Friday, January 13, 2012

Ganging up on Mirkarimi

Photo by Matt Smith for Bay Citizen

I've been Ross Mirkarimi's harshest critic during his seven years as District 5 Supervisor, but there's something ugly about the furor over the domestic abuse allegations. Surely a bruise on his wife's arm isn't enough to justify destroying this man's life and career. And we get this hyperbole from this morning's Chronicle: ""How can people feel safe? The sheriff should not be putting his political career over the safety of domestic violence survivors and their children in this city." As if Mirkarimi represents an immediate threat to public safety! Why not wait for the D.A. to bring or not bring charges?

Bay Citizen provides testimony this morning from a woman who was his partner for years that physical abuse is not characteristic of Mirkarimi's personality or behavior.

Of course C.W. Nevius joins the mob, devoting a whole column to an incident over which there have been no charges filed.

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33 Comments:

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ross called it a private matter. That's bad juju. If someone is afraid of their abuser, they will be reluctant to be public. This is proven, and is why domestic violence laws are as written, and that's a good thing.

Just like the Bike Plan needed to go through CEQA, this case has to go through the courts too. Because just like the bike-nuts said "It's silly to do environmental review on something that clearly is good for the environment" meant they were not looking at the big picture, "a bruise on his wife's arm" isn't either.

Innocent until proven guilty, but this is exactly the sort of incident that requires thorough investigation, because history has shown that failure to do so can have grave consequences.

Here's hoping that it turns out to be much ado about nothing.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

#BREAKING: Source: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to face 3 misdemeanors, including battery, over domestic dispute (AP)

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

We should allow for the fact that Ross is famous for poorly-considered remarks, and we haven't seen the kind of evidence showing that he deserves this kind of treatment. His wife also seems unlikely victim of systematic abuse. It's the officious, morally smug comments of our PC mob that rankles. "Thorough investigation" by the group pictured in this morning's Chronicle? He'd have a better chance with the KKK. I just hope D.A. Gascon does better on this than he did in the cyclist/pedestrian case.

 
At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you had experience with this type of incident sir? Your reactionary statement is out of context. Sad to say but with domestic violence, guilty til proven innocent is the condition
needed to protect the possible victems. Why don't you read a little more about those who have been abused and see how often they will defend the abuser. PC? Did you even post this asinine comment?

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"This type of incident" may not be appropriate for this specific incident. I don't believe it in this instance. We'll see how it plays out in court.

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger mw said...

Rob,
I am in the same boat as far as Mirkarimi is concerned, no love lost there. I was just glad he moved from Supe to Sheriff, where he can do less damage to the City.

My initial reaction was the same as yours, without Eliana's cooperation, this is serious over-reach on the part of the D.A. It is highly unlikely they are going to get a conviction from a jury without her support.

However, upon further consideration, I think everyone is missing the real issue here. The alleged "abuse" is likely not the big problem and why Gascon had to go forward with this.

The big BIG problem for MIrkarimi is the "dissuading a witness" charge.

Like Watergate, like Iran-Contra, like Bill's blowjob, the act itself is not what gets these guys - it is always the cover up.

It is unacceptable to have a chief law enforcement officer trying to tamper with or dissuade witness testimony. That cannot happen. Mirkarimi can be found completely innocent of the domestic violence charge, but if he is guilty of dissuading a witness, he cannot be in this job.

That is the only reason I can think of why Gascon would go ahead with filing charges.

 
At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is clearly a political issue. Regardless of which side you're on, the only thing that matters in this case is the facts and they don't look good right now.

Mirkarimi has never said he did not physically abuse his wife and he is innocent. Nor did his wife say the incident did not occur--only that it is a private family matter.

Abuse is perpetuated by silence and fear of physical, psychological and economic repercussions.

The Sheriff should have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for domestic abuse starting in his own home. If he is found guilty of the three criminal misdemeanor charges he should step down or Mayor Lee should remove him from office.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Whatever happened between Mirkarimi and his wife, the question is, Was it domestic abuse that requires criminal prosecution? Both Mirkarimi and his wife say it doesn't. If they are right, and Mirkarimi is vindicated in court, this case is a shocking instance of an intrusive, busybody officaldom, however well-intentioned, destroying a man's reputation and career.

 
At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they are right, and Mirkarimi is vindicated in court, this case is a shocking instance of an intrusive, busybody officaldom, however well-intentioned, destroying a man's reputation and career.

And if they are wrong (or lying) and we don't investigate...

Not to mention you are speculating and Gascon has evidence...

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger mw said...

"...the question is, Was it domestic abuse that requires criminal prosecution?" - RA

I've still got to disagree. The important question is "Did a Chief Law Enforcement official attempt to dissuade or tamper with a witness? And does that require criminal prosecution?

