tv [untitled] August 20, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PDT
survivors and perpetrators of domestic violence. there is the reason why the state set up a 52-week programs. it really requires a complete belief system change to stop violating yourself and others. that is just the very beginning. and that is just the very beginning, 52 weeks. it is not for nothing that our formally esteemed sheriff, michael hennessey, had a rolule that you had to be arrests-free and off a probation to enter the jail. that is because people need to heal, make restoration, and people need time to make some change. i find it very ironic that the sheriff is someone who would basically not be allowed to enter the jail because of the actions he has taken.
so, while i believe in redemption and hope for the redemption for ross and his family, i do not believe he can currently served as sheriff. thank you. >> hello, members of the commission. my name is susan loftus, a native san franciscan and mother of three. as serve as a prosecutor in san francisco and the domestic violence unit. there is one thing i really want to convey. i think something is really at stake in this conversation. i have watched it on mine and sat in the hearings. we have made tremendous progress with the criminal justice community on how we address domestic violence. we've done better at listening to victims and protecting them in the wake of tragedies and done better at healing batterers.
no one wants a batterer to continue to batter. but as a misdemeanor and domestic violence prosecutor i have watched men convicted of a misdemeanor push or slap, just because it was not in the papers does not mean we never prosecuted pushes or slaps. we did it because it is domestic violence. i have watched men who pleaded guilty in -- plead guilty in court in their body changes. the moment you stop minimizing it, you can start healing and start getting better. from my experience and what i know about domestic violence, i have never seen any of that from sheriff mirkarimi. we have nationally recognized programs to hear batterers, of which he would be charged with overseeing. these are men who were going to be sitting in our jails talking about how they're going to change their ways at a time when their share oerriff minimize the conduct and got back to being share rep.
i really hope you will find his official misconduct and have him removed. thank you. >> hello. i am the interim executive director of womeat women inc. i want to share from our perspective what really resonates about this situation, and something we have talked about a lot, our team. for a survivor to reach out for assistance, even at an agency like ours that exist to serve them, it takes a lot of debt and courage. -- guts and courage. the majority did not go comfortable reaching out to the police department, and we do a lot of work with that. we tell them about the laws and can vouch for the police
department. their concern is they are not going to care. who cares about this? this happened in my home with my partner, who will care? our message has always been they do care, it is against the law. we also talk a lot about domestic violence is more than some of describing someone on farm. it is about the pattern of power and control and a privilege that comes into the right i have this right to do this to you. we do so much work with our clients to get them to the point where they're able to reach out and feel good reaching out to the staff network of services. if someone was arrested for domestic violence and allowed to stay at the head of the system that we vouch for, what message does that send to the people that gather the courage over years, sometimes decades to reach out for help?
are they right? those are criminal justice system -- does our criminal justice system wheñilpcare? we should, and i know you will do. thank you. >> excuse me. >> excuse me. it is a little bit hard to hear because of the noise outside. and i do not know if you can do something to move people further away. thank you. >> thank you.
crystaled judson in tacoma, washington. i was a public defender for many years, so i represented batterers as well. the sheriff needs to be removed. i was a judge pro tem. in the position of judges not only does it have to be fair, but there must be an appearance of fairness. and there is no appearance of fairness with the sheriff. in washington state we've formed a task force with the supreme court justice. we had a task force of police prosecutors, batterers, victims, everyone on there, 80 people. we formed by officer-involved domestic violence policy that say for every police agency in the state of washin!íj must have mandatory millet -- minimal policies in place to handle officer-involved domestic violence. i have not seen anything like
that here. you do not have that. step one. i had an expert on police- perpetrated domestic violence, out to train the advocates to train the police, to train the prosecutors. when i say i come i mean the entire task force. i am alarmed when i see the same thing going on. no, we do not have a murder- suicides, but do we need to reach that point before we already have policies in place to handle this? i am not going to turn to the sheriff and assist him, because he has not been held accountable. he pled guilty to the crime, and yet he does not take responsibility for it. >> thank you. >> good afternoon,
commissioners. sanford says go domestic private consortiums. we're so honored to be a part of this process and be able to a public comment today. san francisco has made huge gains over the 35 years that this has been happening. homicide rates for domestic violence is down over 80 percent. it used to be 12-15 women per year die from domestic violence- related injuries. now one or two. each one is a tragedy. the facts are clear in this case. ross mirkarimi pled guilty and was convicted of a crime of domestic violence against his partner. he is on three years' probation. but a probation or on domestic violence probation cannot be the supervisors of one of the world's best violence intervention programs, which is what rsvp in the jails currently
is. we would like to see san francisco continue in the direction it has been going. we think we are headed in the right direction we urge you to remove the sheriff. he has lost the confidence of the city of san francisco and is no longer fit to serve. it is an honor. when we have someone you tarnishes the badge and the efforts of those people trying to do good work, it really affects us all. the world really is watching. thank you. >> hello. my name is sydney hodgkin's in. i have been a victim in this city, and i've been at a few of these hearings. with ethics selling question, such as been the ethics of ross mirkarimi, i do not see how we can be an adequate representative of our city. it is hard for me to speak to you all, but coming from the
perspective that i do, as people mentioned before, when it is something such as coming forward about what has transpired, there should be no question at the head of our police department what the ethics of that person are. thank you for evaluating this case closely, and please consider that. >> good afternoon. my name is orchid. i'm here with some of my co- workers from the women's shelter behind me. i want to thank you for your work. i also want to say that i want to offer you the opportunity with arms open, and in part,
pleading with you to restore my faith and trust in the city of san francisco. i want to let you know that i will and we will lose our pride in the city if the person who is the key figure for public safety, andk ensuring that the system of responsibility, safety, and of rehabilitation are led by someone who plead guilty in our court in san francisco, and in the same day to the media, that it was about money. that breaks my trust. it also shows a lack of plain old skill and initiative in being a public leader, and the modeling of taking over responsibility. because nothing that is harmful can change without the bravery to stand up and take responsibility. i have been looking for that and have not seen it.
