it comes to burying interviews. Mission Local is covering this case closely at the courthouse, and reports that two eyewitnesses offered Stangel and his partner eyewitness testimony at the scene, and police refused to take that testimony.
“Was your report complete and accurate?” prosecutor Rebecca Young asked Stangel’s partner, Officer Gonee Sepulveda.
“No,” Sepulveda said.
Sepulveda testified that she didn’t notice the two individuals at the time, but their presence became apparent on bodycam footage. The two had apparently offered to give testimony (and we have no idea what they would have said), but according to Mission Local, the “footage revealed that two people offered to tell the officer what they had witnessed.”
One eyewitness did give testimony, though, a visitor from Dallas, Texas named Dayton Denmark, who did witness the incident and was interviewed on the scene. Denmark says he did not witness any domestic violence. “It wasn’t nothing out of the ordinary,” Denmark testified Thursday. “Your neighbors argue, families argue.”
The trial continues Monday, February 14.
Related: Supervisors OK $700K Settlement for Police Beating Victim, In Case Where SFPD Is Basically at War With Boudin [SFist]
Image: Dacari Spiers’ attorneys