Sewage floods and savagery happen every day at SF County Jail


by Darrell Buckins

As I sit here today in the hole at the San Francisco County Jail known as CJ 5 in San Bruno, I’m saying to myself enough is enough with the brutal treatment here at the jail. On my desk is a copy of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department Policies and Procedures Handbook, and although I can’t see them, there are some invisible policies and procedures being practiced on the daily at the jail.

The San Francisco sheriffs’ “Don’t fuck with us, or we’ll fuck you up” policy is in full force, and if you think it is a game, I have first hand experience with this “hands on” policy, and it has been the worst experience of my life.

I was first moved here by Sgt. Dolly of the SFPD on Aug. 31, 2018, because of my complaints about what I call the “flood zone.” For over a year and a half, the downstairs jail at 850 Bryant in San Francisco has flooded with sewage on a daily and inmates have been forced to clean up the toxic mess with their bare hands at times; at other times we can’t even get the proper changes of clothing.

I suffered the loss of health and legal documents and had to give up my “pro per status” because I was unable to work in these conditions. (See civil suit 18-cr-06155-LB filed by the law office of Yolanda Hwang.) Yet San Francisco sheriffs let these conditions become the norm.

During my transportation to the SF County Jail in San Bruno on Aug. 31, 2018, I suffered a sharp pain in my right leg due to metal pins in my knees and was unable to walk down a basement hallway. But instead of summoning medical help, Deputy Villanueva and his partner chose to drag me while handcuffed to the back, over 200 feet, causing me wrist, back and knee pains, and told me I was being treated like this because of my complaints against the San Francisco Sheriffs Department (SFSD) about the sewage flood zone.

The San Francisco sheriffs’ “Don’t fuck with us, or we’ll fuck you up” policy is in full force, and if you think it is a game, I have first hand experience with this “hands on” policy, and it has been the worst experience of my life.

This was only the beginning of a bad day at the jail. Once I arrived at the San Francisco County Jail’s San Bruno location, I was greeted by Capt. McConnell in the worst way. Capt. McConnell and around six other deputies, including Deputy Sharpe, approached the bus exit in the jail’s garage and stood there while I attempted to exit the bus.

I asked the deputy behind me if I could use the safety rail provided so I would not fall again, and Capt. McConnell told me, “No, you can walk!” I was still partially able to use the rail.

Once my feet hit the ground, Capt. McConnell immediately got in my face and said: “You like to complain about the sewage flood. Well, we’re not having this here.” The captain told me to “shut up” and don’t say a word but then turned around and asked me, did I understand his orders, and when I replied, “Yeah,” said, “Don’t speak.”

He called me a “smart ass” and told surrounding deputies to “get him.” I was forced at an abnormal walking pace (because of my leg conditions) into a holding tank and forced to my knees by Deputy Sharpe, with disregard for my complaints. This caused me great pain, but other deputies participated, while others just watched.

Deputy Sharpe mushed my head into the wall, and I received two punches to the rib area, which I believe were done by Deputy Sharpe. Deputy Sharpe then threatened to file false assault charges against me on a deputy to justify beating on me if I didn’t stop complaining about the floods. Deputy Sharpe took my pants which were soiled from my first attack in attempt to cover up the assault by saying I was sagging, but I still have the sweater as evidence.

I was then housed in an administrative housing area that was on 23-hour-a-day lockdown, and if it wasn’t for Deputy Antonio and his fairness, those two months would have been a living hell. My First Amendment rights will not be silenced by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, by no means. I will continue to grieve and protest the conditions of the jail, which put my health and safety at risk. I have now started my investigation with Sgt. Gonzon of the Internal Affairs Unit and these issues are pending.

After two months in a 23-hour lockdown pod, I was moved to the Roads to Recovery pod facilitated by Teresa (last name unknown) on Nov. 5, 2018. This program is designed to help inmates such as myself with substance and behavioral problems. On Nov. 6, 2018, deputies commenced a “shakedown” in the pod and all inmates were ordered to the gym, one by one. I was ordered to the gym and was told to place my hands behind my back and made to sit on the gym floor.

Due to my medical conditions noted on my housing/booking card, this is a very uncomfortable position for me and causes me pain in my knees and back. A slouching position is a much easier position for me to deal with my pains.

Deputy Sanchez ordered me to sit in the upright position, and I tried to explain my conditions to him. Deputy Sanchez ordered me again to sit in the upright position, ignoring my medical request. From a 10-foot distance, Deputy Sanchez called in a “148 pc” (resisting an officer) and approached me by grabbing my sweater collar and dragging me six feet.

He started to use excessive force against me. Deputy Sanchez and his partner, along with arriving deputies, beat me while handcuffed on the ground facedown. They used the common “Stop resisting!” call, but I never resisted this attack.

Deputy (Ki he he, a Hawaiian name) entered the gym, and I requested he tell them about my medical condition, but instead he ignored my call for help and came down with a knee to my head. Deputies purposely bent my legs at the knees and twisted my arms and wrist causing me great pain.