and also, you lose my trust when someone purports and others refused that this is about 1 sigel bruise or a one single argument during holidays, which we all know is stressful. [tone] i want to say that through my work, and the work of those behind me, which covers 50 years of everyday working with survivors of violence, survivors are already terrified. they are terrified to come forward and to cooperate and seek support from the city, from the people that are supposed to make them feel safe. do we want to make them more terrified, or less? [tone] >> thank you, ma'am. but i like to use the overhead. my name is paul led brown.
-- palpaulette brown. i lost my son to homicide. yesterday was the anniversary of his death, august 14th. and still no justice. i'm here to say that i am talking for all of the mothers out there. i know i do not have a lot of time. why are we wasting money with their hot unsolved homicide cases out there? our families are hurting. we need justice. we waste money and time trying to convict the share of something. there are people out there committing crimes and killing people and they're not been convicted of anything. our children are still dying. you have loved ones whose parents are grieving. what do we do about these unsolved homicide cases?
what do we do about it. -- about it? there is my child. i will never again see a graduation in my life. there is me standing over my son. and here is me lay on a gurney, dead. the sheriff was there when our children were murdered. give him credit. we forgive our perpetrators that have murdered our children. what about the forgiveness of our children? [tone] why are you doing this? let him do his job in solving these cases for our children. how many times will we cry out there? when we have someone who will help us, but you were taking him away from us. i'm here because our children were out there and ross was there when our children were bleeding and their blood and guts and brains are laying in the street.
look at my son. [tone] look at him. >> thank you, ma'am. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am here to ask you to please put our share to work. -- our sheriff to work. this is the first time that i have heard that someone could lose his job because he grabbed his wife by the arm. you should know exactly what domestic violence is. it is nothing like this. thank you.
>> i have been a domestic violence advocates for more than six years. i am concerned about what this process has communicated to immigrant victims of domestic violence. every day, we are working hard to make sure that immigrants, who are here from all over the world, are clear about their rights and understand that in the u.s., they have the right to be free from violence, abuse, and control from their partners. supposedly, there -- the law protects them. if ross mirkarimi is not removed from office after knowingly abusing his wife, domestic violence victims will not come forward for help because they will be afraid that will help them or that they will be deported because of their immigrant status. do the right thing.
>> hello. and i am a family advocate for domestic violence. if ross mirkarimi is reinstated as san francisco share of, it will send the wrong message to victims of domestic violence. i work with victims of domestic abuse every day. i'm deeply concerned that the city -- that if the city does not hold mr. roope mirkarimi -- mr. mirkarimi responsible for his actions, others will get away with this. please, think about your recommendation to the board of supervisors. victims' lives could be held in the balance. i urge you to support the mayor's decision.
