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The GrowSF Report: Did Chesa Boudin Withhold Evidence?
Mayor says its time to fund the police
What You Need To Know
Here’s what happened around the city for the week of January 23, 2022:
- Did Chesa Boudin Withhold Evidence In Police Beating Case?
- Survey Says: SF School Board “Highly Demoralizing”
- Shootings and Violent Crimes Are Up — Mayor Says It’s Time to Fund the Police
- Are you J&J? Get Your Third Shot Now
Did Chesa Boudin Withhold Evidence In Police Beating Case?
A criminal investigator who works for San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin testified in court this week that she was told to withhold evidence in a case and believed she would be fired if she refused.
The case involved a police officer who responded to a domestic violence call and used a baton to strike a man who was allegedly beating his girlfriend. Boudin filed felony battery and assault charges against the police officer for unnecessarily striking the suspect and escalating the situation.
But the police officer fought back in court, claiming that Boudin “withheld incriminating evidence from police that justified his use of force,” according to a Chronicle report.
Investigator Magen Hayashi testified that she “never disclosed the fact that she interviewed a witness who said just before Officer Stangle pulled out his baton, the man he struck could be seen beating a woman,” according to the NBC Bay Area report. “Stangle’s attorney, Nicole Pifari, argued Stangle’s use of force was reasonable and lawful under the circumstances and existing law.”
Judge Teresa Caffese was not moved by the testimony saying, “the DA’s office is not on trial.” Caffese became a superior court judge in 2017 and previously served in the same public defender’s office where Boudin later worked.
Perhaps there should be further investigation into whether withholding evidence is a pattern in the district attorney’s office. Recently, another investigator for Boudin claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired “in retaliation for his efforts to expose alleged wrongdoing during an investigation” of a police shooting, according to Chronicle and NBC Bay Area reports.
Survey Says: SF School Board “Highly Demoralizing”
One of the many reasons to recall the school board ASAP is that a new superintendent to lead the school district must be hired in the next couple months — and if not recalled, the current school board will get to hire a new superintendent who matches their views.
A survey commissioned by the school district asked parents what they want in a new superintendent. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the survey, which revealed a majority of parents felt the school district is “in need of significant improvement” and the school board is “highly demoralizing and counterproductive.” Respondents felt the “politically motivated” school board functions “more in an advocacy role, rather than in its governance role for the entirety of the student population.”
Laurance Lee, a parent working on the recall with the Chinese/API Voter Outreach Taskforce, wrote a blog post that provides a deep dive into the superintendent search.
Shootings and Violent Crimes Are Up — Mayor Says It’s Time To Fund the Police
Police Chief Bill Scott recently told Mayor London Breed that he’s short nearly 500 officers. Now, the mayor is asking supervisors to approve nearly $8 million in additional funding to cover overtime costs. It won’t hire more police officers — just pay for overtime so the existing force can cover gaps in patrols.
The mayor needs eight votes from the 11-member Board of Supervisors for this band-aid. And there’s no guarantee that enough supervisors will support more police funding.
Stop Crime SF recently analyzed the current police staffing crisis.
Are you J&J? Get Your Third Shot Now
The Chronicle reports that San Francisco residents who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have been boosted with a second shot can now get a third, following an advisory issued this month by the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Your Action Plan
Now that you know what’s happening, help us shape what happens next:
Stand Up Against AAPI Hate
Hate crimes against San Francisco's Asian residents increased sixfold last year. There were 60 cases in 2021 compared to just 9 the previous year, according to police data.
Vicha Ratanapakdee, the 84-year-old grandfather who was attacked and killed on his morning walk in San Francisco one year ago, will be remembered at a vigil and march this Sunday. The event will acknowledge the AAPI victims of violent attacks in San Francisco and nationally.
Sunday January 30 at 11am
Meet at the corner of Terra Vista Ave. and Encanto Ave. in the Anza Vista neighborhood near Vicha’s home.
There will be remarks by Vicha’s family, Mayor London Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, and Supervisor Catherine Stefani.
School Board Recall Needs Help
Volunteers are needed to help turn out the vote for the school board recall. Ballots were mailed to every voter and must be returned before February 15. This is a special election at an unusual time — and many voters aren’t aware. It is expected to be a very low turnout election, which means a few votes can determine the outcome.
Here are three ways you can help raise awareness:
Visibility at grocery stores
Staff an outdoor table in front of grocery stores and farmer’s markets in all parts of San Francisco. Click here to sign up for a location and time.
Put flyers on doors
Walk door-to-door and leave literature that encourages voters to support the recall.
Saturday, February 5 at 10am
295 Day Street (Upper Noe Recreation Center)
Sign up here
Texting from your home
Text likely voters from the comfort of your home and remind them about the election. Scripts provided. And your thumbs will be spared because you’ll “text” from your computer/laptop on a special website.
Register for the Zoom event at the links below. You will receive a confirmation email for the Zoom meeting along with an invitation to join the Prompt.io texting platform.
The program runs from 5:30pm to 7pm. The first 30 minutes will be a virtual Zoom training and then you will text on your own.
Each date has a unique link to register: February 1, February 3, February 8, February 10, February 12, February 13, February 14.
Celebrate Year of the Tiger
Watch lion dancers in Chinatown to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Tiger.
Sunday January 30 at 1pm
The event is sponsored by the Chinese/API Voter Outreach Taskforce and the Chinese American Democratic Club to promote efforts to register Asian American voters to recall the school board.
Celebrate San Francisco
There’s a lot to love about our city. Here’s what makes it great:
Happy Trails in Northern California
Northern California is blessed with some of the most interesting and diverse, but always scenic, landscapes in the world! The Chronicle reports that accessing some of them will become much easier, thanks to the work of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, which has built 114 miles of new trails, in an effort to connect a variety of towns and sites of interest.
Cheers to More Castro Bars
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced an ordinance to legalize new bars in the Castro — a (rare) sensible change that the Board of Supervisors unanimously backed, the Chronicle reports. This change in policy recognized not just the current vacancy rate in the neighborhood (at about 15%), but also the unintended consequences of a ban on new bars from 1987. We'd like to see similar ordinances passed in other parts of the city, as well as fewer restrictions in general, but this is a good first step.
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