Archived Press Releases 2014

December 19, 2014

San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy Charged with Assault and Perjury 

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Michael R. Lewelling, age 33, was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor for crimes allegedly committed while on duty on November 3, 2014, as a San Francisco Sheriff’s Deputy at San Francisco General Hospital. Read More

December 15, 2014

District Attorney Gascón to Announce Winners for 3rd Annual "Bye Bye Bullying" Video Contest 

San Francisco - District Attorney George Gascón will announce the winners of the 3rd Annual “Bye Bye Bullying” video contest today at 4pm at a celebration being held at the LGBT Center in San Francisco. The bullying awareness video contest was open to all middle school and high school students in San Francisco. This year’s video contest touched on the theme, “Being Bully Free Starts with Me” Read More

December 9, 2014

SFDA & LADA Offices File Consumer Protection and Unlawful Business Practices Aganst Uber / Announce Settlement with Lyft 

San Francisco — Today, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the filing of a civil consumer protection action against Uber Technologies, Inc., for making false or misleading statements to consumers and for engaging in a variety of business practices which violate California law. Read More

November 25, 2014

DA Gascón Kicks Off Year-Long Public Education Campaign to Inform the Public About Fundamental Changes to Credit Card Payment Processing That Will Combat Fraud

SAN FRANCISCO - In advance of Black Friday District Attorney George Gascón announced in conjunction with representatives from consumer groups, business associations, Visa Inc. and Square, the launch of a year-long public education campaign to ensure payment card users and businesses adopt EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip card technology to protect themselves from fraud. EMV is a global standard for point-of sale terminals being rolled out in the United States that authenticates credit and debit card transactions in order to prevent the use of counterfeit payment cards and deter fraud. Chip cards are credit, debit, or prepaid cards that have an embedded microchip. This microchip generates a dynamic one-time use code for each transaction – a cryptogram. Read More

October 1st, 2014 

District Attorney George Gascón Launches Ad Campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DV 2014 adDV

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón was joined by domestic violence advocates, community partners, and members of his office’s Domestic Violence Unit to unveil a Muni Bus ad campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The theme of the campaign “Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” promotes support services for domestic violence survivors provided by the District Attorney’s Office. Read More

District Attorney George Gascón Launches the 3rd Annual 'Bye Bye Bullying' Video Contest

SAN FRANCISCO - As part of October’s National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, District Attorney George Gascón, along with community partners, are launching the third annual “Bye Bye Bullying” Video Contest for San Francisco middle and high school students. After the success of last year’s topic of cyberbullying, the District Attorney is asking students to take an active role by creating a video addressing the theme “Being Bully Free Starts with Me.” Read More

September 17, 2014

D.A. Gascón & A.G. Schneiderman Comment Apple's New iOS 8 Operating System for Enabling Kill Switch by Default 

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today revealed that new iPhones sold with iOS 8 will include Apple’s theft deterrent system, Activation Lock, as a default setting. This marks the first time in the history of the smartphone industry that theft deterrent technology is available by default on new products. Read More

September 11, 2014

Disabled Placard Fraudsters Plead Guilty  

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that two San Francisco residents have plead guilty to felony forgery in a fraudulent disabled parking placard scheme.  The defendants, Guobin Qin, age 29, and Qiaoyun Chen, age 50, fraudulently obtained Disabled Person Placards by filing false documents with the DMV.  Read More

September 4, 2014

SF District Attorney George Gascón to Give Keynote Speech at Mural Music & Arts Project Event @ Twitter 

SAN FRANCISCO – This evening, District Attorney George Gascón will be the featured keynote speaker at a community celebration for the Mural Music & Arts Project (MMAP), a youth development organization that empowers youth through participation in the arts.  Hosted by Twitter at their headquarters in San Francisco, the celebration will feature MMAP’s young artists who will perform their new release “My City” on Spotify and will present a visual art exhibit entitled “Faces of My City” to District Attorney George Gascón. Read More 

August 25, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Legislation to End the Violent Epidemic of Smartphone Theft 

SACRAMENTO – Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 962, the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act, into law. The legislation requires all smartphones sold in California to come pre-equipped with theft-deterring technological solutions which can render stolen devices useless. This first-of-its-kind legislation requires manufactures to deploy the solutions in an opt-out manner, ensuring the vast majority of consumers enable the technology. Read More

August 14, 2014

Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life For 2012 Homicide and Burglary in San Francisco's Lakeview Neighborhood 

SAN FRANCISCO - On May 2, 2014, a jury found Roderick Thomas guilty of first degree murder of Jahmad Karriem in an incident stemming from April 1, 2012. Thomas, age 26, of San Francisco, was also found guilty of a firearm enhancement and first degree residential burglary. This morning Thomas was sentenced to 25 years to life. Read More

