Finally, They Win a Fight

Their testimony couldn’t secure convictions, and their efforts to make the city of San Francisco pay have been stymied. But more than three years after San Francisco’s notorious fajitagate incident, it looks like the two civilians involved in the early morning fisticuffs that started it all can finally celebrate a victory.

According to a lawyer aligned with one of the plaintiffs, a jury delivered a civil verdict in favor of Jade Santoro and Adam Snyder on Monday, finding two of the three defendant cops responsible and awarding a combined $41,500 in compensatory damages and $4,500 in punitive damages. The jury decided the third officer, David Lee, was not liable, according to attorney Ben Rosenfeld. (Rosenfeld works for the Law Office of Dennis Cunningham, which represented Santoro at the trial.)

Lee and the other two officers, Alex Fagan Jr. and Matthew Tonsing, have all long since beat criminal charges related to the November 2002 fight. And the related indictments of seven police brass, which initially elevated the incident to a national news story, had evaporated much earlier with dismissals.

Santoro and Snyder had also filed a federal suit to collect damages from the city that employed the cops. But a U.S. district court judge rebuffed that effort in April, finding the city couldn’t be held liable for the cops’ off-duty behavior. The officers had private counsel in the San Francisco Superior Court jury trial.

Pam Smith


One Response to “Finally, They Win a Fight”

  1. Legal Pad » Blog Archive » Fajitagate Victory No Knockout Says:

    […] Legal Pad The blog of « Finally, They Win a Fight […]

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