SF District Attorney

District Attorney Boudin Responds to False Claims in Recently Filed Lawsuit

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CONTACT: 

Rachel Marshall / 415-416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org

Director of Communications / Policy Advisor / Assistant District Attorney

 

San Francisco—On Monday, Anh Le, represented by Quyen L. Ta; K. Luan Tran; Michael D. Roth; and James A. Unger of King & Spalding LLP, filed a lawsuit in federal court against the District Attorney’s Office. The lawsuit filed by Mr. Le alleges that he was the victim of a “brutal” attack by Jimmy Tanner and his “teenage” son with a “baseball bat.” 

The Underlying Facts of the Criminal Case Involving Mr. Le

On November 2, 2019, Mr. Le and Mr. Tanner, who uses a wheelchair, had an argument over Mr. Tanner’s 11 year-old son pushing a bicycle on the sidewalk.  Mr. Le confronted Mr. Tanner and his family about taking up the sidewalk.

During the argument, Mr. Tanner’s 11 year-old son was alleged to have swung a plastic bat at Mr. Le several times.  Mr. Tanner intervened and made verbal threats against Mr. Le while holding a Snapple bottle. Photographs taken by police at the scene do not depict any physical injuries to Mr. Le.

SFPD officers arrested Mr. Tanner for the following charges against Mr. Le: criminal threats; elder abuse, and battery.  The police did not arrest Mr. Tanner on any hate crime charges.

On November 6, 2019, Interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus filed charges against Mr. Tanner.  Interim DA Loftus did not file hate crime charges.

On April 12, 2021, the case resolved in court for a plea deal to a battery charge, which included probation and a stayaway order.  Mr. Le was not present at that court date despite repeated contact from our office.

Nonetheless, the prosecutor shared with the court at the time of the resolution the concerns and requests Mr. Le had previously sent about the case. Mr. Le wanted Mr. Tanner to be sentenced to state prison and wanted his child to be prosecuted.

Victim Services Division’s Communication with Mr. Le

A District Attorney’s Office victim advocate was assigned to the case promptly upon the filing of charges in 2019, and reached out to Mr. Le quickly.  That victim advocate remained on the case throughout its entirety.  During the course of her work, the victim advocate reached out to contact Mr. Le over two dozen times, including efforts to reach him by phone, email, and mail. 

In his lawsuit, Mr. Le falsely asserted that our office settled the case without consulting him or receiving any input from him.  This is not accurate.  Mr. Le and the advocate communicated many times, but for a period of weeks, Mr. Le did not respond to repeated messages from the advocate. The advocate also specifically reached out to Mr. Le before the case resolved—and indicated that the case might resolve and that the assigned prosecutor wanted to discuss the potential resolution with him.  Mr. Le did not respond to repeated efforts to reach him about the potential resolution.  Nonetheless, following the case resolution, the advocate again reached out to Mr. Le to inform him of the resolution and express a desire to talk to him about it. 

At the time of the resolution, despite Mr. Le’s non-presence, the assigned prosecutor read to the court from Mr. Le’s statement—which he had previously sent to the advocate—expressing his desires and feelings about the case. His input was shared with the court.

Once Mr. Le retained counsel, his counsel requested we cease communicating with him directly. 

“We know that victims can experience trauma and pain in many forms beyond physical injury, and we are constantly working towards expanding culturally competent mental health resources and financial support to victims of crime,” said Kasie Lee, Chief of Victim Services Division. “Given the lawsuit’s significant mischaracterizations of the events in this case—which have understandably led many community members to be upset and undermines the trust between crime victims and their advocates—we believe it is important to share correct information about the underlying case and explain the work of our office and our victim advocate in this case.  We also want to provide reassurance to victims that they will receive comprehensive services when working with our advocates.  We will continue to do everything we can to support victims.”

DA Boudin’s Ongoing Commitment to Improving Victim Services & Supporting the AAPI Community

Throughout his administration, DA Boudin has been dedicated to supporting victims and expanding the office’s Victim Services Division.  In April of 2021, he appointed as interim Chief of Victim Services Kasie Lee, who has a long record of advocacy for victims and within the AAPI community.  Among the advancements led by DA Boudin and Chief Lee were the addition of numerous multi-lingual victim advocates to the DA’s Office; the creation of a new policy to ensure that all victims with limited English proficiency have access to interpreters in court; a new policy to allow public-facing staff to take language classes during business hours to better serve non-English speaking community members; and the creation of two property victim advocate positions to support victims of residential burglaries and merchants facing storefront vandalism.

