The misconduct investigation into a San Francisco police unit of undercover officers has forced prosecutors to drop another 42 criminal cases, says the San Francisco Chronicle. The growing scandal, which has prompted separate investigations by the FBI, the district attorney, and the Police Department, involves eight officers in a plainclothes unit. Their tactics have been called into question after the release of several videos that show officers busting into residential hotel apartments.
The public defender’s office says the officers didn’t have warrants and failed to identify themselves property before illegally searching the apartments. They’ve also accused the unit of lying on police reports that detail how the searches were conducted. So far, a total of 57 criminal cases have been dropped and the unit has been taken off the street. The officers have been assigned to administrative duties. District Attorney George Gascón, until recently the police chief, said that “out of an abundance of caution” his office has been scouring reports to find pending cases involving the officers within the plainclothes unit. Keeping people in jail when evidence exists that might lead to their release is “less than ethical” and a violation of legal obligations, he said.