The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Francisco’s radical left-wing D.A. Chesa Boudin has been accused of withholding potentially exculpatory evidence in a case against a police officer charged with using excessive force, as a whistleblower told a court she feared being fired if she included it.
Officer Terrance Stangel is on trial for beating a black man, Dacari Spiers, with his baton after responding to a 911 call reporting a domestic violence incident at Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular tourist destination. Boudin’s office filed charges in December 2020, implying that the officer was racist: “This case is an example of an officer unnecessarily escalating a situation and then violently beating a Black man whom he had no legal basis to even arrest.”
Magen Hayashi, an investigator for the D.A.’s office, testified Thursday that she had signed an affidavit to show probable cause for the prosecution though she excluded evidence from a witness who saw the alleged victim assaulting his girlfriend. Hayashi said she was pressured to sign the affidavit against Stangel after removing exculpatory information. Asked who pressured her, she said, “It was a general understanding in my experience in this office, if you don’t sign these things you’ll be fired.”
The claim that Boudin — and his predecessor — withheld evidence is being taken seriously enough by police that Chief William Scott sent an email to officers throughout the department, saying the claim was of “serious concern” to him.