Tension Rises in SF Court – Prosecutor Objects to Every Question Defense Asks in Cross-Examination

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By Alana Bleimann

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SF prosecutor Samantha Adhikari seemingly objected to every question SF public defender Kathleen Natividad asked during her cross-examination of a key SF Police Dept. officer witness in the trial of Bryan Calloway Thursday, frustrating defense counsel and the judge.

The morning began as the officer witness resumed his testimony from Wednesday afternoon. The witness works in the Bayview district in San Francisco where he responded to an incident at 11:40 a.m. in April of 2020.

At the scene there were eight other officers, but they did not write any reports, the officer said. The officer’s report was the only one recorded and was the only narrative of what actually happened on that day.

“Some [of the officers] responded as backup,” the officer explained, “some are watching the defendant.”

Calloway was immediately detained and handcuffed at the scene after disclosing to the officer that, at a nearby house he, his girlfriend, sister, and another group of individuals were, there was an argument of some sort, causing Calloway to leave the house with a firearm on him.

It is unclear, however, if Calloway actually stated that he left the house with the firearm, or if the officer’s recollection was wrong.

According to Calloway, in his statement to the officer, in the house, an argument had broken out among everyone inside. In the house there was a male who “was grabbing a gun and had a big ass coat and was right there by my sister.”

Other women in the house were reported to be crying and yelling, but the officer did not ask about any other details of the event, including what types of vehicles were driven by the individuals in the house.

In order to diffuse the argument before “some other dumb shit was gonna happen,” Calloway allegedly left the house with the firearm.

Prosecutor Adhikari objected to every question PD Natividad asked before this important point could be clarified.

The officer stated, that while at the scene, an ambulance had to be called because Calloway was feeling sick and had to lie down on the street.

“I’m not feeling well, I need to sit down,” Calloway told the officer.

“I did not believe him, initially,” the officer said because “it’s not uncommon for suspects who are about to go to jail to have ‘jail-its’,” he continued to explain.

Eventually Calloway was allowed to sit down and be treated by the medics who arrived.

Through body worn camera footage, it was revealed that Calloway had been smoking marijuana and this often made him feel nauseous.

Natividad claimed that there were multiple people on the street yelling out and saying that he needed more medical help, but the officer did not remember this.

She also continued to ask the officer about any spontaneous statements that were shouted out by Calloway, however she couldn’t get very far because DDA Adhikari continued to object to every question and Judge Christine Van Aken continued to sustain.

“He [Calloway] was acting in a way where he felt… kind of trying to talk and talk and talk?” Natividad asked.

The witness briefly responded by saying that Calloway and his sister were arguing over the firearm and who owned it.

When the firearm was found in Calloway’s pants pocket, the officer handled it and then passed it down to a few other officers for safekeeping.

When questioning where the gun storage envelope came from, Adhikari objected to the questions and Judge Van Aken sustained them all.

PD Natividad grew more frustrated and sighed, asking for the three of them to talk outside the presence of the jury.

“Not at this time,” Judge Van Aken told her.

It was then revealed through a 911 phone call that there were multiple subjects “ready to fight.”

“There were eight to 10 Black males with guns,” Natividad told the court and the officer. But, when the officer arrived at the scene he claimed he did not see those individuals. Rather, he saw five people, but not all of them were Black males.

The 911 caller also reported that there was a Black male with a black jacket holding a firearm, but this individual was not Calloway.

The officer stated that he did not try to find this individual at all and did not write about it in his report.

“Were you trained not to write down about any of the other people around you?” PD Natividad questioned the witness, adding, “You don’t remember seeing another officer patting down a Black male with a black jacket?”

After a short break, Natividad recollected her thoughts and returned to the courtroom.

She presented a record that showed that no firearm was ever registered under Calloway’s name, and this record was passed around to each juror to examine.

The officer said that Calloway’s alleged girlfriend made spontaneous statements about who owned the firearm, finally stating that “it was Calloway’s.”

After then, after checking his report, the officer stated that the girlfriend actually didn’t say it was Calloway’s gun, as he’d just testified, but that said “it [the firearm] wasn’t hers.”

Initially, Calloway said that the firearm belonged to his girlfriend. “It was kind of finger pointing,” the officer explained.

By this point in the morning, DDA Adhikari had objected to so many of Natividad’s questions that it was not clear what details were relevant to the officer’s testimony.

Clearly frustrated and tired, Judge Van Aken excused the jury for the weekend, noting the trial will reconvene Monday.

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