SFPD release 911 audio, body-camera footage of Fisherman's Wharf beating incident

San Francisco police on Tuesday released 911 audio and police-worn, body-camera footage in response to the district attorney filing criminal charges against an officer for the 2019 Fisherman's Wharf beating of an unarmed Black man

In addition, SFPD Chief Bill Scott released a statement supporting his department and the officers involved, including Officer Terrence Stangel, who is facing multiple felony assault charges from D.A Chesa Boudin's office. 

"I have confidence in our judicial system, and the criminal charges filed on Officer Stangel are now a matter for our judicial system to decide," Scott's statement read in part.

SFPD body camera footage from the Dacari Spiers incident at Fisherman's Wharf in 2019.

"While I steadfastly believe that officers should be held accountable when they violate the law, I feel just as strongly that there needs to be a balance in holding individuals accountable when they assault, physically attack, or unlawfully obstruct police officers in their duty to respond to public safety emergencies," Scott continued. 

Chief Scott said the charges in the excessive force case involving Dacari Spiers, who was left with a broken leg and wrist, is of high public interest. As part of a commitment to transparency, SFPD said they are releasing the footage and audio.  

In the 911 domestic violence call, the witness described an "African American" male with dreadlocks and a red shirt, who was grabbing a woman and dragging her by the neck, near Pier 39. 

She told dispatch she did not see any weapons, but the caller said the woman got away from the man, but he "got her again." 

The witness said someone she was with at the time of the incident also recorded with her phone. Police did not indicate if they obtained that footage and did not include it in their presentation.

Dispatch relayed the information to police who were sent to Powell and Beach streets.

The body-cam footage shows police arriving at the scene and a woman screaming, "What'd he do?!" before one of the officers begins using his baton on Spiers, who matched the description of the man from the 911 call. 

One of the officers ordered the man to get his hands behind his back, but Spiers argued he didn't do anything amid what appeared to be a chaotic struggle.

After being struck with the baton several times, police repeatedly commanded, "put your arms behind your back" to which Spiers complied "Okay, alright." 

Spiers was then cited for obstructing, delaying a peace officer.

Officer Stangel's attorney said Boudin characterized the 911 call incorrectly as coming from a "racially-biased Karen" and that it was actually from a Black woman. The attorney also defended the officers' response in this instance. 

Rachel Marshall, the director of communications and policy adviser from the district attorney's office responded by saying, "Officer Stangel’s attorney is attempting to distract from Officer Stangel’s alleged abusive and unlawful conduct, which is the sole basis of the charges in the Complaint."

WARNING: Video is violent and disturbing