THC letter condemning the inaction of the D.A. to prosecute misdemeanor offences.
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Business as usual
The Progress is to be congratulated for its recent articles on the efforts of Tenderloin residents and businesses to control crime in their community. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies who speak boldly at press events about solving the crime problem in the neighborhood return to their ‘business as usual’ approach almost as soon as their quotes in the papers have dried.
A case in point. An hour prior to the meeting of the Concerned Businesspersons of the Tenderloin on March 12, our office was invaded by a violent and dangerous drunk. After we had succeeded in removing him from our office, the assailant attacked a bypasser, threw two wine bottles at our window, and permanently damaged our front door. He then tried to break through our door, and was only prevented from doing so by the arrival of the police. My associate and I spoke with the arresting officers at length, and in signing the complaint made it clear that we would cooperate fully in prosecuting our assailant.
After speaking to three deputy district attorneys in an attempt to discover the status of the case, we finally learned that the district attorney failed to press charges against the man. The D.A. said that the police report indicated it was not a serious case, a claim difficult to believe in light of our discussions with the arresting officers.
Regardless of which agency is at fault, the fact remains that the crime problem in the Tenderloin will never be solved if the district attorney refuses to prosecute misdemeanor offenders. I cannot believe that an assailant on Union Street is also released without prosecution, but I know that the future of our neighborhood demands a more serious attitude on the part of our prosecuting agency.
Randall M. Shaw
Tenderloin Housing Clinic