San Francisco Police Commission to approve settlements,
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
September 6, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Police Commission
is expected to take a close look at two officer-involved lawsuits
tonight before they go to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
In the first case, plaintiff Kevin Jordan filed a lawsuit after
embattled "Fajitagate" Officer Alex Fagan Jr. and his
partner allegedly broke Jordan's ribs and punctured a lung during
a 2003 arrest.
The department later dismissed the arrest charges and Jordan
filed the lawsuit, which was the third report of police brutality
against Fagan to surface since the early-morning Union Street
brawl that made him a household name.
Jordan's attorney, Harriet Ross, argued that the city is legally
liable for inadequate training and supervision of Fagan, who had
a history of alleged excessive force.
In addition to this case, the police commission is also expected
to review the 2002 case of Vilda Curry, 39, who an officer accidentally
shot in the abdomen as he fired at a knife wielding suspect near
the bustling intersection of Geneva and Mission streets.
Curry had apparently walked out of a nearby Popeye's Chicken
fast-food restaurant to see what the commotion on the sidewalk
was about when she was shot.
The amount of the settlements in each case has not yet been released.
According to Matt Dorsey with the city attorney's office, the
amounts will not be made public until the settlements go before
the Board of Supervisors for approval, which should be shortly
after an approval by the police commission.
The San Francisco Police Commission is also expected to recognize
three officers, two who died while in the line of duty and another
who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
A screening committee unanimously voted to place both the names
of Officer Nick Tomasito Birco and Sgt. Darryl Tsujimoto on the
Wall of Honor, a list displayed in the Hall of Justice commemorating
officers who have fallen while in the line of duty.
Tsujimoto, a 15-year veteran of the department, died of a medical
condition during a K-9 training exercise on Treasure Island on
May 1. He had been in charge of the department's tactical company
K-9 unit for about seven years.
Birco, a five-year veteran who was killed July 26 when a suspect's
van rammed into his patrol car, is also expected to be honored
with a purple heart for sustaining injuries during the apprehension
of three robbery suspects.
The police commission is also expected to recognize Inspector
Marty Bastiani tonight for his 50-year career with the San Francisco
An inspector with the sexual assault detail, Bastiani is the
longest tenured officer working in the department. The commission
is expected to honor him with a special commendation.
Today's meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in room 400 of San
Francisco City Hall.
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