San Francisco Police Officer Convicted Of Civil Rights Violations, Illegal Searches, Falsifying Reports
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- One San Francisco police officer was convicted and a second officer was acquitted in federal court Thursday of conspiring to enter and search residential hotel rooms without a warrant during drug investigations.
Peter Furst, a lawyer for Officer Richard Yick, 38, said Yick was acquitted of all charges in the verdict pronounced shortly before noon by the jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco.
Officer Arshad Razzak, 42, was convicted of the four counts leveled against him, Furst said.
Those charges were conspiring to violate civil rights through illegal searches and entries of single-room occupancy hotel rooms; depriving an occupant of her civil rights by conducting an illegal entry and search on Dec. 23, 2010; and falsifying an informant's pay slip and a police report related to the incident.
Razzak will be sentenced by Seeborg on April 28.
The search was carried out at a room at the residential Henry Hotel at Sixth and Mission streets.
According to the YouTube post from the San Francisco Public Defender's office:
In the Dec. 23 incident, Officer Arshad Razzak states in a police report that officers knocked on the resident's door, announced themselves and waited for a response. Hearing none, he wrote, officers slightly opened the door with a master key. Without entering the unit, officers then told the female resident they were freezing the room until they could obtain a search warrant, Razzak wrote. The woman then gave them verbal permission to search the premises while officers contacted headquarters and asked a unit to respond with a consent form she could read, according to the police report. A man inside the woman's room was arrested after officers claimed to find heroin and crack on his person.
The surveillance video, however, tells a different story. In it, four narcotics officers ... are seen using a master key to barge directly into the room without knocking or obtaining consent.
The two officers were originally also charged with violations related to a search of another room at the Henry Hotel on Jan. 5, 2011, but prosecutors dropped those charges shortly before trial.
The civil rights investigation began after Public Defender Jeff Adachi in March 2011 released hotel surveillance videotapes that appeared to show officers entering the rooms without a warrant or consent of the occupants.
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