I screamed for help but no deputy aided my call. I was then escorted backwards with deputies twisting my wrist to an adjacent pod interview room, where deputies took turns assaulting me. Deputy Sgt. Paul made me get down on the ground and put my face in the corner while his boot was applying pressure to my face.

Deputy Sanchez and his partner, along with arriving deputies, beat me while handcuffed on the ground facedown. They used the common “Stop resisting!” call, but I never resisted this attack.

I was asked what hand do I write with by an unknown deputy, and I said my right hand. I then heard another deputy say, “Break it,” and deputies pulled on the cuffs in attempts to break my arm. I was threatened by deputies that this beating would take place as long as I kept complaining.

Deputies then took turns kicking and punching me and twisting my arm and legs until I cried in pain and even after I cried deputies continued to assault me, which seemed like forever. I was stripped of my pants, shoes and socks and made to keep my legs in an upright position, plus crossed.

Deputies then exited the interview room but returned some minutes later and began to assault me some more. I was then forced into the worst painful position and made to walk backwards to the lock-up pod.

Deputies twisted my wrist, causing unbearable pain and laughed at me and showed me no mercy. Deputy Jones then escorted me up the stairs in the lock-up pod by dragging me up the stairs, along with other deputies, by my cuffed hands. This was the worst of all pains.

Once in the cell, Deputy Jones and others assaulted me again and again until I cried some more and was forced under the bunk while they made their exit. I was unable to get to my feet so I just lay there in pain.

A medic returned with Deputy Jones and asked me if I was all right, but obviously I wasn’t. I told him I was fine, while Deputy Jones stared me down. The medic witnessed several bruises on my face and wrist, but I don’t know if he logged them.

It is also obvious that the sheriffs have a strong influence on the medical treatment in this jail. Later that night, I was served with a disciplinary write-up for RFD 18 (refused direct orders) and RFD 33 (crime, inmate refused multiple orders to be cuffed up and resisted by violently moving his body).

Deputy Sanchez wrote that I was lying on the floor, that he ordered me to sit properly and that I waved my right hand at him and he ordered me to put my hands behind my back. At this point he said he called in a “148 pc” over the radio for assistance from other deputies.

This is not what the gym surveillance video is going to show. In fact, it is going to show Deputy Sanchez called in the “148 pc” before I even ever moved, which was when he grabbed me by the collar.

This was not just your normal misunderstanding. This was the hit the SFSD put on me for complaining about the sewage floods, the captain’s threats and the prior assaults by the SFSD.

But as I sit here looking at my face in the mirror, I will not let these retaliations stop me from exercising my rights. I have appealed my disciplinary disposition because it is based on lies and not facts.

This was the hit the SFSD put on me for complaining about the sewage floods, the captain’s threats and the prior assaults by the SFSD.

I asked to present the video at my hearing, but Sgt. Paul, who has direct involvement in this incident and assaulted me and watched as other deputies assaulted me, adjudicated the write-up, disregarded my rights to present evidence at this hearing and gave a deposition that was not based on the facts of the incident.

I was, however, able to deliver a message to my lawyer through medical personnel, and my investigator, Stuart Kohler, came and took pictures of my injuries and took copies of these reports and my statements. The sheriffs also took pictures after my investigator and forwarded them to Internal Affairs because I have an ongoing investigation.

But the sheriffs investigating the sheriffs does not sit easy with me. I am subpoenaing all footage related to this incident. However, the sheriffs can access the video faster if that is their best interest.

I now sit in the hole scared that my next assault may be fatal. I am asking the courts to release me while this investigation is pending. Hopefully, I can be released on ankle monitor soon.

What is happening here is not a first-time go-around. This is something that is practiced by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department regularly, but most inmates don’t know their rights and have little understanding of policies and procedures at the jail.

I am helping all that are in need. I am called the jailhouse lawyer, and I have worked with numerous inmates on their cases and I have drafted motions, argued in court, investigated discrimination (Murgia motion) and have studied the Blue Ribbon Report and the Haywood Burns Institute Report.

The law is being enforced in a biased way, and it is based on racial disparities in San Francisco. This is shocking to be still going on. San Francisco is one of the most diverse cities in America, which tells me that there is no more room for Blacks and Hispanics in the city.

I now sit in the hole scared that my next assault may be fatal. I am asking the courts to release me while this investigation is pending.

Our newest mayor, London Breed, is working hard to improve the conditions in the city, but we as a people have a long way to go. It’s about time we turn away from hurting each other, away from so-called Black-on-Black crime. Other races, too, who participate in violence against one another need to stop the genocide and focus on coming together.

We are being attacked by systemic, biased law enforcement and can’t break the chains because we have come to believe in it. We all know if we run from the police, when they catch us, we know what we got coming.

