SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco police have released body-worn camera footage from a 2019 police encounter that left a man with a broken leg and wrist, after District Attorney Chesa Boudin charged the officer involved with assault and battery.
Prosecutors on Monday announced they charged Officer Terrance Stangel with battery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault likely to cause great bodily injury and assault under color of authority in connection with an Oct. 2019 encounter with Dacari Spiers in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf area.
In addition to body-worn camera footage, police have also released the initial 911 call made reporting a man choking a woman.
When Stangel and his partner, Officer Cuahtemoc Martinez, responded, a struggle ensued between Spiers and the two officers. At one point, Martinez brought Spiers to the ground and Stangel struck Spiers’ legs with a baton multiple times.
As a result, Spiers suffered a broken leg and wrist, as well as lacerations to his leg. He required surgery and stitches and was wheelchair-bound during his recovery, prosecutors said.
Although Spiers was not arrested, he was handcuffed and later cited for obstructing an officer.
“While I steadfastly believe that officers should be held accountable when they violate the law, I feel just as strongly that there needs to be balance in holding individuals accountable when they assault, physically attack, or unlawfully obstruct police officers in their duty to respond to public safety emergencies,” Police Chief William Scott said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the job of protecting public safety and preserving order becomes exceedingly difficult when that balance is absent.”
Boudin on Monday vowed to hold accountable any officer who fails to promote public safety, and instead inflicts violence.
Spiers filled a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco and the two officer alleging civil rights violations and assault earlier this year. The lawsuit said Spiers was was hugging his girlfriend, consoling her as they leaned on their parked car after she learned she had her wallet stolen.
Stangel’s attorney Nicole Pifari said the officers were acting lawfully as they were attempting to protect the public from a potentially dangerous situation.
“We will provide accurate information to the public and the courts that will clear Officer Stangel of these false and malicious accusations from the DA,” Pifari said.
Stangel’s case marks the third on-duty SFPD officer facing charges over allegations of misconduct in less than a month.
In November, his office filed homicide charges against an on-duty officer for the first time in San Francisco history. Officer Chris Samayoa is now facing charges for the death of Keita O’Neil in 2017.
Last week, a grand jury returned indictments for felony charges against Officer Christopher Flores and suspect Jamaica Hampton for a 2019 shooting in the Mission District.
Those cases are still pending.
The DA’s office is not requesting pretrial detention for Stangel. The case is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Independent Investigation Bureau.