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San Francisco DA Charging Yet Another Officer for Crimes During Course of Duty; Third SFPD Officer Charged in Less Than a Month
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San Francisco DA Charging Yet Another Officer for Crimes During Course of Duty; Third SFPD Officer Charged in Less Than a Month

by Leah AnayaDecember 15, 2020

San Francisco, CA – Another officer has been charged with a crime in relation to his actions on duty in San Francisco this week.

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced on Monday that San Francisco Police Department Officer Terrance Stangel is looking at felony charges for an October 2019 incident where the officer allegedly used “excessive and unlawful force” during an interaction with 32-year-old Dacari Spiers.

Boudin’s release said that Officers Stangel and Cuahtemoc Martinez responded to the Fisherman’s Wharf after receiving a 911 call of a man assaulting a woman, including by strangulation. When officers arrived, they met Spiers and his girlfriend, who were reportedly “standing next to each other.”

Reportedly, Officer Martinez ordered Spiers to turn around. Spiers ignored the officer’s orders and he and his girlfriend both protested and asked questions. Officer Martinez grabbed Spiers to detain him, but Spiers pulled away. For no reason, according to Boudin, Stangel struck Spiers with his baton until he dropped to the ground. Then, he struck Spiers’ legs and arms multiple times, breaking one of Spiers’ legs and one of his wrists.

Much of the interaction, Boudin said, between the officers and Spiers and his girlfriend was caught on body cam. It was reported that Spiers wasn’t charged with a crime.

Stangel is facing four felony charges for 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.

A warrant for Stangel’s arrest was signed Monday by a judge.

Earlier this year, Spiers filed a lawsuit, naming the City of San Francisco as well as the two officers, citing civil rights violations and assault. Spiers claims he was consoling his girlfriend after her wallet was stolen and that the two were hugging against their parked vehicle.

Days after the incident, the officers’ attorney, Nicole Pifari, told KTVU that Spiers’ recount of the details were “utter fiction.”

Pifari said, “The story being propagated by Spiers’ attorney is utter fiction. Thank goodness the law does not require San Francisco’s officers to allow themselves to be beaten up by violent persons. The fine officers involved in this matter responded to a cry for help, were met with violence, and responded accordingly. When the facts come to light, all will agree SFPD acted admirably and righteously in a tense and uncertain situation.”

Monday, Boudin said, “This case is 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.”

Boudin also mentioned a racial bias against the female caller of the original incident, meaning that she called the police simply because Spiers was black. He said the caller was a “racially-biased Karen.”

Additionally, Spiers said, “As an African American male, many times people call the police on you just because they have a bad opinion or they like to profile Black men.”

Following the announcement from Boudin’s office, however, Pifari said, “The evidence shows she [the caller] is a Black woman. Everyone in San Francisco should be concerned the DA can’t get his facts straight and is attempting to frame an innocent officer who was doing what society asks of him–protect the public. 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.”

Further, Pifari said, “Officer Terrance Stangel and his partner were doing exactly what society asks them to do–putting themselves at risk by attempting to protect an individual reportedly being strangled. When District Attorney Chesa Boudin says there is no evidence of domestic violence, he is wrong. He is also wrong in describing the reporting party–whom Mr. Boudin labeled a “racially-biased Karen”–thereby implying she made a false complaint, as a white person.

“The DA’s statement is repulsive–and implies if San Francisco residents see a hulking career criminal strangling someone, they will be publicly and falsely shamed by DA Boudin.”

The President of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, Tony Montoya, said, “The District Attorney is doing all he can to try this case in the public and not the courtroom and he’s withholding all of the facts while doing so. Boudin is more interested in headline chasing than administering justice in a fair and impartial manner.”

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at www.leahanaya.com.
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