San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón has turned over the investigation of a mushrooming SFPD misconduct scandal to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today. Along with SFPD’s Internal Affairs Division and the DA’s office, the FBI has been conducting an independent probe into allegations that eight plainclothes officers from SFPD’s Southern District carried out warrantless searches and planted evidence on suspects at two residential hotels in the South of Market area.
Several incidents caught on video have been revealed by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi over the past few weeks. At last count, the DA’s office has dropped 57 pending criminal cases that involved the eight named officers. Thousands of cases handled by the Southern plainclothes unit could be at risk.
Gascón claims his decision is due to a lack of forensic resources in the District Attorney’s office, not because of a conflict of interest. Many of the cases made by the Southern District plainclothes officers took place during the district attorney’s term as police chief. The statement he issued earlier today is after the jump.
“When we first became aware of the allegations against San Francisco police officers involved in arrests at the Henry Hotel, I directed my office to open an investigation into the officers and their alleged conduct. New information has come to light that indicates it is better to turn over this investigation to the FBI.
I have spoken to the U.S. Attorney, Melinda Haag, and she has agreed to take over the full investigation. We will of course cooperate fully with the FBI, and provide whatever assistance they need from us.”