The San Francisco Police Department is shutting down the plainclothes division at its Southern Station, Interim Police Chief Jeff Godown said, due to allegations by the Public Defender's Office of illegal police conduct during arrests.
KQED's Peter Jon Shuler attended today's SFPD press conference addressing the allegations. He reports that a team of six accused officers, plus their supervisor, will be taken off street duty and assigned administrative tasks.
The allegations stem from the release of three videos by Public Defender Jeff Adachi's office. Adachi contends that the videos, recorded by surveillance cameras at two different hotels, show police making arrests without the proper warrants. The officers then filled out incident reports and gave court testimony, he says, which portrayed the arrests as legally conducted. Adachi's office says the discrepancies amount to perjury.
Godown said he thought the situation was limited to the Southern Station, and that plainclothes officers from other units would fill in for the accused officers.
"Let the offices tell their side of the case," said Godown, who said he will meet with all plainclothes police to review policy and procedures. He said he asked Adachi to release any new videos he had in his possession. "I'd like to know about it," he said. "I don't want to see it on TV."