Another drug case was dismissed today in connection with allegations of police misconduct by San Francisco officers.
More than 85 cases have been dropped because of a string of videos released by Public Defender Jeff Adachi that he said show misconduct by plainclothes officers performing drug busts at residential hotels in the city.
The two most recent videos involve officers from the Police Department’s Mission Station who allegedly took bags and various items from hotel rooms that were never accounted for after the busts.
Officers in those videos have been taken off plainclothes duties pending an internal investigation into the allegations, police Chief Greg Suhr announced earlier this week.
One of those officers, Officer Ricardo Guerrero, was involved in the case dismissed today in San Francisco Superior Court.
The defendant in the case, Izell Brown, 39, was accused of selling 0.4 grams of crack cocaine to Guerrero, who was working undercover in a drug bust in the 2000 block of Mission Street on July 1, 2010, according to the police report on the incident.
Brown appeared in court today for his preliminary hearing, but before it began, prosecutor Paul Brennan said the district attorney’s office was “unable to move forward” with the case and was dropping it.
Brennan declined outside of court to say the reason for dismissing the case, but Deputy Public Defender Tal Klement, who represented Brown, said he was told by prosecutors that Guerrero was the reason for the dismissal.
“I was told they’re not going forward because of his issues,” Klement said.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.
Today’s dismissal might not be the last related to the police misconduct allegations.
Adachi said last week that the district attorney’s office has provided him with a list of 6,900 cases involving officers from the previous videos, which appear to show officers from the Police Department’s Southern Station entering rooms without a warrant or consent, contradicting what was written in the officers’ reports.
Those videos prompted the indefinite shutdown of plainclothes operations at the Southern Station, as well as the placement of eight officers on administrative duties pending an investigation. The FBI is also investigating the alleged misconduct in those cases.
The latest videos have prompted Suhr to consider providing his plainclothes officers with video cameras when they go into residences.
The specifics of that plan have yet to be determined and would have to be approved by the Police Commission.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News