SF PD Officer Charged by District Attorney with Multiple Felonies for Brutal Baton Beating of Black Man More than a Year Ago

Chesa Boudin on July 9 pushes for the governor to release more from San Quentin, as his office works to resentence more under 1170(D)

SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco Police Dept officer – accused of beating a man with his baton on October 7, 2019 so badly it broke his leg and wrist – now is facing felony charges after San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Monday he had filed a warrant for the arrest of Officer Terrance Stangel.

The DA is not requesting Stangel be jailed. The DA’s Office’s Independent Investigation Bureau (IIB) will prosecute the case.

Stangel is being charged with using “excessive and unlawful force” in the baton attack on Dacari Spiers a little more than a year ago, committing battery with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and assault under color of authority.

“The incident occurred just before District Attorney Boudin’s election and remained under investigation when District Attorney Boudin took office,” according to a statement released by Boudin’s office.

“Officers responding to a call have a duty to promote public safety—not to turn to violence as a show of authority,” said DA Boudin, who called the case “an example of an officer unnecessarily escalating a situation and then violently beating a Black man whom he had no legal basis to even arrest. Officers who not only fail to promote safety but actively harm others must—and in my administration will—be held accountable.”

Body camera footage showed much of the beating on the evening of October 7, 2019. Spiers was on a date with his girlfriend at Fisherman’s Wharf when Stangel and officer Cuahtemoc Martinez responded to a 911 call of a man assaulting a woman.

Within a few seconds of arriving, as captured by video footage, officers – who apparently said they did not see any physical violence or unlawful conduct – confronted Spiers, with Martinez ordering him “turn around,” despite Spiers and his girlfriend asking questions.

According to the DA statement, oofficer Martinez “immediately tried to grab Mr. Spiers, who insisted he had not done anything, and officers ignored Mr. Spiers’s girlfriend, who was screaming, “No!” and “What did he do?”

Officer Stangel then, said the DA release, “approached Mr. Spiers from behind striking him with a baton. Mr. Spiers repeatedly yelled, ‘Stop!’ Officer Martinez forced Mr. Spiers to the ground and Officer Stangel struck his legs again multiple times.

“Mr. Spiers was not observed committing any illegal act. He was not arrested for any crime. Officer Stangel broke Mr. Spiers’s wrist and leg, requiring surgery to repair. Mr. Spiers also suffered numerous lacerations to his legs that required stitches. Following the attack, he was forced to use a wheelchair during his recovery,” Boudin’s office noted.

Gloria Berry, Chair of the Black Lives Matter San Francisco County Central Committee (DCCC), a veteran, and a member of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s African American Advisory Board, said:

“Growing up in the 1970s in San Francisco seeing police commit violence on Black men and never being held accountable made me feel like being Black meant we were less than,” she said. “Today I have tears in my eyes to hear that under the Office of the San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, officers are being charged, history is being made, and Black people are finally being seen.”

Keith Baraka, a member of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s African American Advisory Board and the DA’s Office’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, and the Second Vice Chair on San Francisco’s DCCC, agreed, noting “Police officers must be held accountable for acts of brutality they commit against those they have sworn to protect and serve.”

“As the murder of George Floyd drew attention worldwide to police abuse of Black men, we must also remember that police violence comes in many forms—including through the dehumanization that results when officers treat Black men like criminals. I am grateful to District Attorney Boudin for valuing Black lives and for refusing to excuse police violence,” he added.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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