Two San Francisco officers charged with destroying evidence

SAN FRANCISCO — Two San Francisco police officers and a retired officer working part-time at the department have been charged in two separate cases with destruction of evidence, theft of a machine gun and other charges, authorities said Tuesday.

Officers Kevin Patrick Lyons and Kevin Sien were called to the Marriott Marquis hotel on July 3, 2021, after employees found multiple credit cards, ID cards and suspected drugs in the luggage of a guest who had been expelled from his room for lack of payment. .

But instead of collecting the items as evidence, Lyons and Sien shredded the credit cards and IDs and Lyons flushed the alleged drugs down a hotel restroom, the San District Attorney’s Office said. Francisco in a statement.

They reportedly told hotel staff that cataloging the evidence would take too long, the office said.

The two officers, who surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, were charged with destroying evidence. Their lawyers did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

“The people of San Francisco trust the police to do the investigative work so my office can bring cases that keep the city safe,” District Attorney Chesa Boudin said. “These officers undermined their own colleagues, my office and our criminal justice system as a whole by destroying and covering up evidence of a crime, simply because they didn’t want to take the time to do their job.”

The union representing the two officers said the facts of the case will show the charges were not justified.

“We encourage everyone to remember that these individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Tracy McCray, acting president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, said in a statement.

In a separate case, retired San Francisco police officer Mark Williams was charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun, possession of a silencer and embezzlement after he allegedly removed a machine gun from the the department’s evidence room, where he worked part-time. the prosecutor’s office said.

In August, police department personnel were conducting an inventory of the Asset Control Division when they discovered a firearm was missing. The department launched an investigation, found Williams was in possession of the missing weapon, and officials immediately fired him from his part-time job, the San Francisco Police Department said in a statement.

Last week, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Williams also surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, officials said.

His attorney, Anthony Brass, said Williams retired from the department in 2017 and admits to taking the gun, but the gun was missing some parts and didn’t work and he never tried to remove it. make it operational.

“He just brought the gun home out of his own curiosity and he realizes that decision was wrong and rightly feels remorse for creating this situation,” Brass said.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the officers’ actions violate the law and “fall well below our department’s shared values.”

“As sworn police officers, we have no higher obligation than to earn and maintain the public’s trust, and we are disappointed that these incidents detract from the exceptional work done every day by our officers and our non-sworn members,” Scott said.

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