A whistleblower on Friday accused the San Francisco District Attorney's office, headed by progressive Chesa Boudin, of withholding evidence in the case of a police officer accused of using unnecessary force against a civilian.
Boudin first announced charges against San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Officer Terrance Stangle in December 2020. Stangle is accused of unnecessarily beating a man named Dacari Spiers with a baton in October 2019, breaking Spiers' wrist and leg, while responding to a domestic violence call.
Magen Hayashi, an investigator for the DA's office, testified Friday that she felt she would be fired if she did not withhold certain evidence in the case against Stangle, according to NBC Bay Area.
Hayashi told a San Francisco Superior Court judge that she never disclosed information from a female witness who claimed to see Spiers beating a woman before Officer Stangle hit him with a baton and that she feared she would be fired if she did, the outlet reported.
The judge reportedly said no significant evidence appeared to have been withheld, and Hayashi's testimony likely would not impact the case, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
The officer’s legal team has filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on “prosecutorial misconduct” and “deceptive and reprehensible methods” used by the district attorney’s office. The judge has yet to rule on whether to throw out the case, NBC Bay Area reports.
“The DA’s deceit and concealment of real evidence is disturbing, it is corrupt, and it is a violation of public trust,” Stangle's attorney Nicole Pifari wrote in the recent court filing. “Most importantly, however, it is illegal.”
The memo in support of the motion to dismiss filed by Pifari includes a transcript from the witness to 911, which is what initially led police to respond to the 2019 incident.
The call transcript reads as follows: "I would like to report…I think it's called domestic violence or something because, um, there's this guy who is beating up on this girl. … He's like, um, holding her like by the neck, like draggin' her by the neck. … She was trying to get away, then he grabbed, and then he got her again."
The judge in the case has issued a gag order against all parties; neither Boudin's office nor Pifari could give statements to media in response to Hayashi's testimony as a result, Fox News reports.
Spiers filed a federal lawsuit against the city of San Francisco in February 2020, which states that he was "consoling his girlfriend about the theft" of her wallet before the attack, "and the two were leaning against the car and were engaged in hugging and kissing each other."
The lawsuit then alleges that two or more officers approached Spiers at that moment and abruptly grabbed him. Spiers and his girlfriend begged the officers to stop, and he was left with "horrendous blows with his hands and wrists, which caused severe injuries, including a severely broken wrist," the complaint states. Spier is accusing the city of violating his civil rights.