Monday, June 08, 2015

Updating the Mirkarimi "fiasco"

From the Chronicle's letters to the editor:

Resolved issue
Regarding “Scandal scores personal victory” (Datebook, May 30): When reading the theater review of “What Is the Scandal?” I was reminded of the whole 2012 San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi fiasco. I remember thinking at the time that I could not believe that our sheriff’s entire life and career were being destroyed because he grabbed his wife’s arm too hard and left a bruise.

I also recall thinking that it was an abuse of power and a power grab by Mayor Ed Lee. I am happy to hear that Mirkarimi’s wife, the supposed victim of the domestic abuse, finally has a voice in the matter. I will definitely attend her solo performance at the Mission Cultural Center.

Gloria Judd 
San Francisco

Judd has it right. The quarrel Mirkarimi and his wife had never rose anywhere near the level claimed by the domestic abuse furies and the local media. It was an isolated incident, an argument that got out of control. And there was never any evidence that Mirkarimi was a chronic abuser of women. The opinion of a woman who had lived with Mirkarimi for eight years was ignored by the political lynch mob.

The Chronicle's C.W. Nevius was the worst. He must have written a dozen columns hounding Mirkarimi. In his first, he quoted with approval a local professor:

"Over the last 20 years, we have taken these things much more seriously," said Rory Little, a law professor at UC Hastings and former federal prosecutor. "We have a system of public prosecution where we look into the crime even if the victim does not want to testify."

That there had been a "crime" and that Lopez was a "victim" was Nevius's assumption---and the mob's assumption---all along. It was simply false, as he seems to concede in his recent column on Lopez's performance:

Lopez is still bitter — “These people said I am going to protect you, woman, so I am going to destroy your family.” But it is a relief to see this seems more about closure than anger. “We didn’t want this to be propaganda,” she said after the play. “We’re trying to be honest. We didn’t want to blame anybody.” Good. There’s already been enough blame.

She would have been justified in blaming Nevius. 

Nevius's conservative colleague Debra Saunders got it right.

In his review of Lopez's performance, Robert Hurwitt gets it:

There’s nothing in “Scandal” that minimizes the seriousness of spousal abuse. But the gist of the piece should make us look more carefully before we jump to conclusions or intervene. Sometimes a spat is just a spat. Sometimes we need to check our perceptions against our preconceived notions of cultures we presume are less enlightened or more macho than our own. Always, Lopez is saying, we should pay attention to what the presumed victim has to say.

Randy Shaw, DA Gascon, and Tim Redmond---who, like Nevius, is singing a different song now---all got it completely wrong. 

Mayor Lee should have followed my advice in the first place.

See my post-mortem on the whole, completely unnecessary fiasco.

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At 8:38 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Mirkarimi still has no business being Sheriff (based on non-existent qualifications).

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lopez is a great actor as she made me believe from that video that she was abused and afraid.

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

I was the Murk's harshest critic when he was a supervisor, but he's been a good sheriff. See also this and this.

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“California law seeks to protect victims who report to the police what they believe are crimes against them or others, even if no charges are ever filed,” “This law is meant to encourage reporting to law enforcement so that victims or witnesses can report without being sued.”

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, but there was no crime and no victim here.

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Vince said...

So San Fracisco finally gets to have its own Evita, which is a good thing for her less colorful and charismatio husband as he stands for re-election. Yeah, "his wife's a phenomenal asset, his trump card!"

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I'd like to see the Murk win just to stick it to the political lynch mob that tried to destroy him and his family.


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