The last loose end appears tied up in the first excessive force case against an on-duty SFPD officer, as the victim’s ex-girlfriend will receive a $47,5000 settlement.
You might recall that back in February and March, the most riveting legal drama in San Francisco was the excessive force trial against SFPD Officer Terrance Stengel, in what was believed to be the first excessive-force trial against an on-duty SFPD officer. Stengel was accused of excessive force in an October 2019 Fisherman’s Wharf beating of Dacari Spiers, whom a 911 caller had accused of domestic violence, though the alleged victim Breonna Richard insisted no such thing had happened. Nonetheless, Spiers found himself on the wrong end of a severe baton beating that left him with a broken wrist and leg.
In early March, a jury acquitted Stengel on three counts of excessive force, and remained deadlocked on the fourth count. So it all worked out for Stengel in the end, but there was one loose end that was not tied up until Tuesday afternoon.
The SF Board of Supervisors approved a $47,500 settlement with Breonna Richard, now Spiers’s ex-fiancée. According to Board of Supervisors documents, the settlement was for an “alleged civil rights violation” in a case Richard had filed in July 2020, about nine months after the Fisherman's Wharf incident.
The city had previously approved a $700,000 settlement for Spiers himself, regarding the broken wrist, leg, and other injuries he endured.
The case will be remembered for starting an all-out war between Boudin and the SFPD over how use-of-force cases would be handled. But with Boudin gone and then Stengel case now resolved, we’ll hopefully see fewer wars of words between police departments and their civilian oversight. And with any luck, we’ll see less excessive force used by local law enforcement.
Image: Dacari Spiers’s attorney