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S.F. Pot Case Tossed As Video Contradicts Police

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
A San Francisco judge dismissed marijuana trafficking allegations Wednesday after finding a videotape contradicted officers' account of a drug search at a suspect's Richmond District apartment.

In the latest case in which video appeared to undermine police testimony, Superior Court Judge Gerardo Sandoval issued his dismissal order after a three-day preliminary hearing on drug dealing charges lodged against McLaren Wenzell, 23, stemming from the March 1 police search and seizure of 4 pounds of marijuana.

Sandoval cited inconsistencies in the police accounts with the videotape.

The case has strong similarities to the scandal unfolding against eight Southern Station officers, who have been reassigned from a plainclothes detail after videotapes appeared to contradict their accounts of several drug raids in a Tenderloin single room occupancy hotel.

So far, that scandal has triggered dismissal of 76 cases as well as an ongoing FBI probe.

District Attorney George Gascón issued a statement late Wednesday saying that he acted promptly when the earlier allegations surfaced, but stressed that this case is different.

"It is our assertion that the relevant evidence shows an interaction that corroborates the testimony provided," he said.

In the latest incident, three Richmond Station plainclothes officers asserted in police reports that Wenzell agreed to let them search his Richmond District apartment. Wenzell said Wednesday that he never gave the officers permission, but simply went into his unit without saying one way or other.

The officers recounted that they were answering a report of a possible marijuana grow operation inside the building on 33rd Avenue and Geary Boulevard when they encountered Wenzell as he came out of the unit.

They said that they had their stars visible outside their clothing when they talked to Wenzell, who admitted having a small amount of marijuana, showed them his prescription note and then let them in 30 seconds after he went back inside his unit.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, accompanied by Wenzell's defense attorney, Robert Amparan, played the surveillance tape at a press conference, pointing out that the tape clearly showed the officers did not have their stars visible as they entered the underground garage and as they walked down the hall toward Wenzell's unit.

They said it appeared that rather than waiting for Wenzell to go inside his unit and give them permission to enter, the officers simply followed him in from the hallway.

"The testimony (of the sergeant at the scene) was proven to be untrue in several critical respects," Adachi said at the press conference. "Based on the videotaped evidence presented in court and the testimony of the sergeant in court, Judge Sandoval dismissed the case, finding that the testimony was not credible and was not supported by the evidence."

Amparan said the sergeant who led the operation had trouble answering questions about the basis of the raid given the tape and the statements in police reports. "They said they obtained consent," he said. "But as the testimony showed the officers were not truthful."


NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source:
Author: Jaxon Van Derbeken
Copyright: 2011 Hearst Communications Inc.
Contact: SFGate
Website: S.F. pot case tossed as video contradicts police
 

420 News

New Member
Another case of the police fudging evidence. Love it when video proves them to be in the wrong. Can't argue with video/audio. Someday, when cannabis is legal, we won't have to deal with them, what a joyful day that will be!!
 

free2blaze

New Member
so these officers lied in court? and there is proof of lies by these officers in court? what would happen to me if I lied under oath and there was proof of me lying, isn't that called perjury?
"Based on the videotaped evidence presented in court and the testimony of the sergeant in court,"
I would be sent to jail that is what would happen, I hate cops.
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
so these officers lied in court? and there is proof of lies by these officers in court? what would happen to me if I lied under oath and there was proof of me lying, isn't that called perjury?
"Based on the videotaped evidence presented in court and the testimony of the sergeant in court,"
I would be sent to jail that is what would happen, I hate cops.

There is a protocol used to deal with police in these sorts of situations, its called paid vacations.
 

420 News

New Member
Yep, I see that all the time! Oh, you messed up real bad officer? Don't worry, just take a vacation, let the public settle down, and then come on back and do it some more!! Crazy.
 
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