>> my name is barbara and i'm part of the domestic violence community. san francisco is known for taking a stand against causes that which we find important. we cannot allow in this city a person who has clearly abused his power and used his strength against women to work as a representative of government. his conviction clearly creates a conflict of interest. as a city, we cannot allow a person who has pled guilty to domestic violence to represent law enforcement and expect the public to trust him. but what message are we sending to other cities? if he remains sheriff, ross mirkarimi will set a precedent in his department about the seriousness of domestic violence and what type of behavior will be tolerated. i urge the use of -- you to
support the mayor's position. thank you. >> i am an advocate for domestic violence victims. in san francisco, the domestic violence community has a history of working with the police at all elected officials to create a model system to protect victims of domestic violence. san francisco must remain a safe harbor and not allow mirkarimi to undo that hard work and cause us to be a national embarrassment. thank you. >> i have been in the field of domestic violence for seven years and i am a resident of san francisco. i am deeply concerned about the message it will send to survivors and batterers if one of our top said -- a top public safety officials is allowed to remain in office after admitting
to a domestic violence crime and were on probation for that crime. as chair of coming he oversees the incarceration and rehabilitation of batterers. how can the survivors in our community feel safe if he is admitted -- has admitted to hurting its own partner? i urge you to support the mayor's position. >> good afternoon. my name is jennifer. i am a local advocate. i run a shelter and i do training programs around the country the fact is, sheriff mirkarimi committed an act of violence. he said so himself. but context matters, too. the individuals charged with being the lead law enforcement officer for the city of san francisco has put his needs above his family, his son, and this city and its citizens.
his behavior is consistent with that of a man who batters. he has minimized, denied, blamed, and john complete disregard for the consequences of his behavior -- shown complete disregard for the consequences of his being here. is this the individual that we want leading our city? is this the individual that we fill, but it will do the best to protect us? is this an individual to ensure accountability? >> good afternoon. i have lived in san francisco since 1996. i am a lawyer, a former director of the project juvenile life without parole. i voted for ross mirkarimi, and eric -- and mayor ed lee. i mostly voted for mirkarimi because of the sheriff he had proven to be, and the man he has proven to be.
we sorely need a share to have his perspective on criminal realignment. as far as this misconduct proceeding, greatly concerned that one man can unilaterally remove an elected official from office and thereby totally disarm the democratic process. i believe ms. lopez. i believe ross. when we talk about facts, we look at those involved. both have been very clear that there is no such concern of domestic violence, which i fully oppose. however, i believe both of them. i would like the shares that our city has voted into office to be reinstated so we can do his job. thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is carl. i want to talk for a moment about the principles of levity,
which has been associated with rules of levity, and they apply to ambiguities in the record. one of the things that we see in this case is a great deal of ambiguity. what i would like to submit to you is that official misconduct must be divided into two principles and one overarching nexus. if you look at whether mr. mirkarimi was in office at the time, perhaps you that some ambiguity about that. if you look at whether there was misconduct, perhaps there was some ambiguity about that as well. and did you try to find a nexus, i think he will find a glaring ambiguity. principles of levity should apply to these ambiguities in the record. >> thank you. thank you for the comments of the public. i think that -- oh, there are
domestic violence is a serious problem. domestic violence -- i am concerned about the message it will send it to survivors and batterers if one of our city's top public safety officials is allowed to remain in office after admitting to a domestic violence crime. this is bigger than one case. this is about survivor safety and better accountability. it's about sharing our city that san francisco is concerned about the safety of the victims and survivors and takes this seriously, and a matter who is perpetrating it. any sheriff who has pled guilty to false imprisonment and admitted under oath that he
committed an act of violence against his wife and at the time that he did, knew it was a crime, he is not fit to be shared. -- scherrer left. thank you. >> i and the associate director be- run lead advocate for more than 10 years. the arguments that you have heard from mirkarimi's team rolled back nearly 35 years in understanding of protections for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. there ross mirkarimi admitted to committing an act of violence against his wife. he pled guilty. would you tell those in san francisco and around the country back -- that the share collected
does not fall below a standard of decency? there is a conflict interest -- and claims in contrition refuted by an unwillingness to take responsibility. i urge you to let the facts stand and support the mayor's position. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is sharon johnson. i am the former director on the commission on the status of women from 1989 through 1994. i worked as a legislative aide in city hall in 1979 through 1987. i am here because in 1981, when i was a legislative aide for a then supervisor, we wrote a letter to the commission on the
status of women, asking them to please give money to the violence prevention fund, which is now futures without violence, to use specifically for messaging that domestic violence is not a private, nor family matter. it is a matter of public safety and public health. for these many years we have worked hard to have that not just roll off the tongue of our elected officials of our city and county, to be aware of the fact that domestic violence is a very serious matter. and since then, the number of homicide had decreased. in 1991, when i was the executive director on the commission of the status of women, we did a report. it was the first case study that we did regarding domestic violence where a woman who had gone through all of the traditional procedures of restraining orders for a 12- month time frame, and 15 months
after her husband was released he shot and killed her. [tone] through that report we were able to do a lot of changing of county and city policy. i hope he will honor the hard work that men and women have done for the past 40 years on domestic violence. thank you. >> good afternoon. i am an artist and activist and mother. one of the most profound place of the 20th century is arthur miller's the crucible. he parallels the events of salem in 1600 to the blacklisting and discrimination of those labeled as communist during the 1950's. it shows how mass hysteria can sweep an entire community.