San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón honored gay police Inspector Len Broberg Thursday (April 10) for his work on an attempted murder case that ended in August with two gang members being sent to prison for the next few decades.
Gascón recognized Broberg, a veteran member of the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force, and others at the 10th Annual Justice Awards ceremony Thursday as part of the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Broberg, 57, was one of the policemen who provided “superb” investigative work in the case against Rashad Brown and Anthony Taylor, prosecutors said when the men’s convictions were announced in May. Broberg also testified for weeks during the trial.
According to the DA’s office, Brown and Taylor were members of the Westmob gang who tried to murder another man because they thought he was a snitch.
In April 2009, Brown “shot at the victim multiple times” in front of the man’s Bayview district home, prosecutors said, citing court testimony. Brown missed the victim, but at least one bullet grazed a baby stroller and nearly hit the victim’s 5-year-old brother.
Almost three weeks later, the victim was outside his home cutting his 12-year-old brother’s hair when Taylor shot the man nine times, prosecutors said. The victim survived.
“I was on the stand for about three weeks testifying,” said Broberg. “We had to get the jury to believe that the gang exists,” he said, and he also testified about what the gang does, and told jurors how Brown and Taylor committed the crimes “for the benefit of the gang.”
Broberg also said it was revealed in court that Brown had sent a letter to another gang member suggesting that others should follow the victim after his testimony “so they could kill him.”
The jury found Brown and Taylor guilty of two counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a semi-automatic handgun, among other charges. They were also convicted of committing the crimes for the gang’s benefit, according to the DA’s office.
In August, Brown was sentenced to 60 years to life in prison, while Taylor was sentenced to 45 years to life, said Broberg. Brown was 25 and Taylor was 23 at the time of their convictions.
“These defendants have terrorized a community and kept people in fear,” Gascón stated when the jury’s findings were announced. “They have forfeited the right to live in our community. We will spare no resource in prosecuting violent gang members.”
Asked Thursday about his award, Broberg said, “It’s always nice when you get recognized for doing a case.” But he was also quick to credit others involved, including the man who was shot.
“The victim did the right thing by cooperating and getting two bad guys off the streets,” he said.
Broberg also credited Assistant District Attorney Sarah Hawkins, the victim’s advocate in the case, and the “dedicated” officers for their work.
“It took a lot of coordination to make that case happen,” he said.
Broberg was recently nominated to be a grand marshal for this year’s LGBT Pride parade and celebration, but he wasn’t selected.
“I do what I do,” he said. “It was nice to be nominated.”