DA Boudin has also invested resources particularly towards AAPI community members and particularly vulnerable seniors.  DA Boudin recently announced an AAPI Elder Abuse Steering Committee, which began last year, and is focused on protecting vulnerable, elderly AAPI community members.   The Steering Committee is led by Interim Chief of Victim Services Kasie Lee, along with the VSD’s two dedicated Elder Abuse Program Advocates, Peter Huynh and Wesley Chu, fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin; Anni Chung, Executive Director of Self-Help for the Elderly; Alice Chiu, Elder Abuse Prevention Program Supervisor at the of Institute on Aging; and Henry Ha, Victim Services Program Director with the Coalition of Community Safety and Justice.  The DA’s Office also recently launched a public service campaign to prevent elder abuse, especially in the Chinese community.

In addition, the DA’s Office has focused work on preventing and responding to hate crimes and hate incidents.  DA Boudin has dedicated a prosecutor to prosecuting hate crimes; and the office has led more than a dozen hate crime/hate incident trainings to non-profit organizations, government agencies, and the public.  DA Boudin cosponsored AB 886, to fund grants to support victims of hate crimes; and last year the DA’s Office signed an MOU with local colleges/universities to prevent on-campus hate crimes. In May of 2021, the District Attorney’s Office hosted a summit to address hate crimes against the AAPI community with keynote by California Supreme Court Justice Hon. Goodwin Liu.

The District Attorney’s Ongoing Commitment to Victims

“I am proud of the work of my office’s Victim Services Division—and am disappointed by politically-motivated efforts to mislead the public about our work and the facts of this case,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “My administration has been dedicated to expanding support for victims—including an unprecedented expansion of our Victim Services Division—and we have particularly focused on serving vulnerable members of the AAPI community and seniors.  The claims in this lawsuit are false and are deliberately undermining the hard work of our Victim Services Division and the dedicated public servants in our office.  We support every effort to expand victim support—and have continuously sought additional funding to do just that.  We intend to continue our fight to protect all crime victims and survivors.”

###Elder Abuse Prevention Program Supervisor

 

中文

三藩市地檢官博徹思就最近針對地檢處所提出的不實訴訟指控作出回應

 

三藩市——在本週一,Anh Le與他的律師團代表 Quyen L. Ta、K. Luan Tran、Michael D. Roth, 以及James A. Unger of King & Spalding 律師樓,在聯邦法院向地檢署提出訴訟。根據Le 先生所提出的訴訟稱,Jimmy Tanner和他十幾歲的兒子用棒球棒野蠻地向他發動襲擊。

 

涉及Le先生的刑事案件之基本事實

在2019年11月2日,Le先生和坐輪椅的Tanner先生以及Tanner先生的11歲兒子在行人行道上因推行自行車而發生爭執。 Le先生質疑Tanner先生和他的家人佔用人行道。在爭吵過程中,Tanner 先生的11 歲的兒子被指控多次向Le先生揮動塑料球棒。 Tanner 先生進行干預,並拿著一個飲料瓶對 Le 先生發出口頭威脅。 警方在現場所拍攝的照片中並未顯示Le先生有任何身體傷害。

 

三藩市警方隨後逮捕了 Tanner 先生,罪名是:刑事威脅、虐待老人和襲擊。 警方並沒有以任何仇恨犯罪指控逮捕Tanner先生。

 

在2019 年 11 月 6 日,暫代地檢官樂素詩 (Suzy Loftus) 向 Tanner 先生提出指控,但沒有提出仇恨犯罪指控。

 

在2021 年 4 月 12 日,該案在法庭上和解,就襲擊指控作出認罪協議,其中包括緩刑和拘禁令。 儘管地檢處多次作出聯繫,但Le先生在開審日期沒有出席法庭。

 

儘管如此,助理檢控官在作出決議時在法院上向法官提出了Le先生就該案提出的擔憂和要求。 Le先生希望Tanner先生被判入獄,並希望起訴他的兒子。

 

 

受害者服務部與Le先生的溝通

在 2019 年提出指控後,地檢署的一位受害者倡導專員立刻被安排處理此案,並迅速與Le先生取得聯繫,以及在案件審訊過程中一直無間斷地負責此案。 在過程中,受害者倡導專員曾兩次聯繫Le先生,包括通過電話、電子郵件和郵件方式與他取得聯繫。

