San Francisco Investigates Cases Due to Texts By And With A Convicted Officer
Posted by Xena
Ian Furminger was a Sergeant who worked in a plainclothes unit of the San Francisco police department. Furminger was convicted of four of seven counts that included stealing money and drugs from drug dealers and other corrupt acts. On February 23, 2015, Federal judge Charles Breyer sentenced Furminger to the maximum sentence of 41 months in federal prison and a $25,000 fine.
Before reading the sentence, Judge Breyer stated:
“We all rely every day that the police will be honest, fair.”
Furminger was one of three officers prosecuted. His co-defendant, former officer Edmond Robles, was found guilty on five counts related to conspiracy to sell drugs, extortion and theft. Reynaldo Vargas pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution against Furminger and Robles. The trio worked together. Among their crimes, they searched houses and hotel rooms without warrants. In one incident, the 3 officers took $30,000 from a heroin dealer’s house and split the case, allowing Robles to purchase an expensive Belgian road bike. Furminger purchased new skylights.
Furminger filed a motion for bail pending appeal, and that is where things get interesting.
Federal prosecutors filed an opposition and in the document, released dozens of racist and homophobic texts. Furminger is now at the center of a San Francisco Police Department texting scandal. The text messages are graphic and offensive. One text asked “Do you celebrate Kwanza at your school?” The response was “Yeah. We burn the cross on the field. Then we celebrate whitemas.”
Another text said:
“The buffalo soldier was why the Indians Wouldnt (sic) shoot the niggers that found for the Confederate. (sic) They thought they were sacred buffalo and not human.”
The text messages involved Furminger and four other officers who have been reassigned to units with no public contact while the department investigates. One of the four includes a Captain.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi believes that some cases will be dismissed because of the texting scandal. At a news conference Tuesday, Adachi said his office is going review 10 years of cases. So far they’ve gone through 2 and a half years and found 120 cases involving two of the officers. Adachi is looking into the officers’ accounts of what happened during investigations.
“It’s highly unlikely, I think, a judge would not believe that an officer who made these kind of statements or engaged in this kind of banter would not be biased in his perceptions,” “No prosecutor is gonna want to put them on the stand. Those cases are likely going to be dismissed.” Adachi said.
Below the video is the opposition filed by federal prosecutors that contain the text messages. Some might find the language offensive and vulgar. If you want to download it in pdf, click here.