DA George Gascón Says Probe of Alleged SFPD Perjury Isn't Conflict of Interest
|Independent of what?|
Original story, Thursday, March 3: Yesterday, we told you about allegations that San Francisco cops had committed perjury when falsely describing drug busts in police reports. While the case is interesting in its own right, there's another twist to this whole thing that's worth noting: The officers are being investigated by their former boss -- District Attorney George Gascón.
Gascón, who was appointed DA in January after serving as the chief of police since 2009, fired off a statement saying "police and prosecutors need to play by the rules." He then stated his office was initiating its own investigation into the alleged police misconduct, which was caught on tape at the Henry Hotel, a residential hotel on Sixth Street.
But speaking of rules, how can the DA investigate an incident that occurred on his watch? The first bust was caught on tape on Dec. 23, 2010 -- when Gascón was still the chief of police. It shows police officers conducting warrantless searches and doing it without first getting consent from those living in the apartment.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi has obviously called for an independent investigation, one that doesn't involve the former chief. Yet Gascón has reportedly dismissed the need for an outside investigation.
"Simply because the DA used to be the chief of police on it's face doesn't present a conflict," said Erica Derryck, spokeswoman for the DA. "There is no conflict based on the information we have."
Of course, that's according to the District Attorney. So we put in a call to the City Attorney to weigh in on the unusual scenario, but we haven't heard back yet.
We'll update you when we do.
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