Statement from Nicole Pifari - Correcting the Record
Two False Statements Made by the SF District Attorney About San Francisco Police Officer Terry Stangel
The California Rules of Professional Conduct allow a lawyer such as myself to make a public statement to protect her client from the prejudicial effect of false statements, and that is what I aim to do here. Shortly after charging Officer Stangel with four felonies, Chesa Boudin made two false statements to the media about the situation my client and his partner were responding to the night they tried to detain suspect, Dacari Spiers.
In light of the recent criticisms faced by Mr. Boudin about his negligence in pursuing domestic abusers, his false statements in this case are particularly salient. The charges against Officer Stangel stem from yet another situation in which the DA’s office disregarded and apparently lied about objective evidence of domestic violence in favor of the politically fashionable prosecution of an innocent officer.
Mr. Boudin’s first false statement was that he described the situation as a “Karen call.” Nothing could be further from the truth. There were two women who bravely stood together that night and had the guts to call 911, report what they were seeing, and summon help from the police. They were not “Karen-callers.” They were both African American women. Mr. Boudin’s mislabeling and shaming of these women is offensive.
The second lie published by Mr. Boudin came when he said “There’s no evidence that there was any domestic violence whatsoever.” Again, nothing could be further from the truth. There is a mountain of domestic violence evidence in this matter.
First of all, there is the 911 call. The first thing the 911 caller stated is that she was, and I quote “calling to report domestic violence.” Doesn’t get much clearer than that. She described a man, matching the description of Spiers, as beating up on a girl who was trying to get away from him. She described him holding his victim by the neck, dragging her by her neck, and yelling and swearing at her.
But that’s not all.
Both the percipient witnesses gave extensive statements to investigators and described what they saw that night in great detail. They described Spiers as hitting, pulling and dragging his victim; putting her in a headlock twice; yelling “give me my mother f---ing cell phone, bitch,” and “you ain’t going no-mother f---ing-where”; and grabbing her by the waist and physically picking her up off of the ground, as she kicked her feet in the air. The witnesses described the female victim as trying to get away from someone who matched Spiers’s description. They said Spiers was “acting crazy” and that they called 911 because they were afraid he was going to harm or kill her.
Now, sometimes reasonable minds can differ about how to interpret evidence. That being said, we should all be able to agree that, given what I have just told you, Mr. Boudin’s claim that “There’s no evidence of domestic violence” here is completely false.
Thank you for allowing me to set the record straight.