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8 New Drug Cases Dropped Amid SFPD Misconduct Probe

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Surveillance video of a drug bust conducted by San Francisco Police that may show misconduct. (CBS)

Surveillance video of a drug bust conducted by San Francisco Police that may show misconduct. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office dropped eight more cases Tuesday in the wake of a scandal involving police misconduct allegedly captured on video, bringing the total to 13, a public defender’s office spokeswoman said.

The suspects had been charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanor grand theft to felony possession of crack, cocaine and heroine for sale, spokeswoman Tamara Barak Aparton said.

The dropped cases mark the continued fallout from several videos posted online by the public defender’s office that appear to show eight officers searching various homes without warrants over the past few months.

The four videos allegedly contradict what the officers wrote in their police reports and said in court testimony, prompting the Police Department to dismiss them.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi Tuesday asked the district attorney’s office to provide a list of every arrest or incident involving the dismissed officers for the past seven years.

He also requested copies of all the police reports from drug-related crimes at the Henry Hotel and Hotel Royan, residential hotels in the South of Market neighborhood and Mission District where the alleged misconduct took place.

“I believe there are other cases where your office secured guilty pleas based on testimony and sworn statements provided by these officers,” he wrote in a letter to District Attorney George Gascon’s office.

He added that he wants to evaluate what legal remedies might be available to individuals whose cases have been compromised.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said the department was still deciding Tuesday how to respond to the request. He could not confirm the number of cases dropped.

The scandal came to light last week when Adachi released two videos on March 2 that appeared to show members of the SFPD Southern Station’s plainclothes operations team unlawfully entering rooms at the Henry Hotel.

Another video was released Thursday that appeared to show plainclothes officers kicking in the door of a disabled man’s room at the Hotel Royan.

Then on Monday afternoon, Adachi released a fourth video of a man wearing a black coat entering a room at the Henry Hotel.

The man had been arrested after officers reported seeing him enter the hotel in a white and tan jacket, which was later found in a room with crack cocaine and marijuana. The district attorney’s office dismissed the case on Dec. 22.

The officers whose conduct is being evaluated are Gregory Buhagiar, Samuel Christ, Raymond Kane, Raul Elias, Robert Forneris, Arthur Madrid, Arshad Razzak and Richard Yick.

The FBI is also investigating the alleged misconduct.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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