Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s Public Defender, scored a major win against the doers of corruption at the San Francisco Police Department. Five San Francisco Police Officers – Arshad Razzak, 41, Richard Yick, 36, Raul Eric Elias, Sgt. Ian Furminger, 47, Officer Edmond Robles, 46, and former Officer Reynaldo Vargas, 45, are all charged with conspiring to threaten and intimidate residents of single-room occupancy hotel rooms, filing falsified police incident reports, and for what the indictment report reads as “multiple criminal conspiracies,” including dealing marijuana, stealing money as well as a $500 Apple gift card and other items from suspects, and stealing money, drugs and other valuable items that were seized on behalf of the the City and County of San Francisco.
All of that stemmed from a set of surveillance videos that were found and released for public view by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Mr. Adachi showed portions of the videos at a well-attended press conference in 2011. I assembled this video based on that information:
At a press conference held today, Jeff Adachi said “Today’s indictments are confirmation that the constitutional rights of San Franciscans matter. I commend the U.S. Attorney for taking seriously the reports from ordinary citizens who had been humiliated, stolen from and hurt by police officers sworn to protect them. For years, our clients told us their rights were being violated, and for years we raised the issues in front of judges. Ultimately, it took a federal investigation to hold accountable those who would violate the public trust.”
This is an amazing development, but it also begs the question of why San Francisco’s judicial system seems to have looked the other way for so long. The question must be asked: were judges involved in this corruption process, and if so, who?