Boudin “Negotiates” a Castro Gun Robbery to a Misdemeanor Pickpocketing Plea
Has Boudin made the Castro less safe?
Put yourself in Mike’s shoes
It’s almost seven on a Saint Patrick’s Day evening. You are walking up to your home in the heart of the Castro, where the vibrancy of pedestrians creates a perception of safety. A Toyota Corolla is double-parked in front of your home. Common in this dense neighborhood.
The driver suddenly and surprisingly exits the Toyota and approaches you with a gun. As you see the gun pointed at you, you mentally calculate your chances of survival. You are fearful as the driver demands your backpack. But you tell him you aren’t wearing one.
The driver returns to the vehicle at the same time the passenger approaches you and demands your cellphone. You backpedal into the traffic at 18th Street, distancing yourself and making it more conspicuous for the robbers to complete their act. The robbers panic and drive off in the Toyota car with the license plate registered to the robber.
You call 9-1-1 and within minutes, Mission Station officers stop the vehicle and find the Toyota at 23rd and Harrison Streets. The officers find the loaded gun on the driver. The gun is stolen. Video surveillance from two buildings confirm your statements.
If you are Mike, your heart is still racing as you process the surprise robbery. You naively think that at least these guys will be in jail for a while, and they won’t be robbing your Castro neighbors anytime soon. A traumatic night, but it’s over.
The progressive deflection of crimes under Boudin
In a February 15, 2020 letter to SFPD Chief Scott, Board of Supervisor Hillary Ronen scapegoated SFPD for holding back in their efforts in an environment where DA Chesa Boudin “charged 66.94% of the cases presented to him, the highest charging rate since 2018.”
First, a little analysis: It is one thing to state, “almost 70%,” or even “66%.” But for Ronen to cite “66.94%” –down to the hundredths of a percent—definitely means Boudin spoon-fed her this statistic so that she could fight his battles.
Second, again we have Ronen, an attorney, using the nebulous term “charging.” That word comes from the FCAAP family of vague Boudin verbs which also includes charging, taking action, holding accountable, and prosecuting. “Filing” only means Boudin read SFPD’s arrest report before he kicked the case or sent the violent felon to a diversion program. Or, to translate Ronen’s statement: Boudin has read more SFPD felony reports than any other DA.
Third, since Boudin has kept everyone in the dark, why didn’t Ronen ask Boudin how many felony convictions he has achieved?
Mike’s case: Boudin kicks the case through negotiation
SFPD booked the two suspects for attempted robbery and the driver was arrested for being in possession of a stolen loaded gun.
Just like Ronen bragged, Boudin filed the case against the two robbers.
But then, per sources, on April 1st, less than two weeks after SFPD booked the robbery duo, Boudin’s office cut a backroom deal with his former coworkers at the Public Defender’s Office. That is: he circumvented the court room, transcripts, and transparency. In Boudin’s “negotiated settlement,” the driver and passenger were allowed to plead to misdemeanor attempted pickpocketing (CPC Sec. 664/487(c )) with one year of misdemeanor probation, and they only had to spens 3 days in jail.
Boudin, has made a prominent public display of his decision to file a civil case against ghost gun makers last year including the following post on April 3, 2022:
Hypocritically, in this case Boudin did not even seek a felony conviction for the driver’s possession of the stolen gun. Through the same backroom negotiated settlement, the driver received a brandishing a firearm in public conviction—another misdemeanor (CPC Sec. 417(a)(2)(A))
Supervisor Ronen, put yourself in the Mission Station officers’ shoes
The steady narration of dispatchers is pierced with a call of a robbery with a gun.
Adrenalin shoots through your body, your head swivels looking for the white Toyota, your mind races: Is there a trail car setting up an ambush? Is this robber mentally ill? Is the gun fake? Will this end in a shoot-out or a mass shooting?
Ronen, you: revert to training, check your surroundings for civilians, think teamwork, communicate, be patient, no crossfire.
Code Four, two in custody. Loaded gun on the driver. You feel good that you caught the robber and took a gun off the streets. Textbook.
A few weeks later, you find out Boudin gifted a sweetheart deal to the robbers treating them like pickpocketers. Why did you waste all that time booking the robbers, booking the evidence, gathering video, interviewing witnesses, writing statements, and your sergeant had to review hours of officers’ bodycam footage to validate you pulling your gun on a person with a gun?
A few days later, dispatchers send you to meet a citizen that thinks a car might be stolen because the car is registered to someone other than the driver. The dispatcher tells you the license plate indicates the car is not stolen. Maybe the driver is a spouse with a different surname?
You consider that if Boudin let an armed robber plead to a pickpocket, what are the odds he will convict a car thief if you investigate further? Does Boudin even have a single felony stolen car conviction? If you don’t investigate, Boudin will tell the Chronicle “you should have put the vehicle under surveillance to see who returned to it and make an arrest for possessing a stolen vehicle.” Surveillance for an hour? For a day? When SFPD has a mass shortage of personnel?
No Ronen, the residents of San Francisco recognize it is impractical to assign officers to watch a car because a citizen surmises it might be stolen. Boudin is just painting you into a lose-lose situation. That is what it is like to be in SFPD’s shoes. That is what our public safety is up against.
Is the Castro becoming less safe under Boudin?
Ask ourselves: Has Boudin’s failed to achieve prosecutorial consequences even remotely commensurate with the egregiousness of the crimes committed? And, without a cost to the criminals, doesn’t it make crime more profitable under Boudin? And, has that not increased the spread of crime outside of the traditional high crime areas of the city? Anecdotally, isn’t that what this crime is about? A violent robbery attempt in the heart of the Castro. While statistically, total crime is up 10% over the first four months of 2022. You aren’t just imagining the City is less safe under Boudin.
Why was this crime and outcome censored from both the Chronicle and Examiner?
Note: I asked Supervisor Mandelman regarding this incident that happened in his district:
Too often in San Francisco even violent offenders are not being held accountable. I’m concerned about an emerging pattern where individuals who are a danger to our community are rapidly cycled through the criminal justice system without a real or sustainable plan for the public’s safety. I didn’t support Boudin when he ran in 2019. I think what he is doing is not that different from what he said he was going to do during the election. Recalls are an extraordinary measure. I think politicians should leave it to the voters. I am not going to endorse Boudin nor am I going to endorse the recall.