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Is the Honeymoon Over?

April 1, 2021
Tony Montoya - SFPOA President

DA Boudin loves criminals more than their victims – and in many cases, their future victims

The start of the New Year forced Chesa Boudin, both inexperienced in the courtroom and as a law enforcement official, to face some uncomfortable realities. A city like San Francisco does not follow the tidy ideals of a Yale legal theory text. It’s unpredictable. It’s messy. It’s filled with shades of gray, and most important of all, it’s filled with people, both wonderful and imperfect at the same time. These truths are why I’ve enjoyed serving San Francisco for 27 years.

The Boudin honeymoon ended abruptly on New Year’s Eve 2020 when repeat offender Troy McAllister killed Hanako Abe and Elizabeth Platt. Next came repeat offender Jerry Lyons killed Sheria Musyoka while he was out for a morning jog. Then came a rash of unprovoked attacks on seniors in our Asian-American community. Most notable was the gruesome attack of 84-year-old Thai-American resident, Vicha Ratanapakdee. This is when in referring to the suspect’s demeanor, Boudin infamously stated the suspect appeared to be having a “temper tantrum.”

By early February of this year, it became clear that our city’s honeymoon with Boudin was coming to a furious end. Perhaps the best sign of this was Boudin’s disastrous interview with ABC 7’s Dion Lim, where Boudin displayed the worst case of “mansplaining” the Bay Area has seen in recent history.

Whether targeted for financial opportunity, race or both, the appalling attacks on our AAPI continue and Boudin splits his time between hiding in his office, erratically blaming the entire political and criminal justice system, and offering up empty rhetoric, served stuffed-suit style.

The reality is no one is buying what he’s selling. He talks about the importance of “making people feel safe” but it’s obvious that’s not a passion of his like prison and sentence reform. On the topic of “making people feel safe,” at a press conference to denounce a rash of attacks on our AAPI community, he offered up not a single solution. Not one. Ask him ideas on reducing sentences for criminals and you’ll need a court reporter to take notes.

The reality is Boudin sold out the Asian American community the day he took office. He did so because he sent a message loud and clear that he would make it nearly impossible for any criminal to go to jail, let alone face a tough sentence. There’s zero deterrence and there’s not much downside for criminal to take a shot at some quick bucks by beating up someone’s grandma and taking her cash. The message is out, it’s open season for cowards, bullies and crooks in San Francisco.

He officially sold out the AAPI community last year (March 2020) when he was quick to go light on Dwayne Grayson, the 20-year-old suspect who video-taped and posted the beating, mocking and humiliation of an elderly Asian man in the Bayview. The video shocked the country as we saw a defenseless man hit, mocked, and laughed at while people said, “I hate Asians.” There was no outrage by our District Attorney. Charges against Grayson were dropped, and he was sent to “restorative justice.” Never to be heard from again.

Our Asian-American seniors have been targeted and attacked repeatedly as Boudin sat in office and he’s done nothing. All the AAPI community has asked of the SFPD and Boudin is to treat them fairly and to hold any criminals that attack or exploit them accountable. And there’s the rub for Boudin. His world-view that it isn’t entirely the suspect’s fault does nothing to assure residents, especially the AAPI residents that are being preyed upon, that the DA’s office will keep you safe.

When your grandmother has been robbed while walking away from the ATM, when your grandfather is jumped by three men while doing his laundry, we don’t want a lecture about why the system is responsible for the blood, tears and trauma. No. We want the perpetrators to pay a price. The thing that Professor Boudin does not get is that when you discard consequences for a criminal, you make the victim feel like their life, their pain is worth less.

This dynamic is readily apparent when you hear Boudin discuss the impact of prison on his life and his parent’s life. He tries to create equivalency with the families of the police officers and security personnel who had their loved ones stolen for no good reason other than greed.

So as we journey through 2021, let’s see if Boudin continues to offer more platitudes and vague “services” to victims, while he tosses the core function of his office, prosecuting criminals, overboard. The encouraging development of 2021 is that it’s not just the SFPOA pointing this out anymore. It’s coming from San Francisco residents, and they’re pissed.