Two prosecutors have quit their jobs in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office – and are now joining an effort to recall him.
Brooke Jenkins and Dan DuBain told KNTV over the weekend they stepped down from their posts in San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office due to his lack of commitment to prosecuting crimes, and the danger they say his policies are unleashing on the crime-ridden city’s streets.
They both accused Boudin of making San Francisco more dangerous by regularly handing down more lenient sentences than are prescribed by law, releasing criminals early and in some cases not filing charges at all.
‘Chesa has a radical approach that involves not charging crime in the first place and simply releasing individuals with no rehabilitation and putting them in positions where they are simply more likely to re-offend,’ Jenkins said, who had been a prosecutor for seven years, most recently in the homicide department.
‘Being an African American and Latino woman, I would wholeheartedly agree that the criminal justice system needs a lot of work, but when you are a district attorney, your job is to have balance.’
DuBain added that he believes Boudin ‘disregards the laws that he doesn’t like, and he disregards the court decisions that he doesn’t like to impose his own version of what he believes is just – and that’s not the job of the district attorney.
‘The office was headed in such the wrong direction that the best thing I could do was to join the effort to recall Chesa Boudin as district attorney,’ said DuBain, a former district attorney in Solano County.
‘I take no pleasure in saying this,’ he said. ‘I didn’t want to be in this position. I consider Chesa a friend.’
Brooke Jenkins and Dan DuBain are two of the attorneys who have resigned from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in recent months over DA Chesa Boudin’s policies
Boudin, 41, became the city’s District Attorney in January 2020
The two are now among the more than 50 lawyers from Boudin’s office who quit or were fired since he became the district attorney in January 2020, representing roughly one-third of the department’s prosecutors.
Boudin, 41, entered the district attorney’s race back then as an underdog and won by fewer than 3,000 votes.
Voters were captivated by his life story.
When he was just 1 year old in 1981, his parents, who were members of the far-left Weather Underground, dropped him off with a babysitter and took part in an armored car robbery in upstate New York that left two police officers and a security guard dead.
His mother, Kathy Boudin, served 22 years behind bars and his father, David Gilbert, was jailed for life – until outgoing NY Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted his sentence for murder in August.
They didn’t fire shots that day and the victims were killed by the Black Liberation Army.
Chesa was cared for by members of a radical left-wing group and says his experiences of visiting his parents in jail galvanized his progressive views on law and order.
He won San Francisco’s tightly contested race for district attorney after campaigning to reform the criminal justice system in November. Pictured as a child with his parents in his campaign video
Kathy Boudin (left in November 24, 1981) served 22 years behind bars and his father, David Gilbert (center in the right image), may spend the rest of his life in prison. Judith Clark, David Gilbert and Katherine Boudin are pictured right October 20, 1981
But since he entered office, his opponents say, crime is on the rise and more criminals are going free.
He drew criticism earlier this year when a parolee back on the streets killed two pedestrians after running a red light in a stolen car.
Troy McAlister, 45, was intoxicated when he killed Elizabeth Platt, 60, and Hanako Abe, 27, according to FOX News.
Troy McAlister, 45, was intoxicated when he killed Elizabeth Platt, 60, and Hanako Abe, 27 earlier this year as he was out on parole for robbery
The San Francisco police officers association says a plea agreement for a robbery set McAlister free in April 2020, and that Boudin’s office failed to prosecute McAlister’s multiple arrests in the aftermath – including another alleged car theft on December 20.
And a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman told the Associated Press that McAlister has been incarcerated in state prisons numerous times.
In April 2020, he was sentenced to five years in prison for second-degree robbery and was released on parole.
Boudin said that charging McAlister with a new non-violent crime would not have necessarily put him behind bars, and instead blamed law enforcement agencies, saying they could have acted differently to avoid ‘a terrible and devastating tragedy.’
But in another instance, DuBain said, he was ordered by Boudin to request a more lenient sentence for a man convicted of shooting his girlfriend.
DuBain thought the order was a violation of a state statute guiding sentencing for those cases and withdrew from the case in protest.
‘I’ve done 136 jury trials in my career,’ he said, adding that he has ‘never, never withdrawn from a case before.
‘I’ve seen decisions made in the office in the last year plus, since Chesa took over, that shook my conscience – and I’ve been a prosecutor for 30 years.’
And in yet another case, Jenkins said, a man convicted of brutally murdering his mother was able to avoid jail time after the district attorney agreed to let him plead insanity without requiring he provide evidence of his mental state in court.