My answer is that it certainly demands criminal prosecution if there is sufficient evidence. So you've got the cart and horse reversed. Gascon likely had to file the domestic violence charge with weak evidence in order to support the more serious charge of dissuading a witness, where I will assume he has strong evidence.

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Don't forget Gascon is really just a cop promoted to D.A. for reasons that are still unlcear to me. And his implausible performance on the cyclist running down a pedestrian case may be a cautionary tale.

But you're right. We need to see if the evidence justifies the charges. I'm skeptical of City Hall in general, I admit. They often don't get things right while indulging in self-serving behavior.

 
At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suppose the man was trying to stop the woman from hitting him by holding her arm. Would she then be guilty of domestic violence?
Ross refuses to tell the truth to protect her reputation. So he is a white knight. Time to do a talk show. But more Jerry Springer than Travis. Get him out of our government. He has blown it.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

That is nothing but idle speculation. Mirkarimi is innocent until proven guilty, a principle that some people here in Progressive Land seem to have forgotten.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Unlike her colleague, C.W. Nevius, conservative Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders hasn't forgotten the innocent-until-guilty principle.

 
At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still think Gascon is overreacting?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe not, but this is news to me like it is to you. Why not wait for the case work its way through the system? Why the rush to judgment?

 
At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not rush to judgement. He hasn't been judged. He's been charged.

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

My point is that you seem eager to convict him based on partial evidence. We're still only getting fragments of information. Seems like a flawed process that allows the existence of the videotape to be made public at this stage of the case.

 
At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wrong.

I support him being investigated and charged if the evidence is there.

Do you disagree that this is exactly what happened? You seem to feel this is some sort of witch hunt - what has anyone from the City done that was inappropriate?

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Evidence is apparently being leaked by Gascon's office, which is "inappropriate," to put it mildly. On top of that, the Chronicle, except for Debra Saunders, is giving the story the kind of coverage than is warranted by a domestic dispute.

It would be nice if Matier and Ross and C.W. Nevius, gave important city issues, like development and traffic, that kind of attention.

And the creation of that videotape by Mirkarimi's wife seems to show someone who's less of a victim than a spouse angling for advantage in a crumbling marriage.

 
At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evidence is apparently being leaked by Gascon's office, which is "inappropriate," to put it mildly.

No. He's been charged. Once that happens the DA can release whatever evidence they feel like releasing. The word "leak" is inappropriate.

Mirkarimi's defense attorneys are entitled to have that information. This is how our courts work. Evidence in possession is displayed at court but it is not secret.

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger kacee said...

I could be wrong by I am pretty sure that evidence in a criminal (or civil) case falls under the Freedom of Information Act and has to be made public - so no leaking involved.

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Okay, all I'm saying is let's wait for the hearing and the process to play out before we rush to conclusions. People seem to think they're obligated to choose up sides based on partial information.

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, all I'm saying is let's wait for the hearing and the process to play out before we rush to conclusions.

Actually - I'm pretty sure you said...

"Evidence is apparently being leaked by Gascon's office, which is "inappropriate," to put it mildly."

"In quotes"

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Not mutually contradictory. You don't want to wait for the results of the legal process? Why the rush to pick sides?

 
At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just gets more and more entertaining. But not funny at all. To say the case is politically motivated and ignore the fact that the accused will use whatever political connections he has (and they are many and powerful) only plays into this man's well proven use of the media for his own ambitions.

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Your comment is not based on any reality I'm aware of. Until now Mirkarimi has led a charmed life politically, with very little media criticism, except from yours truly.

It's a little shocking how quickly the media pack has now turned on Mirkarimi, but the truth of the matter is that he has always represented the city's prog establishment well on all significant issues---the bicycle fantasy, development, Rincon Hill, Market/Octavia, UC on lower Haight Street, the Central Subway, etc. Olague got such a warm media welcome because she too will be a reliable supporter of all these dumb policies.

Now the media is united against Mirkarimi, with a steady drumbeat calling for his resignation before he's convicted of anything. Mayor Lee, not known for his political backbone, is encouraged by the latest City Family groupthink to suspend Mirkarimi before the legal process is complete.

I hope Mirkarimi hangs in there until the legal process arrives at a verdict.

 
At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment is not based on any reality I'm aware of. Until now Sandusky has led a charmed life politically, with very little media criticism, except from yours truly.

It's a little shocking how quickly the media pack has now turned on Jerry Sandusky.

See what I did there?

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, you just made a stupid analogy. There are at least ten guys lined up to testify against Sandusky, but even Mirkarimi's wife says she's not a victim.

 
At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/01/ross_mirkarimi_update_former_g.php#more

You were saying?

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, that looks bad for Mirkarimi.

 
At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing you aren't the DA rushing to judgement that this was all just a misunderstanding.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Nope, the point of my original post and subsequent comments was to wait for the evidence.

 

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