Democrats in San Francisco standing by pro-criminal, anti-cop District Attorney despite recall efforts

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Democrats and progressives are banding together to support their District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, who has been officially entered into a recall election.

While critics claim that Boudin’s policies are making the area less safe, supporters believe he is doing a good job and have been supporting him.

Boudin has faced harsh criticism since he was first elected to the District Attorney position in San Francisco.

From his pro-criminal policies, to recent news that he instructed prosecutors from withholding evidence in a use of force case involving a San Francisco Police Officer, enough people in the community have demanded he be removed from office.

Those who are fed up with the District Attorney fought to get him removed from office and were successful in their efforts by forcing a recall election.

It’s something noted by the Director of Elections John Arntz who wrote in a letter:

“Today the Department of Elections certified the petition to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin contains a sufficient number of valid signatures and that the petition is successful.”

Despite those that believe he should be removed, Democrats like Cooper Teboe, a strategist for the party, says that Boudin is nothing more than an unfortunate “victim.” He said:

“I live and breathe politics, and spend six hours sleeping and 18 hours awake, and I don’t know who the DA of San Mateo County is…Chesa is the unfortunate victim, the unfortunate recipient of all of the anger from the investor class and the billionaire class.”

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Another who firmly supports him, Chris Larsen, the co-founder of Ripple Labs, has donated $100,000 towards Boudin’s anti-recall efforts. He said:

“We [he and Boudin] took many long walks in the Presidio and so I’ve gotten to know him quite well and consider him a friend and am super impressed with him.”

Others who are in support of Boudin have founded an organization called, “Friends of Chesa Boudin Against the Recall.” That organization claims that the recall efforts are merely “fueled by fear-mongering” and that Boudin is on the right path with criminal justice and bail reform.

Another group, called Stand with Chesa Boudin, has created a website noting what they believe to be the District Attorney’s accomplishments and arguments that he should not be recalled in June.

The website claims the move to recall Boudin is a way for Republicans to overturn a “free and fair election.” Their website says, in part:

“Republicans, the police union, and the ultra-wealthy are banding together to overturn the results of the free and fair election of Chesa Boudin. They want to roll back his progress on creating real public safety solutions, reducing incarceration, and holding police accountable…

“Make no mistake: this effort to overturn an election is Republican-led and fueled by fear-mongering and dangerous misinformation. They are pushing this recall at a time when we should be focusing on public health and economic recovery…

“We are proud to stand with Chesa in opposition to a costly and distracting recall effort. We stand with Chesa because he is proving that we do not have to choose between ending mass incarceration and protecting public safety.”

Despite the claims that the efforts to recall Boudin are Republican-led and merely an effort to overturn an election, people like Mary Jung, a former area Democratic Party Chair, claim it has little to do with a political party.

She and others note that there are only 33,000 registered Republicans in San Francisco, if it was truly just a partisan move, how would they explain the recall petition received 83,000 certified signatures?

Jung said:

“It is time to put that tired talking point to bed [that it is Republican led]. The fact is we have support from hundreds of volunteers from across San Francisco and the vast majority of our more than 600 donors are Democrats, decline to state, and no party preference voters.”

If recall efforts are successful, Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed will have to name a replacement until elections are held.

San Fran PD ends agreement allowing anti-police DA Boudin to investigate police shootings

San Fran PD ends agreement allowing anti-police DA Boudin to investigate police shootings

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Police Department is ending its agreement with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office that granted prosecutors authority to “independently” investigate police shootings, according to a statement released by the department on Thursday.

 

Facing accusations that his office withheld evidence in the prosecution of a police officer, San Francisco’s progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin on Thursday blasted the police chief’s decision to stop cooperating with the DA’s office on use-of-force investigations:

“The whole reason for the signing of the (memorandum of understating) to begin with back in 2019 was to provide for our independent investigation of police officers.

“Walking away from the MOU means abandoning that commitment to justice.”

In a letter to the DA, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the rules of the MOU had been broken and therefore he was terminating the agreement. He also discussed the decision at a Police Commission meeting Wednesday night:

“Everybody who has anything to do with this MOU and the impacts of it all depend on this being a fair system that we all have confidence in. That’s what this is about.”

Courthouse News reported that Chief Scott expressed serious concerns about recent court testimony by the DA’s Office:

“Scott cited ‘serious concerns’ about recent court testimony by a DA’s Office investigator who said she was instructed to remove evidence from an arrest warrant for Terrance Stangel, an officer facing assault charges for beating a black man suspected of domestic violence in 2019.

“The investigator, Magen Hayashi, testified she was told to delete details about her interviews with two witnesses who said they saw the suspect, Dacari Spiers, assaulting a woman. Stangel’s attorney, Nicole Pifari, argued that evidence would have supported her client’s position that Spiers was dangerous, and her client’s use of force was justified.”

 

In Chief Scott’s letter dated February 2, he writes that the MOU was agreed to in July 2021 to allow the DA’s Office to take the lead in officer-involved shooting investigations, on-custody deaths, and use of force incidents that result in serious bodily injury.

Specifically, under the DA’s responsibilities in section (B), it states that the SFDA’s Office shall, “Lead all interviews related to the criminal investigation of a Covered Incident. SFPD investigators shall participate in and ask questions related to any ancillary criminal investigations during such interviews,” according to the Chief.

The Chief wrote:

“I have reviewed the court transcripts where the DA investigator provided testimony to the court, under oath, showing that the spirit and the letter of MOU processes and procedures we agreed upon have not been followed by the DA’s Office. Other evidence that was brought forward to the court corroborated the DA Investigator’s testimony as it related to violations of the MOU agreement.

“It appears that the DA’s Office has an ongoing practice of investigations against SFPD officers that includes withholding and concealing information and evidence the SFPD is entitled to have to further ancillary criminal investigations in accordance with the MOU.”

 

The Chief continued writing that the MOU was being terminated:

“This MOU was initially agreed upon with the intent that the public, the officers of the SFPD, and the SFDA’s office, have confidence in the provisions of the MOU and with intent that investigations are conducted justly, fairly, impartially, and in accordance with the MOU.

“Confidence has been eroded because of the concerns and MOU violations referenced in this correspondence. Therefore, and as set forth in the terms of the MOU, this is written notice of my intent to terminate the MOU after 15 days of delivery of this notice.”

Boudin called the Chief’s decision unacceptable, pointing out that the problems identified by Chief Scott in the letter had occurred before he took office in January 2020.

The DA also questioned the timing of the decision to end cooperation with his office, just as the first criminal trial against a San Francisco officer for on-duty conduct is getting underway. Opening arguments in the Stangel trial are set to begin Monday.

Boudin said:

“It is no coincidence that it is in the middle of that trial that the department chooses to walk away from this MOU that has been working based on allegations that predate my administration.”

The DA said the Chief should meet with him to discuss the issue rather than walk away from the agreement.

Tony Montoya, president of San Francisco’s police union, agreed with the Chief’s decision to walk away from the agreement, saying the DA, who ran on a police accountability platform, could not be trusted to conduct an impartial investigation of officers:

“Implicit bias against police officers is rampant amongst the cadre of public defenders and criminal defense attorneys that Boudin recruited to his office.”


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