Michael Chung

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Service Record

Oakland California Police Department

Rank Sergeant (2019)[1]
Dates of Service Hired in 2012.[1]
Salary $492,779 (2021)[2]
Last Known Status Administrative Leave[3]

Incident Reports

2021 Vehicle Accident

On March 15, 2021, Chung and Officer Kayla Brandwood were driving a department vehicle in the parking garage of his residence in San Francisco. Chung hit another vehicle, stopped for a few seconds, and drove away without inspecting the damage or leaving a note. Neither officer reported the incident to the department.[3]

The incident was captured on the garage's surveillance camera.[3]

Response Timeline

On May 25, 2021, the city received a claim from an insurance company for the damage.[3]

On July 14, 2021, the city asked the department for information on the driver of the vehicle on the date in question.[3]

On July 25, 2021, Lieutenant Omar Daza-Quiroz showed Chung the evidence from the insurance company - including the video - and ordered him to complete an accident report with the San Francisco Police Department. Chung claimed to not recall "any specific details such as seat belt usage, the volume level of my radio, or any occupants".[3]

On July 28, 2021, the Internal Affairs (IA) department opened an investigation, led by Sergeant Chan Lee. A longer version of the video was located, which showed Chung and Brandwood bringing suitcases to the vehicle before leaving. The officers had not declared their relationship to the department.[3]

On November 3, 2021, Chung claimed to have no knowledge of the collision and was not aware that it had happened at the time. Chung admitted that Brandwood was the passenger and that they were in a romantic relationship.[3]

On November 23, 2021, Brandwood claimed to be unaware of the collision and could not recall the day in question.[3]

The IA investigation concluded that Chung had violated the policy for Obedience to Laws for the collision and the hit and run. The investigator also found that Chung had not violated the policy on Truthfulness, and that Brandwood had not violated the policy for performance of duty. The report called into question the credibility of both officers and noted the romantic relationship and their failure to report it.[3]

After IA Captain Wilson Lau reviewed the report, it was revised to only fault Chung for the collision and not the hit and run. Brandwood was changed from "subject officer" to "witness". Lau also removed other parts of the report, including the truthfulness investigation and the discussion of the officers' relationship. The report concluded that both officers were credible.[3]

On December 23, 2021, Chief LeRonne Armstrong cut short the discussion on the incident and approved the Internal Affairs report. Chung was ordered to participate in a driver's training course.[3]

In June 2022, the City Administrator hired an independent law firm to investigate the incident. [3]

In 2022, Lau resigned.[4]

On January 17, 2023, the independent investigation released their report, finding that:

  • Captain Lau was not credible in his statements, had failed to perform his command duties, and had "undermined the investigation" which "resulted in the failure to hold [Chung] accountable for his actions".[3]
  • Chief Armstrong was not credible in his statements and had failed to perform his command duties, and his actions "did not hold his subordinate officers... accountable for their actions and inaction" during both the accident and the original investigation.[3]
  • Lieutenant Daza-Quiroz had failed to perform his command duties and undermined the investigation by showing Chung the evidence before the case was referred to IA.[3]
  • Sergeant Chan Lee failed to perform his duty by not investigating the relationship between the officers.[3]

In January 2023, Daza-Quiroz was placed on paid administrative leave.[4]

On February 15, 2023, Armstrong was fired.[5]

2022 Weapon Discharge

This incident mentions suicide.  If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 for immediate help 24/7.  Outside the U.S., please consult this list of suicide crisis lines.

In April 2022, Chung discharged his service weapon inside an elevator at the Police Administration Building.[3]

Chung threw the shell casings into the San Francisco Bay.[4]

Response Timeline

On April 25, 2022, Chung was placed on paid administrative leave.[3]

Chung told Lieutenant Joseph Turner that he had no real recollection of the event and hinted that it might have been a suicide attempt. Turner sent Chung home.[4]

An outside investigation concluded that Turner had failed to perform his duties, had violated laws by not reporting Chung's destruction of evidence, and had compromised criminal cases.[4]

In January 2023, Turner was placed on paid administrative leave.[4]

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