SAN FRANCISCO - A retired San Francisco police officer was found with a gun missing from the department and two current cops destroyed evidence in a separate case, the San Francisco Police Department announced Tuesday.
All three turned themselves in today to face charges, the police department said. Those charges were later announced by San Francisco's district attorney.
Mark Williams, a retired officer, is accused of taking a firearm that was discovered to be missing from the police department's property division in August. Officials did not specify how the Internal Affairs investigators determined Williams had the missing gun, but they said he has been fired from a part-time position with the SFPD.
According to the D.A.'s office, Williams' was charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun, possession of a silencer, and embezzlement after he removed a Heckler & Koch, MP5 SD Submachine Gun from SFPD's Property Control Division, where he was working.
He has been booked on suspected possession of a machine gun, possession of a silencer and embezzlement.
Court documents show Williams was working part-time in the gun destruction unit of the property control division of SFPD in August 2021. During that time, SFPD was preparing 22 Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns for destruction. Inventory showed one of the guns was missing on August 9. Four days later, Williams confessed to having the weapon in his possession in Napa. SFPD sergeants recovered the weapon without incident that same day.
"We take the possession of illegal weapons very seriously in San Francisco and those who have weapons unlawfully will be held accountable," said District Attorney Chesa Boudin. "Keeping these dangerous firearms off the streets is critical to the security of our community. Officer Williams breached the trust and safety of our community when he removed the machine gun from SFPD's custody."
In a separate case, Internal Affairs also determined that Officer Kevin Lyons and Officer Kevin Sien destroyed evidence in July. The type of evidence was not specified, but it was associated with an incident on the 700 block of Mission Street, police said in a statement.
Lyons faces two charges of destroying or concealing evidence and Sien faces one charge of destroying or concealing evidence,
Both have been cited and released.
SF D.A. Boudin's office released a statement with additional court document details on the allegations against Lyons and Sien.
Per the D.A.'s office, "Employees at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis were looking for missing hotel property in the luggage of a guest who had been locked out of his room for non-payment when they discovered multiple credit cards, IDs, and suspected methamphetamine. They called the police to report the suspected criminal activity and request that the evidence be collected. When Officers Lyons and Sien arrived at the hotel, they told hotel staff that cataloguing the evidence would take too long. Instead of collecting the items, the two disposed of the credit cards and IDs in a shred bin, and Officer Lyons flushed the drugs down a hotel toilet."
D.A. Boudin added his own comments.
"San Francisco residents trust the police to conduct the investigative work so my office can bring cases that keep the city safe," said Boudin. "These officers undermined their own colleagues, my office, and our criminal justice system as a whole by destroying and concealing the evidence of a crime, simply because they didn't want to take the time to do their jobs."
"The actions of these SFPD members violate the law and regrettably fall far short of our department’s shared values," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott in a statement. "As sworn police officers, we have no higher obligation than to earn and maintain public trust, and we are disappointed that these incidents detract from the outstanding work done by our officers and non-sworn members every day."
San Francisco Police Officers Association responded to the arrests in a statement: "We were made aware of these incidents some time ago and now that the investigations process has finished, we will let the process continue in a court of law. We are providing representation to our active members. It’s an unfortunate situation that our members find themselves in but we have full confidence that the facts will come out on the side of our members. Any further statements will be provided by the attorneys."
The arraignments of all three are set for May 19.