In response to these allegations, DA spokeswoman Sara Yousuf told NBC Bay Area: ‘Almost all of the victim’s family supported a finding of insanity.
‘We are disappointed to see reporting of wrong and obviously politically-motivated accusations.’
Crime is on the rise throughout San Francisco, with homicides up 7.3 percent
Boudin is now facing his second recall effort in his short tenure, with organizers hoping to oust him submitting 83,000 signatures to election officials to force him into a recall election next June.
While the San Francisco Department of Elections must certify the signatures within the next month, the organizers have submitted 32,162 more signatures than the 51,325 required to put the recall issue on the ballot, as the city faces an increase in crime.
As of October 17, homicides were up 7.3 percent over the same time period one year prior, assaults were up 7.8 percent, arson cases were up 9.6 percent and larcenies were up 9.6 percent, according to data from the San Francisco Police Department.
Human sex trafficking was also up a whopping 25 percent.
San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya said the city is now crippled with open-air drug markets and homelessness, coupled with upticks in blatant shoplifting, residential and commercial burglaries, shooting and other violent crimes.
‘Police are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys in the mind of a progressive’ like Boudin, Montoya said, adding: ‘Chesa’s good at the blame game. We’re going to call him Mr. Deflector because he’s always pointing the finger left or right and never at the man in the mirror.’
And in September, NBC Bay Area reports, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan took the unusual step of criticizing Boudin’s office from the bench for ‘constant turnover’ and neglecting ‘the fundamentals of competent, professional prosecution.’
‘I cannot express in any more certain terms my disapproval of the manner in which the office of the district attorney is being managed,’ Chan said.
‘We simply cannot have the current levels of inadvertence, disorganization and expect there to be any public confidence in what we do here collectively.’
Yousuf, though, defended Boudin saying he ‘has made it his priority to promote public safety for the people of San Francisco.’
She also underscored his efforts to protect San Franciscans by ‘expanding services for crime victims, pursuing meaningful accountability to address the root causes of crime, including by fighting for public health solutions to prevent crime from occurring.’
And, she said, Boudin’s prosecution rates are similar, if not higher, than both his predecessor ‘as well as other district attorneys in surrounding counties.’
The office is also fighting back against the recall effort, with Boudin telling his supporters at a recent rally: ‘This has nothing to do with the facts or the real challenges our communities are facing.
‘This has everything to do with disrespecting the will of the people,’ he said, describing the recall campaign as being pushed by ‘dark money’ and the Republican Party.
Two unidentified individuals wearing hooded jackets were caught on amateur video during a brazen ‘smash-and-grab’ spree in the San Francisco Bay Area
The image above shows one of the thieves reaching into a vehicle to steal an item
Meanwhile, more than 150 families have hired the Patrol Special Officers – who are overseen by the police commissioner – to monitor their neighborhoods.
‘We don’t feel safe in our neighborhood,’ Katie Lyons, resident of the Marina District neighborhood, told CBS San Francisco. ‘We have an alarm, we have cameras on our property, but we want the extra security of having someone have eyes on our place.’
Lyons said that she, like many other residents, is cautious about walking around outside.
‘Especially at night, I don’t walk with a purse, I’ll drive, or I’ll take an Uber, and it’s beginning to become a daytime problem too,’ she shared.
Officer Alan Byard, who was hired to patrol the Marina District from 8pm to 5am, shared that his clients has more than doubled since COVID hit the city, from 70 last year to 150 now, with each household paying him $65-a-month.
‘People are afraid of what’s been going on,’ the officer said. ‘They want a safe place to raise their kids. In the last year, I’ve had 10 of my clients move out of the city.’
He says he searches the neighborhood for suspicious people.
Byard was hired after a rash of repeated instances of car break-ins and home burglaries.
While he most often deals with homeless people sleeping on residents’ doorsteps, Byard has also addressed incidents of petty theft and burglary.
Lyons said it is not uncommon for stolen property, such as emptied luggage, to be discarded right outside her home.
Between May 2020 and May 2021, there was a 753 percent increase in the car break-ins in the city’s Central District, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Last week, two unidentified individuals wearing hooded jackets were caught on amateur video during a brazen ‘smash-and-grab’ spree on cars in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Video posted to social media on Wednesday shows the two thieves driving along streets in residential areas of San Francisco and Oakland.
Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced that the city would offer rewards of up to $100,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the mastermind of what officials say is an organized criminal effort.