What WERE they thinking?

October 18, 2012

I love this place. What other liberal city would have a convicted wife beater as a sheriff?
-my husband

That was our bedtime conversation about San Francisco the other night, and of course, he laughed mirthlessly when he said it.

The Ross Mirkarimi story is an ugly one and familiar. He was charged with domestic violence. He pled down, guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment. Was convicted. Suspended from his job. None of that is unusual.

The outrageous thing is that he was reinstated as sheriff, a top law enforcement job in San Francisco and I’m not sure anyone understands why.

Here are the broad strokes:

Mirkarimi and his Venezuelan wife had a stormy relationship and she often cried to friends that she wanted to leave him. One night they had a huge argument. She ended up with a bad bruise. When she fled to a neighbor, crying and presenting her bruise, the neighbor took video and then, later, contacted the authorities.

Bur Mirkarimi was just about to be sworn in as sheriff. And was. Then, suspended, pending investigation.

His wife fled to Venezuela, where somehow, she “came to her senses” and suddenly, everything that had gone on before was an “exaggeration”. A “misunderstanding.” She became a key actor in a huge public relations campaign meant to get her husband reinstated.

Oh, it was a mighty song and dance, complete with op eds and an Oscar-worthy performance for a reporter who spent a day with them. {Oh yes, she’s a telenovela actress.}

Reinstatement was the goal.
And finally, he was.
So now, San Francisco has a top cop who is a convicted wife beater.
Who can’t carry a gun or apparently even step into the local jail without special approval — that he must give himself.

For shame.

Experts in domestic violence are aghast at the message this sends to the community. I wonder what this tells officers about the department’s commitment to ending domestic violence. Some politicians say they’ll back a recall effort. What a mess.

And what a huge step backwards for a wonderful city. Common sense?
It’s in short supply these days.

5 comments on “What WERE they thinking?
  1. Anonymous says:

    He should still be able to carry a gun, according to the charge to which he pled. I think his wife realized that without this job, her ogre of a husband had no money to pay alimony when she does eventually divorce him. This incident/election is a very sad testiment to the “elightened” voters of SF. Watching the statements of Board members RE: their vote saddened me about the city I love.

  2. The sad part is that it will occur again and again!

  3. Jennifer Comet Wagner says:

    These things will continue to happen until everyone believes that women are equal to men.

  4. I know. And then, she was complicit in his reinstatement campaign, which makes me insane. but I know it’s not unusual.

  5. This is sending a horrible message to everyone including our kids!
    The question is now – was she truly “battered/beaten” or was this so that she could leave him?
    Does it say this city “approves” of wife beating or shoddy prosecution because it allowed him to plead to a lesser crime – so he’s not really a “wife beater”.
    Just not a good message to be sending in any way

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