We know that if we are caught for a single crime, that the police and prosecution will file several of the same charges to spike the bail, even on charges that they know they won’t try to prove if you were to go to trial, like a robbery and receiving stolen property charge.

It’s a fact that public defenders are overworked and underpaid, and the judges just knock the wind out of them every time they file good motions. Public defender representation is forced into the waiting game of you get tired of sitting in jail and the judges get tired of hearing strung along cases, where defendants have sat for years in the county jail, and force a resolution.

Inmates are tired of being told by lawyers that they will visit them, but never do for months, or lawyers who you can’t call because their phones are not set up to accept calls from the county jail. I just thank God that there are people in the Public Defender’s Office who help you even if you are not a client.

It’s a fact that public defenders are overworked and underpaid, and the judges just knock the wind out of them every time they file good motions.

There are so many areas to cover in the judicial system I can only begin to talk about them. I just fear this new bail reform will keep inmates stuck in these harsh conditions with no way out.

We all know the solution is for crime to stop, but do you think the people in places like the Sheriff’s Department whose job is to lock you up, because that’s how they get paid, want crime to stop? Think about it!

Over the last three years I have watched the minority group of the city, Blacks, come back and forth, in and out the jail like a targeted species for low ranking crimes like possession, and get none of the help they need. Instead, they are pushed back out onto the streets just to return a week later.

There are so many inmates with psychological issues getting housed in normal mainline tanks because of overcrowded mental health space, who get into fights because of these abnormal behaviors. I myself have been attacked by mental health inmates and, although it is dangerous, I would have to be crazy, too, if I thought it was their fault.

I practice keeping a peaceful environment at the jail, and deputies have awarded me for such things. But here at the San Bruno Jail, I am unknown and just another inmate who needs to “shut up,” according to Capt. McConnell, or else!

I’ve seen every inmate who has been escorted into the lock-up pod because of extreme situations – fights etc. – screaming at the top of their lungs in pain like it is normal to go through this here at the jail. I am gathering the names and stories of inmates and requesting that all camera footage be subpoenaed to show the world the treatment of inmates in modern day society. But most of all, deputies like Sergeant Paul need to be off the force so deputies like Deputy Antonio can step up.

The fight has just begun. Attorney Stanley Goff and I have talked about filing a civil suit against the City and Sheriff’s Department.

Darrell Buckins Jr.

Send our brother some love and light: Darrell Buckins, 507384, CJ 2, 425 7th St., San Francisco CA 94103.


  1. I think there’s more to this story. I think your probably a problem child, obviously you’re in custody. You probably hurt, raped, or stole from an old lady or child. It’s really difficult to be in custody in San Francisco due to the District Attorney. You sound like a P.O.S.

    • He’s not an rapist or nor did he still from an old lady. Gtfoh. They had no right to treat him like that period point blank. I’ve heard his story before and the details have not changed. You people are so quick to judge someone. Police brutality is real and they deserved to be punished for they behavior. They suppose to protect us instead they doing the same bullshit that’s going on in the streets

  2. In San Francisco, CA the District Attorney’s Office rarely prosecute individuals. San Francisco County has many programs and opportunities for low offense offenders (Drug addicts, property crime, prostitution and etc.). In order for you to stay in custody with all the opportunities with programs and the District Attorney’s office not pursuing you (Due to workload) you must have done something horribly to the public. If you Google Darrell Buckins Jr. “Alameda” or “San Francisco” you shall see how great pf a citizen Mr. Buckins is. Mr. Buckins has violent Federal cases and various drugs and WEAPONS charges. It looks to me that this P.O.S. is trying to get hard working tax payers money. Mr. Buckins is a Violent Sexual Predator. I encourage all of you to Google his name. Shame on Bayview to represent a Pedophile. Disgraces the San Francisco Bayview community.

  3. 62 year old ex-inmate……..Deputy Sharp should not be a Deputy. While I was in jail,I witnessed him verbally,physically and mentally abusing inmates and also the visitors that came to the jail on weekends. I know he is a big man, but that is the only quality I think he must of been hired for, not his people skills. He uses his size to intimidate the inmates that are detained, not even convicted of there charges. He is only one of the many many deputies that are committing human rights violations. These deputies walk around the jailhouse looking at inmates with contempt all through there 16 hour shifts. Do the tax payers know that these sheriffs are bilking the city coffers and eating up tax dollars? No competent business could survive with this abuse of funds. When a deputy comes to work most of them run to there computers so they can spend there 16 hour shifts shopping or watching movies, and if they have to stop to take care of an inmates needs watch out the world is coming to an end!

  4. San Francisco’s taxpayers are being ripped off point blank! If you had the opportunity to witness the jailhouse abuse you’d change your tune. Who in this life does one get paid $70+ an hour to drink coffee all day and night an fuck with human beings because the have to stay in jail. A rich childmolerster can bail out an not deal with these abusers. It’s a shame you have over paid security guards taking advantage of inmates and the public.

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