SFPD officer on trial in man's beating testifies, prosecutor questions training

It's the trial against a San Francisco police officer that has triggered a dramatic fight between city's top cops. About who gets to investigate the police.

Now, the officer at the center of that trial is defending himself against excessive force charges. Officer Terrance Stangel took the stand Wednesday, telling jurors that he pulled his baton and struck Dacari Spiers to protect himself and his partner from being hurt.

The incident all unfolded near Fisherman's Wharf in 2019 and was captured on the officers body worn cameras. Officer Stangel and his partner were called to the scene of what was originally called into 911 as a possible case of domestic abuse. When the officers arrived they quickly used force to take Spiers into custody, breaking his leg. Wednesday, Officer Stangel's attorney questioned him about the incident. Stangel said it was not his intention to break Spiers' leg, saying "I was trying to get him to stop fighting my partner and I was trying to us get out of the situation without getting hurt," said Stangel.

On cross examination the prosecutor tried to show that Stangel and his partner did not follow their training in developing a plan before arriving at the scene, and that Stangel was in good physical shape and should not have felt threatened by Spiers.

KTVU was at court earlier this month when Spiers testified, and says he wants consequences for Stangel for what happened to him. "Just held accountable," said Spiers. "Held accountable that’s all I want to see."

SEE ALSO: Man at center of contentious SF police abuse case wants officer 'held accountable'

The prosecution has already rested, no word on when the jury will get the case.

This case has added fuel to the simmering dispute between San Francisco police and the district attorney, and is seen as a test case for prosecutions against police officers for on-the-job activities.

The city of San Francisco has already settled a civil lawsuit with Spiers for $700,000.