 

Le先生在訴訟中謊稱地檢署從未與他協商或徵詢他的意見下便解決此案。這是不准確的。受害者倡導專員曾與Le先生進行多次溝通,但有一段時間,倡導專員曾多次試圖聯繫Le先生,但Le先生並沒有回覆。在案件和解之前,倡導專員還專門聯繫了Le先生,告知案件有可能會和解,及負責起訴此案的助理檢控官希望與他討論解決方案。Le先生一直沒有作出回應。儘管如此,在案件和解後,受害者倡導專員再次嘗試聯繫Le先生,告知他案件將結案陳詞,並表示希望與他談話。

 

在結案陳詞時,儘管Le先生並不在場,檢控官仍向法庭宣讀了他之前給倡導專員的陳述,表達了他對案件的願望和感受,把他的意見分享給法院。

 

當Le先生聘請律師後,他的律師團要求我們停止與他進行直接溝通。

 

受害者服務部主管李蕙儀律師 (Kasie Lee) 說:「我們知道受害者可能會經歷身體以外,其他形式的創傷和痛苦。受害者服務部一直在努力擴大具有文化能力的心理健康資源和給予受害者的經濟支持。 鑑於此訴訟對本案之事實有重大的錯誤描述,可能導致許多社區成員感到不安,並破壞了罪案受害者與倡導專員之間的信任,我們認為澄清案件的事實,以及講解地檢署和倡導專員的工作皆十分重要。我們向受害者保證,倡導專員均會為受害者提供全面的服務。我們將繼續盡所能支援受害者。」

 

地檢官博徹思對改善受害者服務和支持亞裔社區的承諾宗旨

在其任職期間,地檢官博徹思一直致力於受害者服務方面的工作,並盡力擴張部門給予受害者的服務。 在2021 年 4 月,他任命李蕙儀律師為受害者服務部的臨時主管。李律師一直致力為受害者和亞裔社區爭取權益。在地檢官博徹思和李律師的領導下,地檢署增聘多名雙語的受害者倡導專員、制定新政策來確保所有英語能力有限的受害者都能在法庭上獲得口譯員、訂立新政策允許地檢署員工在工作時間進行語言進修課程,以便更好地為不諳英語的社區成員提供服務,並設立兩個財產受害者倡導專員職位,全面支援入屋盜竊的受害者和店面遭受破壞的商家。

 

地檢官博徹思還特別為亞裔社區成員和弱勢的年長社群投入資源。 地檢署最近宣布成立 「關注亞太裔受虐長者指導委員會」,並於去年開始專注於保護弱勢的亞裔年長社群。該委員會由受害者服務部臨時主管李蕙儀律師領導,以及由受害者服務部受虐長者計畫的雙語倡導專員黃啟發和朱瑞良、安老自助處行政總監鍾月娟、老齡研究所項目主任 Alice Chiu及「社區安全與正義聯盟」的項目主任Henry Ha等聯合組成。地檢署最近亦注重在亞裔發起宣傳運動,提升民眾對虐待老人的意識並阻止虐老行為。

 

此外,地檢署的其中的重點工作是預防和應對仇恨犯罪及仇恨事件。 地檢官博徹思委派一名助理檢控官來專責起訴仇恨犯罪案件,並多次為非牟利組織、政府機構和公眾提供有關仇恨犯罪和仇恨事件的培訓。 地檢官博徹思亦聯合提出 AB 886法案,爭取資源協助仇恨犯罪的受害者。去年,地檢署與本地的大學簽署諒解備忘錄,以防止於校園內發生的仇恨犯罪。 在2021 年 5 月,地檢署就針對亞裔的仇恨犯罪舉辦了一場峰會,並邀請加州最高法院法官劉弘威為主要演講嘉賓。

 

地方檢察官對受害者的承諾宗旨

地檢官博徹思說:「我為地檢署受害者服務部的工作感到自豪,並對那些出於政治動機而誤導公眾關於我們的工作和案件的事實而感到失望。 我們一直致力於擴大受害者服務,包括前所未有地擴大受害者服務部門。我們亦特別注重投放資源於亞裔社區及弱勢的年長社群。 這個訴訟的內容實是子虛烏有,惡意詆毀受害者服務部職員一直辛勤的工作。我們支持擴大受害者服務,並為此不斷尋求額外資金,也會繼續努力保護所有罪案受害者和倖存者。」

 

 

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