Feds indict SFPD officers for allegedly stealing from the poor

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Adachi showed reporters video footage that appeared to show SFPD officer stealing from SRO residents in 2011.
Steven T. Jones

Update: Click here for the latest as this story develops.

Federal civil rights and corruption charges have been filed against several San Francisco Police Department officers in connection with a series of raids on poor people’s SRO apartments, where the officers allegedly stole property, according to a report by KTVU.

The SFPD will be holding a press conference on the indictments within the hour, following by an afternoon press conference by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who raised the issue in 2011 after obtained video surveillance footage that appeared to show an officers taking a laptop and other property, a story we covered at the time.

Surveillance video footage from the Julian Hotel, which Adachi's office posted to YouTube in May 2011.

"We're pleased to see the federal government appears to be taking these civil rights violations seriously," Public Defender's Office spokesperson Tamara Aparton told the Guardian.

Although the officers names haven’t been released, KTVU reports that five current officers and a former officer were indicted. Officers named by Adachi in 2011 as involved in the illegal alleged activites were Ronaldo Vargas and Richard Guerrero, although the SFPD says it won’t comment on the indictments until the press conference.

So check back here later for more on this breaking story. 

Surveillance video footage from the Henry Hotel (above) and the Jefferson Hotel (below), which Adachi's office posted to YouTube in December 2010.

Comments

other than drugs and the proceeds of crime?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:33 am

So, uh, just because they're poor and living in SROs they must also be criminals and druggies while your beloved police are entirely blameless...in spite of evidence to the contrary. Interesting...you must tell us how you would know this.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

live in an SRO because they enjoy the ambience?

And of course everyone knows that there are no drugs in an SRO. No, sir, no trace of illegal substances, stolen goods or other proceeds of crime.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

Whether the goods are well or ill gotten is not for the police to judge, and certainly not for them to steal.

How do you expect these people to behave if the police are setting an example of lawlessness and greed? If a drug using SRO resident doesn't have the right to due process and the rule of law, none of us do.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

residents or by the cops. These are just allegations which the judge may throw out.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

This is a simple theft - NOT a Civil Rights Violation. Punish the officers, sue them as individuals, but you shouldn't be able to go after the SFPD for a Civil Rights violation based on this. Unless there was a "CONSPIRACY"....

Posted by Richmondman on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

If you illegally enter someone's home using your authority as a police officer and steal their stuff, yes, that is a civil rights violation (see: Fourth Amendment). And yes, conspiracies are also a part of these charges.

 

Posted by steven on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

homes of innocent victims. But if the alleged perp is a cop, you suddenly care?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

When a criminal invades your home, you call the cops. But who do you call if the cops are the criminals? When cops are criminals, it undermines both personal security, and the integrity of the whole criminal justice system, in a way that no other crime does.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

The other 99.99% of crimes do not bother you at all.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:16 am

"Simple theft" is prosecuted by local DAs, but we all know that the corrupt local DA will never indict the cops. So your suggestion, Richmondman, would just ensure that nothing gets done at all, ever.

I'm glad the feds stepped in. I hope they go to jail. They should've indicted the DA too for helping get away with their crimes. These crimes were known for a long time, and Gascon did nothing. It's a cesspool of corruption in the Hall of Injustice.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:06 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

Classic "Attack the Messenger" routine.

Very tiresome.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

prior prejudices. As such, Greg has no credibility. He would not, for instance, be chosen for a jury if this goes to trial. Unless he lied, of course, which he previously said he would do in such a case.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:18 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:28 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 9:10 am

Doesn't your tongue get sandpapery from licking all that cop boot?

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 12:54 am

fellow officers and the SFPD. The vast majority of police officers are good people, the bad apples make all of us look bad.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

there may be no evidence or substance.

Innocent until proven guilty, remember/

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

Innocent until proven guilty? Phew! That's a myth. Just like the myth of "liberty and justice for all." Sounds good on paper but it's meaningless.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

I've seen the video evidence, and it seem clear three years ago that they were guilty. Sure, the process will play out, but there are lots of cops abusing their authority out there, and they should be prosecuted with at least the same vigor we apply to poor, desperate criminals.

Posted by Steven T. on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

Oh well, in that case why bother with a trial. Just get a rope already

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:19 am

All off us look bad huh...if you were a real cop with any time in you would know the majority of the allegations were bullshit. Stupid rookie!!!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 12:09 am

All off us look bad huh...if you were a real cop with any time in you would know the majority of the allegations were bullshit. Stupid rookie!!!

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 12:11 am

It is refreshing...Compare his competence to someone like Hayes-White...

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

...with a flying shotglass. Her aim is impeccable.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 10:49 pm

As a law enforcement officer I am disgusted by the alleged behavior of these officers. If it is proven they committed these crimes I hope they get the maximum penalties. And I mean MAXIMUM! Once again some corrupt officers tarnish the badge making the good officers who try to serve and protect have an even greater uphill battle to gain citizen trust. Bottom line, this story quite frankly will anger most officers more than you will ever know. Just shameful.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

Why weren't these clowns turned in by other cops? You're trying to tell us no other cops knew what these clowns were up to...? How come we don't read about cops turning other cops in...

