San Francisco DA wants exception to sanctuary city law for two criminals guilty of 'unspeakable crimes' (Update)

AP Photo/Haven Daley

Brooke Jenkins is the San Francisco DA who replaced recalled DA Chesa Boudin. She considers herself a progressive but her critics and even her supporters realize she’s a lot more of a law and order DA than her predecessor.

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Today the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Jenkins is hoping to convince the city to grant exceptions to its sanctuary city law to allow her to prosecute two criminals she said were wanted for “unspeakable crimes.”

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is seeking permission from the Board of Supervisors to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in what she says is an extraordinary situation: She’s determined to bring two men accused of violent crimes to justice, after locating them abroad.

The two suspects, who have not been named, present a critical test for San Francisco’s sanctuary city law, which bars city officials from assisting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In both cases, Jenkins said the Department of Homeland Security refused to extradite the men unless San Francisco agrees to waive its cornerstone immigration policy and notify the department if the men are released from jail…

While the two cases are not related, both involve “unspeakable crimes,” Jenkins said in a statement Monday…

There doesn’t seem to be video available of Jenkins’ statement yet but the San Francisco Standard has a bit of what she said.

“We should not have San Francisco become a place where people are allowed to rape children and murder women, and then—so long as they’re able to avoid prosecution by fleeing the U.S.—they get away with it,” Jenkins said. “And so I’m trying to do my level best to still respect and support our sanctuary city policies while still being able to do my job.”

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Sounds reasonable to me but of course this is San Francisco. City Supervisor Hillary Ronen, last seen offering support for a red light district in SF where prostitution could be legalized, opposes DA Jenkins’ request.

“What the mayor and DA are doing is weak,” Ronen told The Standard. “They are not standing up for our sanctuary ordinance and are being almost extorted by the federal government.”

So what are these two unidentified individuals accused of doing? It’s really bad.

The defendant in one of the two cases allegedly killed his ex-wife in 2009 and, according to Jenkins, left “their children behind without a mom.”

In the other case, prosecutors say the defendant sexually abused two young girls under the age of 10. A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2021.

I think ICE is making a point here which probably goes beyond this one situation. ICE is frustrated that San Francisco will release individuals wanted by ICE for deportation without any contact that would make picking these people up easier for ICE. But in this case, I don’t think even the folks in San Francisco would be delusional enough to release a murder suspect and a child rapist on bail. But I guess you never really know what might happen in SF and they don’t want to take the risk that these two characters could wind up back on the street without ICE being notified.

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So, yes, ICE might be making a point here but on the other hand, so is Supervisor Ronen. Why is it so hard for her to make an exception for violent individuals who really shouldn’t be shielded from ICE or the full force of the law given the nature of their alleged crimes. Does she want to make sure these two men can stay in the US if they’re convicted? Why would you want that? We’re not talking about traffic violations here.

Here’s hoping there are enough sane city supervisors in SF to make these prosecutions happen.

Update: Here’s a local news report on this that ran last night.

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