MISSING PERSONS: Former SFPD Officer Jason Lai and Lieutenant Curtis Liu

Jason Lai, Curtis Liu (SFPD)

 

Former SFPD Officer Jason Lai and Lieutenant Curtis Liu were partners in crime at SFPD’s already-scandal-ridden Taraval Station, Lai serving directly under Liu. In September 2015, SFPD investigated Lai for sexual assault:

According to the warrant, the pair then went to the woman’s bedroom, where she says they had sex despite her saying: “no I don’t want to.”

The officer told investigators he was quote “hammered” and does not remember anything from that night.

According to the warrant, a fellow officer at the Taraval Station and friend of the accused, compromised the investigation.

The information provided from one officer to the other could have allowed the suspect to destroy evidence.

“Could have allowed the suspect to destroy evidence” No surprise that San Francisco DA George Gascón dropped the rape charge against Lai due to insufficient evidence, though police did arrest and charge him with “two misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of local criminal offender records and four misdemeanor counts of misuse of confidential DMV records.” Reports are vague as to what Lai did with those reports, but he met the victim while he was on duty and may have used the records to track her residence/vehicle to further his plans.

The “fellow officer at the Taraval Station”? Lai’s lieutenant, Curtis Liu. His excuse for derailing a rape investigation?

According to the DA’s office, after the rape report was made “Then-Lieutenant Liu contacted a San Francisco Police Officer who worked at his station, and who had the same name as the reported rapist. Lieutenant Liu discussed the allegations with the Officer, and the Officer provided Lieutenant Liu with information that confirmed that the Officer was, in fact, the person that the rape victim was referring to.”

“Instead of reporting this information to his fellow officers, Liu engaged in a series of actions designed to keep the investigation from focusing on the Officer,” The DA’s office alleges. “These actions included lying to his subordinates and superior officers about the fact that he had contacted the suspect-Officer, and permitting the police report regarding the rape to be filed with the suspect listed as ‘unknown,’ when Lieutenant Liu knew that the proper suspect was the Officer.”

And SFPD seems surprised they’re facing at least one federal lawsuit alleging they don’t process rape kits and generally don’t honestly investigate rapes. During the obstruction investigation into Liu, racist, misogynist and homophobic text messages were discovered to have been shared among Lai, Liu and two other officers, triggering a new text-message scandal just as the department was recovering from the previous one. This new batch of texts was every bit as hateful and violent as the previous one, too:

In the messages Adachi released Tuesday, Lai also joked about “a story I wrote today” as he shared a draft incident report about a rape investigation. In his text message, he referred to the apparent victim as “an idiot.”

“Don’t go to the house of some Hispanic guy and black guy that you don’t know,” an unidentified person texted Lai in an apparent response. “Don’t drink with them and don’t go into the bedroom with them and this shit wouldn’t have happened.”

“Lol amen,” Lai responded.

Not only was Lai accused of rape himself, and of covering it up with Liu, but he also proudly displayed the same attitude that stops many women from reporting rape to police. Lai and Liu appeared in court May 4, 2016 and pled not guilty in their separate, but connected, cases. Two weeks later, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr resigned and the media completely forget about Lai and Liu; their scandals swept up with all the rest from Suhr’s career to be promptly discarded and forgotten. Since the department eventually fired Lai, and Liu retired at the beginning of his obstruction investigation, their whereabouts are unknown and they’re both free on bail awaiting a court date that may not even exist. Like many disgraced police, it’s possible they moved elsewhere to terrorize another jurisdiction while their crimes here fade from memory and any prospect of justice.

As always with Missing Persons posts, let me know if you have updates on either Lai or Liu, in the Bay Area or elsewhere, that I can pass along. Perhaps more importantly, keep these suppressed stories circulating on social media and elsewhere and agitate local media, both MSM and indie, to keep covering these stories to keep them alive in the public memory and ensure men like Enrique Pearce, Christopher Kohrs, Jason Lai and Curtis Liu, among so, so many others, won’t get away with their crimes just because they were allowed to schedule their court dates when no one was looking.

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