SF DA Expands Probe of Endemic Police Racism


San Francisco prosecutors are expanding an investigation into criminal cases that might have been compromised by revelations of police officers' racist, sexist and homophobic texts, says the Los Angeles Times. District Attorney George Gascon said his probe has so far identified 3,000 criminal cases that could have been affected by perceived bias by 14 officers. An investigative task force he created is combing through each case to determine whether some convictions must be overturned or pending cases dismissed.

Eight criminal cases have already been dropped, and prosecutors have identified potential problems in about 60 others. Gascon also widened the task force's mission to include an examination of whether a culture of bias exists in the police force. The probe began after the U.S. attorney's office filed a motion in March opposing bail for Ian Furminger, a former San Francisco police officer sentenced to 41 months in prison for corruption. The motion, intended to prevent Furminger from obtaining bail while appealing his conviction, quoted the texts, which included disparaging references to African-Americans and gays.

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