San Francisco police officer found not guilty of assault and battery charges in landmark use of force trial

A jury found San Francisco Police Officer Terrance Stangel not guilty of assault and battery charges he faced for striking a man with a baton while on duty in 2019, closing a chapter on a landmark police use of force case in the city.

The verdict came on what was the fourth day of deliberations after weeks of testimony from officers, experts, witnesses, Stangel and the alleged victim, Dacari Spiers.

Jurors said they were unable to reach consensus on a charge of assault under the color of authority, with nine jurors voting “not guilty” and three voting “guilty.” Judge Teresa Caffese declared a mistrial on the fourth count, and prosecutors did not immediately announce whether they plan to refile that charge.

Stangel was the first known San Francisco officer to be criminally tried for allegations of excessive force while on duty.

He was acquitted of charges of battery involving serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury – with an allegation that he did in fact cause great bodily injury. Stangel faced up to seven years behind bars, had he been convicted.

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