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Public Defender Accuses SFPD Of Theft In Surveillance Flap

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An image from a surveillance video showing plainclothes San Francisco Police officers leaving the Jefferson Hotel, Feb. 25, 2011. (SF Public Defender’s Office)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – San Francisco’s Public Defender has accused police of yet another case of misconduct, this time involving what Jeff Adachi calls “theft” by a group of officers.

The incident involved an arrest at the Julian Hotel in San Francisco’s Mission District on February 25, 2011.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Adachi played a video during a morning news conference Tuesday, showing what Adachi described as San Francisco Police officers leaving the apartment building with bags under their arms.

Adachi said one of those bags contained a laptop belonging to Jesus “Jessie” Reyes, a resident of the Julian Apartments on Julian Street.

The video shows the officers escorting Reyes from his apartment. It’s not clear whether the other bag belongs to Reyes, but Adachi said it may contain a camera belonging to Reyes.

Adachi said the police department did not return the confiscated items back to Reyes after Reyes was released from jail.

“I was intimidated…I got scared,” said Reyes, who claimed he never gave police consent to search his apartment.

Officers Ricardo Guerrero and Reynaldo Vargas were also involved in the case of another hotel incident which Adachi described last week as the illegal search of a room at the Jefferson hotel.

In a written statement, the San Francisco Police Department said the allegations will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit:

“All the officers in this case had been taken out of Plainclothes some have been reassigned to Administrative duties while the investigation is being conducted,” said Greg Suhr, according to the statement.

“If it is determined through the investigation that the officers acted inappropriately they will be discipline. This discipline will be swift and severe up to and including termination depending on the findings,” Suhr stated.

In March, Adachi released other videos that he said showed officer misconduct during drug busts at the Henry Hotel. Those claims are now being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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