Progressive DA Accused of Withholding Evidence That Could Save Cop He’s Prosecuting

Progressive DA Accused of Withholding Evidence That Could Save Cop He's Prosecuting

( – Calls for action against police officers facing accusations of abuse of force skyrocketed after George Floyd’s death. Courts began prosecuting law enforcement officials at an unprecedented rate. But in the ongoing war against police, just how far will district attorneys go to prove an officer’s guilt? New information from a case in California is raising further questions about the risk of aggressive punishment in the line of duty.

Investigator Megan Hayashi recently accused San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin of forcing her to withhold evidence in a case involving SFPD officer Terrance Stangel.

Stangel currently faces assault and battery charges for the alleged beating of a suspect named Dacari Spiers in October of 2019. Hayashi claims Boudin ordered her to omit that Spiers was himself attacking another person — his girlfriend — at the time of the incident.

An affidavit signed by Hayashi shortly after the incident allegedly left out those details, which stemmed from an interview with an eyewitness.

Stangel’s attorney, Nicole Pifari, feels that the investigator effectively lied by omitting such critical testimony. Had she revealed that key fact, it might have helped Stangel defend himself from the charges. She also accuses Hayashi of being politically motivated; the investigator has an alleged history of supporting aggressive prosecution in abuse of force cases.

Hayashi claims she feared losing her job if she didn’t comply with Boudin’s demands. During a court appearance on Thursday, January 27, she told San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teresa Caffese that as she understood it, “…in this office, if you don’t sign these things you’ll be fired.”

Assistant District Attorney Hans Moore dismissed Pifari and Stangel’s claims, accusing them of trying to sway the court of public opinion in Stangel’s favor.

Pifari moved to have the case dismissed in light of the omission. However, Judge Caffese labeled the left-out info “insignificant,” claiming it would have little to no impact on the case and declined. Stangel’s trial began on January 31.

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