Three SFPD officers will be back in court in April for federal case 

click to enlarge Five current SFPD officers and one ex-officer have been indicted in a federal case related to searches at SRO hotels in 2010-11. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Five current SFPD officers and one ex-officer have been indicted in a federal case related to searches at SRO hotels in 2010-11.

Three San Francisco police officers will be back in court in April after a brief appearance before a federal judge Tuesday.

Officers Arshad Razzak, 41, and Richard Yick, 37, both of San Francisco, and Raul Eric Elias, 44, of San Mateo are accused of conspiring to violate and violating the civil rights of single-room-occupancy hotel residents by conducting allegedly illegal searches in 2010 and 2011.

Razzak and Yick also face additional charges of falsifying police reports and an informant payment record.

On Tuesday, the judge gave the three an April 8 date for a hearing on possible pretrial motions. The officers, who were indicted Feb. 25, have not yet filed any motions, but U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco scheduled the hearing at the request of federal prosecutor John Hemann.

Outside of court, defense attorneys Michael Rains and Matthew Pavone said any motions filed at this point in the case would concern the indictment itself, such as a motion to dismiss the charges.

The three officers pleaded not guilty before a federal magistrate Friday and were released on $50,000 bonds. Tuesday was their first appearance before Seeborg, the trial judge assigned to their case.

Two other officers and one former officer were charged in a separate indictment, also issued Feb. 25, with conspiring to violate civil rights by stealing money and property from people arrested; conspiring to sell drugs; and scheming to steal seized money, property and drug evidence from the Police Department between 2009 and 2011.

Their case was assigned to a different trial judge, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, and they are due to appear before Breyer in San Francisco today for a similar initial status conference.

The five current officers were suspended without pay by Police Chief Greg Suhr after the previously sealed indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag on Thursday.

If the men are convicted, the various charges each carry possible maximum sentences ranging from one to 20 years in prison.

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