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Ex-S.F. cop wins suit against Police Department

Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 2013
A jury awarded $575,000 on Tuesday to a former San Francisco police officer who had sued the city, saying two colleagues wrongfully arrested him as he jogged in Golden Gate Park, causing him to be fired. Bret Cornell, 30, said he was jogging on a park path on the morning of July 10, 2010, more than two months after he graduated from the academy. He heard a man say, "I will shoot you" and turned to see a "dark figure" pointing a gun at him, according to the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court. Cornell did not realize until later that the man was Officer David Brandt, the suit said, so he continued running until he stumbled, rolled down a hill and saw uniformed Sgt. Wallace Gin and asked him for help. Gin ordered him at gunpoint to hold up his hands, and Cornell complied, the suit said. Cornell said he told the officers, "I'm a cop" and identified witnesses that could confirm that he had been jogging. But the officers arrested him for resisting and seized his duty gun from his parked Ford Bronco, his handcuffs from his pants and his star and police identification, the suit said. Cornell was fired two days later.... After a six-week trial, the jury determined that police did not have a reasonable suspicion to detain Cornell and ordered the city to pay $575,231, said his attorney Michael Haddad. "This is a complete vindication of Bret Cornell, and this just goes to show that nobody's immune from police misconduct, even another police officer," Haddad said.

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