July 14, 2014

Three Arrested for Falsifying Documents to Obtain Disabled Placards from DMV

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that three San Francisco residents have been arrested on warrants alleging they separately filed falsified documents with the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to obtain Disabled Person Placards. Read More 

July 14, 2014

Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder for 2009 Slaying

SAN FRANCISCO – A jury found Alex Herrera, age 56, guilty of murder in the first degree on Friday, July 11. On September 10th, 2009, victim John Montgomery, age 42, was in his room in the Vincent Hotel on Turk Street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. The defendant, Alex Herrera, was also a resident of the hotel. Both the victim and the defendant were heavily involved in drugs. Reportedly, they were involved in a dispute related to methadone owed to the defendant, and at approximately 12:30 PM, Herrera went to the victim’s room and demanded payment. The victim’s girlfriend, Candace Thomas, refused and slammed the door in his face. Read More

July 9, 2014

Multiple Defendants Arrested and Charged for Defrauding CalFresh EBT Assistance Program of over $480,000

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Multiple defendants have been arrested and charged with soliciting recipients of CalFresh Benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps, to sell their benefits for a fraction of its cash value. Between June of 2012 to June of 2014, it is estimated that the defendants defrauded the CalFresh program of over $480,000. The CalFresh program, the name of the Federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) in California, provides assistance to low-income families and individuals to help them buy food. The defendants are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, Misappropriation of Public Funds, Food Stamp Fraud and Money Laundering. Read More 

July 8, 2014

Secure Our Smartphones Initiative: One Year Later Report

June 19, 2014

D.A. Gascón and A.G. Schneiderman Announce that Google and Microsoft Will Include a Kill Switch in Next Operating Systems

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón today announced that, for the first time, Google and Microsoft will incorporate a kill switch into the next version of their respective operating systems. Google’s operating system, Android, runs on more than half of all smartphones used in the United States. Microsoft’s operating system is on all Nokia smartphones. Today's announcement means that a kill switch will be incorporated into the three dominant smartphone operating systems — Android, iOS, and Windows Phone — which currently encompass 97 percent of smartphones in the United States. Read More 

June 13, 2014

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Brazilian Consul General Eduardo Prisco Sign Memorandum of Understanding

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón and Consul General Eduardo Prisco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement today to protect and ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and survivors of human trafficking. The agreement will enable greater cooperation between the Brazilian Consulate and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The formal agreement will help expedite referrals to programs focused on assisting victims, referrals to attorneys for immigration, family and civil issues, as well as access to the network of local domestic violence and trafficking service providers who provide shelter and medical assistance. Read More 

May 30, 2014

Man Sentenced To 26 Years To Life For 2012 Strangulation Of Mission District Resident

SAN FRANCISCO- Roland Pouncy, age 44 of San Francisco, was sentenced today to 26 years to life by the Honorable Donald Sullivan for first-degree murder. On May 9, 2014, a jury had found Pouncy guilty of first degree murder. Read More

May 20, 2014

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón Awards Good Samaritans for Their Heroism

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón hosted the first annual Good Samaritan Awards Ceremony today to honor citizens for their bravery. Four individuals were honored for intervening in situations where a victim was in danger or for testifying to ensure justice prevailed. Read More 

May 8, 2014

Smartphone Theft Legislation Passes Senate

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today passed legislation that requires all smartphones sold in California to come pre-equipped with theft-deterring technological solutions to render the device useless if stolen. Senate Bill 962, authored by Senator Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, addresses the growing epidemic of smartphone theft. It requires that all new devices sold in the state beginning next year have a theft-deterrent solution, also known as a kill switch, installed and activated. The measure, which passed with a 26-8 vote, is universally supported by statewide law enforcement groups, including the California District Attorneys Association, California Police Chiefs Association and California Sheriffs Association. Read More 

April 30, 2014

San Francisco District Attorney's Office Launches Groundbreaking Initiative To Promote Racial Equity

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has partnered with the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) on a project to proactively study the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Through rigorous research and evidence-based practice, Vera’s Prosecution and Racial Justice Program (PRJ) will offer the SFDA the means to monitor the exercise of discretion among its prosecutors, encourage fairness, promote efficiency, and enhance the integrity of the prosecutorial role. Read More

April 23, 2014

A "Kill Switch' To Deter Smartphone Theft: It's The Right Call

April 17, 2014

Joint Statement From D.A. Gascón and A.G. Schneiderman On Consumer Reports Projections that Smartphone Thefts Are Up 94% in Just One Year