Why does Adachi (thankfully) have to do it?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

So what you are now implying is you believe other officers knew what these corrupt officers were doing but turned a blind eye? Come on. If others had known what they were doing they could easily alert superiors anonymously. I can't believe you think other officers would just ignore this if they had known. There are plenty of incidents where officers upheld the law on others officers. Probably the most frequent examples are operating while intoxicated arrests. Yes, cops have arrested other cops for such incidents. I'm not an officer in San Francisco or even the State of California. I'm from the Midwest and call me naive but the officers I work with and know wouldn't tolerate this from a fellow officer one bit. If you don't "buy the few bad apples theory", do you really believe most officers are corrupt? That is a pretty grand belief. Say you work in an office environment and a few co workers were caught stealing company assets. Should we assume everybody at that office knew of the thefts but turned the other way? That would be ridiculous to conclude wouldn't it? Most officers take pride in the profession and try to do the best they can. There are bad apples in EVERY profession.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

The evidence of this crime came out in 2011, 3 years ago. For 3 long years,
Fellow officers did nothing.
Internal Affairs did nothing.
The Chief of Police did nothing.
The DA did nothing.
The mayor did nothing.
And they would have continued to do nothing if Adachi hadn't persisted and the feds haven't come in and indicted.

Not only are your fellow officers turning a blind eye to criminality in their ranks, but the whole system is, from top to bottom. Your fellow officers didn't need to alert their superiors anonymously. The superiors already knew. The message is sent loud and clear to those few officers who might be tempted to raise a stink about criminality within their ranks: don't bother, because we don't give a shit.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:03 pm

I do however, believe there is an innate corruption in SF that is unique to SF. We have a fire department where a fireman got drunk, hopped in a truck and hit and severely injured a motorcyclist. He and his SFFD colleagues tried to cover it up - to the surprise of no one. I think SF context is important.

Cops also demand to be paid a ton of money here - so the standard SHOULD BE very, very high.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

King City isn't in San Francisco
http://www.mercurynews.com/central-coast/ci_25230809/king-city-former-an...

Nor is Tehana Texas
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-texas-profiling_wittm...

Nor is Pennsylvania
http://blogs.ajc.com/news-to-me/2014/02/26/judge-paid-2-6-million-to-sen...

But blatant, obvious cases like these are just the tip of the iceberg. The real corruption is legalized and institutionalized throughout the system. A state where no cop ever goes to jail for murdering someone, but 2 million people rot in jail (at any given time) is thoroughly corrupt to the core.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

Get your head out of the sand Greg. Your quote, "No cop ever goes to jail for murdering someone....." Really? You seem to know how to use a search engine and find other examples of corruption outside of SF. Why don't you research articles of officers convicted of homicide? You'll find some. There is corruption examples of every profession! I'd say doctors are inherently upstanding and trustworthy people wouldn't you? I bet I could find incidents of billing fraud, malpractice, medication fraud and other crimes made by doctors. Should I believe every doctor is corrupt now? Well I don't but maybe in your world you do. Curious to know what you do or did as a profession Greg? Care to share? I bet I could find an article of wrongdoing in yours to.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 4:50 am

" Your quote, "No cop ever goes to jail for murdering someone....." Really?"

For something they did on the job? Doubt it.

"You seem to know how to use a search engine and find other examples of corruption outside of SF."

These were cases I remembered just off the top of my head from the last 2 *weeks*. The King city case I heard about on KPFA the other night on the news. The Pennsylvania case was highlighted on Democracy Now! a week or two ago. The Texas case was written about on Daily Kos. I'm sure there are others but I didn't bother to use a search engine to find them. Again, these are just recent cases.

"Curious to know what you do or did as a profession Greg? Care to share?"

Not really.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:22 am
Posted by guest on Mar. 02, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

Isn't the Chief of Police responsible to the mayor? So when will this Lee be held accountable for this? Or is savior Lee above reproach again? He's supposed to know what's going on "on his watch." Or is he too busy partying with techies and the bourgeois elite (his corporate owners)?

Posted by Miguel on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 5:45 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 27, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

Mayor Lee is responsible for ever dirty cop in San Francisco, but liberal hero Eric Holder gets a free pass on Fast and Furious from the leftist loony crowd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:10 am

I thought Benghazi was the obsession of the moment.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Since the end of Operation Fast and Furious, related firearms have continued to be discovered in criminal hands. As reported in September 2011, the Mexican government stated that an undisclosed number of guns found at about 170 crime scenes were linked to Fast and Furious.[54] U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R–Calif.–49) estimated that more than 200 Mexicans were killed by guns linked to the operation.[55] Reflecting on the operation, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the United States government is "...losing the battle to stop the flow of illegal guns to Mexico,"[56] and that the effects of Operation Fast and Furious will most likely continue to be felt for years, as more walked guns appear at Mexican crime scenes.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:58 am

what do we need these bloviated killing machines for again? (to make the world white for twitter!)
i have witnessed countless police-gang (5 or more cops) actions on late nite market street that would straighten a pigs tail. the cops are white, black, asian and women. the people they kick and harrass are mostly young afro american males, whom they handcuff and abuse openly for all passers-by to witness. maybe now with adachi’s expose, the cop thugs will have to tone down their antics a little. but seriously, can there be any hope for any of us when a lousy, out of town invader, power trippin, ignorant, corrupt, violent cop get’s his or her stick up?

Posted by Guest eliza on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 9:01 am

young black males?

Gee, I wonder why that is?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 9:12 am

race here makes you sound crazy.

Posted by guest on Mar. 02, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

what do we need these bloviated killing machines for again? (to make the world white for twitter!)
i have witnessed countless police-gang (5 or more cops) actions on late nite market street that would straighten a pigs tail. the cops are white, black, asian and women. the people they kick and harrass are mostly young afro american males, whom they handcuff and abuse openly for all passers-by to witness. maybe now with adachi’s expose, the cop thugs will have to tone down their antics a little. but seriously, can there be any hope for any of us when a lousy, out of town invader, power trippin, ignorant, corrupt, violent cop get’s his or her stick up?

Posted by Guest eliza on Feb. 28, 2014 @ 9:32 am

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