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S.F. district attorney's task force to probe police, sheriff's scandals

San Francisco DA launches task force to probe three recent law enforcement scandals

San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascon said Monday that he has launched a task force to investigate three recent law enforcement scandals that have eroded faith in the system and could imperil criminal cases.

“The multiple instances of misconduct are extremely troubling, and as the chief law enforcement officer for the county it is my responsibility to be the guardian of a system that has to be fair and equitable in order to retain the faith of the public," Gascon said. "We urge anyone with information about these incidents to contact my office.”

The task force will consist of three teams, each focusing on one area of concern.

The first scandal to capture the media spotlight this month involved racist and homophobic messages that four San Francisco Police Department officers allegedly exchanged with a now-disgraced sergeant convicted in a federal corruption probe.

Then, last week, Public Defender Jeff Adachi held a news conference to unveil allegations that a sheriff's deputy working the jail had forced two inmates to fight each other in two orchestrated matches, and placed bets on one of them.

Three other deputies were present. All have been reassigned pending a sheriff's investigation, and Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has said he may ask the U.S. Department of Justice to assist in a probe.

The latest revelations, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle and confirmed by police on Friday, involve irregularities at the Police Department's crime lab that could jeopardize hundreds of cases that are based on DNA evidence.

A technician and her supervisor have been reassigned pending an investigation into apparent violations of testing standards, police Chief Greg Suhr told the Chronicle.

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