Officer Down

Steve Landi was a hero at 101 California and a cop to his bones. Why is the SFPD trying so hard to get rid of him?

"There's a lot of cops that could be embarrassed in a trial," Landi says. "This civil case is going to have a lot of ramifications for other people's jobs. Those that toed the party line and got cute with the truth are going to be brought out, because I have to do that. That's part of where my mind is. I wish I didn't have to do that, but I don't see any option."

Landi has fared well in courts of law, he points out. The criminal trial went his way, Judge Garcia overturned the Police Commission's punishment, and his state civil suit is headed for court.

"I think we still live in the U.S.," Landi says. "I'm not sure. The right to remedy an issue in a court of law, isn't that what we're supposed to do as citizens? Seems to me that the Police Department takes exception to that."

Slowly, bit by bit, he believes he is regaining some part of what was taken from him.

"Yeah, my career was ruined. My life has been turned into shit," he says. "I've answered to people from childhood. You know, I've been a native of the city all my life, of the area. People called up when they saw the headlines that I knew from grammar school asking, you know, 'What happened?'"

Landi is still trying to show them what happened. Show that it wasn't his fault. Show that he never stole a thing, never lied, never did anything more than insist on being treated fairly.

Show that he was not, ever, a bad cop.

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