San Francisco- New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón today issued the following statement in response to Consumer Reports projections that smartphone theft nearly doubled from 1.6 million in 2012 to 3.1 million in 2013. Read More

April 15, 2014

Joint Statement From A.G. Schneiderman and D.A. Gascón On Wireless Industry's Voluntary Commitment to Include ‘Anti-Theft’ Tools in Future Smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued the following statement in response to a voluntary commitment announced by CTIA-The Wireless Association – which represents the wireless communications industry – regarding the inclusion of anti-theft tools in future cell phones. Read More

April 10, 2014
District Attorney George Gascón Announces Charges Against Defendant Who Defrauded the Season of Sharing Funds

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Lydia George, age 36, of Sacramento, was arrested and charged this morning with sixty-eight felonies for defrauding the Chronicle’s Season of Sharing Fund. Read More

April 7, 2014

Circosta Iron and Metal Company, Inc. to Pay $500,000 for Violation of California Metal Theft Prevention Law

San Francisco- San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announcedtoday that one of San Francisco's largest metal recyclers, Circosta Ironand Metal Company, Inc. ("Circosta), will pay $500,000 as part of asettlement of a civil prosecution brought by the District Attorney. Read More

April 4, 2014

Joint Statement From D.A. Gascón & A.G. Schneiderman on Samsungand Two Wireless Carries Agreeing to Make Anti-Theft Features Availableon Galaxy S5

San Francisco - San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and NewYork Attorney General Eric. T. Schneiderman today released the followingstatement on the news that Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones sold byVerizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular will come with the Find My Mobile andReactivation Lock anti-theft solutions installed and that the featurescan be activated for free. Read More

April 1, 2014

Smartphone Theft Prevention Act Clears First Committee Vote

Sacramento - Legislation that requires all smartphones and tablets soldin California to come pre-equipped with theft-deterring technology thatwill render stolen devices useless passed its first committee vote inthe State Senate today. Read More

March 14, 2014

Felony Human Trafficking Probation Revoked After Brave Victim Testifies Via Skype

San Francisco- On Tuesday, March 11, the Honorable Judge Ross sentencedBrazil Harris to five years state prison on a motion to revokeprobation, the maximum allowable under state guidelines. Read More

District Attorney Announces Request for Proposals for Neighborhood Justice Fund
Priority Areas Include Pedestrian Safety, Security Improvements, Summer Community Activities

San Francisco - District Attorney George Gascón announced today the availability of Neighborhood Justice Fund grants to community-based organizations for projects that will enhance neighborhood safety, livability and cohesion. The grants are a result of restitution funds collected from Neighborhood Court directives and held by the District Attorney’s Office solely for the Neighborhood Justice Fund annual grant program. Read More

February 27, 2014

DA Gascón Delivers State of Public Safety, Discusses Vision for a Modern Justice System Fit for the 21st Century

SAN FRANCISCO - District Attorney George Gascón delivered his first ever State of Public Safety Address today to hundreds of public safety advocates and community leaders. The District Attorney detailed his vision for a modern justice system and discussed plans to implement new programs and technology designed to create efficiencies and reduce the prison population, thereby enabling prosecutors to redouble their efforts to keep violent offenders off the streets.Read More

February 27, 2014

District Attorney George Gascón Releases 2013 Annual Report. 

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February 7, 2014

Senator Leno, S.F. District Attorney Gascón Unveil Details of Legislation Requiring Technological Solutions to Epidemic of Mobile Device Theft

SAN FRANCISCO – Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón joined other elected officials, law enforcement leaders and advocates today to announce details of legislation that addresses the growing epidemic of smartphone theft. Senate Bill 962 requires all smartphones and tablets sold in California to come pre-equipped with theft-deterring technological solutions enabled to render the device useless if stolen. Every new device sold in the state on or after January 1, 2015 must have the theft-deterrent solution, also known as a kill switch, installed. Read More

February 5, 2014

San Francisco Leaders Announce Actions to Support “One Billion Rising for Justice” Feb 14 Declared “One Billion Rising Day” to End Violence Against Women and Girls

San Francisco – San Francisco leaders including District Attorney George Gascón, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Police Chief Greg Suhr, President of the Commission on the Status of Women Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, and V-Day Executive Director Susan Swan announced a series of actions to support “One Billion Rising,” a global campaign taking place in over 170 countries, to end violence against women and girls. This year, the campaign will focus on the issue of justice for all survivors of gender violence and sexual assault. Read More

January 24, 2014

San Francisco Sentencing Commission Releases 2013 Annual Report

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced the release of the San Francisco Sentencing Commission 2013 Annual Report today which includes two state and three local recommendations Read More