Sheriff Mirkarimi charged with domestic violence

DA George Gascón announces the filing of charges against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
Steven T. Jones

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has been charged with three misdemeanors in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident against his wife, Eliana Lopez, on New Year's Eve, District Attorney George Gascón announced this afternoon. Gascón said a restraining order has been issued that bars Mirkarimi from contacting his wife and child and that bail has been set at $35,000, although he was unaware whether Mirkarimi had been booked yet.

Mirkarimi is being charged with one misdemeanor each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness from testifying. Gascón said their young son, Theo, was present during the incident. Lopez has refused to speak with investigators, but she has publicly denied that her husband has ever abused her.

Mirkarimi has maintained his innocence, as he did again with Lopez by his side during a City Hall press conference held simultaneously with Gascón's press conference at the Hall of Justice. "We believe that these charges are very unfounded and we will fight those charges. I'm confident in the end that we will succeed,” Mirkarimi said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It was unclear whether the appearance with Lopez violated the restraining order.

Gascón confirmed press reports that Lopez had communicated via text message about the incident with the neighbor who ultimately contacted police – although he refused to disclose or characterize the contents of the communications – and that there was a photo taken of an injury to Lopez's arm. He also said there are indications that this was not an isolated incident and the investigation is continuing. “We have heard there have been other instances,” Gascón said.

The fact that the charges were misdemeanors wouldn't require Mirkarimi's removal from the office he assumed just last weekend if he's convicted, but he has already been required to relinquish any weapons, including his service revolver. He faces a year in jail and three years probation on the charges.

“While we do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California and as the chief law enforcement officer for the city and county of San Francisco it is my solemn duty to bring criminal charges when the evidence supports such action. No one is above the law,” Gascón said. “Whether this was the elected Sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal, and will be prosecuted.”

Gascón also said that while Lopez has refused to cooperate, he believes there is ample evidence to bring charges. “A case is always stronger if the victim is willing to testify. However, it is very common for victims to be uncooperative in domestic violence cases," Gascón said, noting that his office filed 771 domestic violence cases last year. He also said, “Regardless of whether the victim supports a prosecution, it is the state's and my office's obligation to ensure the safety of the victim.”


Says that earlier in the year they had an argument, and that is when he said he pulled a lot of weight around here and he got to keep the kid.

Like I said, watching him on cable access always made feel that there was some controlling features there. More so about Daly, but Mirkarimi's pompousness seemed really controlling. I watched the Sharps Park meeting a couple of times on cable access from about a year ago, he really looked as if not agreeing with him made him stressed.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

** On the tape, Lopez is crying and points to a bruise on her right bicep where she said Mirkarimi grabbed her during the confrontation the day before, according to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by police Inspector Richard Daniele of the domestic violence unit.

"This happened yesterday," Lopez says on the video, according to the affidavit. "Two times in 2011, and this is the second time this is happening. **

And of course he goes on to threaten taking their son away using his "power". Sounds like we're dealing with a pretty epic shitbag here. I'm going to give his defenders on here the benefit of the doubt for previous commentary, but going forward it'd probably be a good idea to shut the fuck up. k thx.

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

is to blame the woman for being a drama queen or harping on context. Which if things degenerate between the two will be in the cards.

Things are not looking good for the "it's the conspiracy" crowd.

Lets see what they come up with.

It is sad, I would rather see poor man's Newsom be voted out for his general shit baggery, this is unseemly to have it all drug through the media.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

and I would never blame Eliana for being a so-called "drama queen" or whatever. Ross is still innocent until proven guilty. However, after reading the affidavit, I am inclined to agree that he may need anger management classes, at the least. If these charges hold up, I will be the first to demand that he step down.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

I for one am impressed with all the folks rallying around Ross. Solidarity forever! By the way, I hear there's a coach in Pennsylvania that needs some support, too.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

if he gets the boot from office.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

He sounds like he has a lot of problems. Problems which, if proven in court, mean he should no longer serve as sheriff.

Posted by H. Monk-Brown CI on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

"sounds like he has a lot of problems"?

Nope. Sounds like hearsay!

Posted by You Guessed It on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

Second-hand testimony is hearsay.

If you heard it, it's evidence. If I heard you repeat it, that's hearsay.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 6:36 am

It is all hearsay. So there was allegedly a bruise but we do not know the where, when or why of how that bruise came to be with certainty. It could be as extreme as a man hitting his wife or as comical as Jim Carrey beating himself up in a bathroom (self-inflicted bruises). The truth lies somewhere on the spectrum and I wouldn't hold your breath for the judicial system to find it.

Anybody who stops thinking there is a conspiracy amiss due to the release of some governmental documents obviously does not know how to think independently.

To everyone out there who is offended by a mere bruise that vanished within a few days you all must lead mundane lives. Go play with hyper youth and energetic puppies and set random things around your house that you might bump into. See if you don't wind up with any accidental bruises.

As for the allegations about the bickering over the son, custody battles are common amongst quarreling couples, look at Lindsay Lohan's parents! These private conversations that allegedly took place were not intended for the public. If someone did refer to himself as powerful and wanted to keep his son good for him for caring about his kid. Many Dads out there don't give a hoot about their offspring so be glad that the Sheriff actually cares about the future of his DNA.

Like the Lewinsky scandal, this is a waste of tax money! If the Mirkarimis have something to settle let them hire a mediator and move along. The DA should be focused on the city's homicides and other real problems. America's Cup is just around the corner and the DA is unfocused.

Posted by You Guessed It on Jan. 17, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

Oh, and first hand testimony doesn't fall under the legal definition of hearsay. It's allowable evidence. Otherwise there would be no point in anyone giving verbal testimony - only documents, photo's and physical evidence would be allowed.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 6:37 am

you guessed it = greg = guest


Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Same self-serving arguments.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 8:43 am

Where's Greg?

Greg? Y'all out there? Still defending your man, The Man?

So, so very typical in sex/spouse abusal cases. Denial on all fronts.

Posted by The piper on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 8:52 am

I'm still here, but unlike some full-time internet trolls, I also have a life. With 261 posts on this topic and counting, at some point you say pretty much all there is to be said.

And everything I said is still true...
-It still looks political, particularly the un-asked-for TRO. As of yet, I haven't heard anyone come up with another example where a TRO was imposed without anyone asking. And it says a lot about the DA's motivations that other cases of machine-aligned politicians weren't pursued -not for the *same* alleged crime, but for much more *serious* violations (this is the part that people forget here). Where were all the "advocates" then?

-As a feminist, I still give a lot of weight to what the alleged victim is going to say. I still think it's a very perverse kind of sisterhood to say that the best way to support a woman is to call her a liar, ignore anything she says, treat her like a child, and say that a man who appointed himself as her protector (Gascon) can speak for her better than she can!

-And above all, reserve judgement! If DSK case taught us anything at all, it's that. That one looked bad... really, really bad. I thought he was guilty along with just about everyone else. Turned out completely different, though, didn't it? And yet, a man's reputation and career has been completely, irreperably, destroyed... which I guess was the whole point all along.

But all this stuff has been said before. Some people aren't here to discuss... they're here to push an agenda, and any deviation from their line, they just launch ad hominem attacks and call you a conspiracy theorist. After a while you just get tired, and there are other things you can be doing with your time than fighting nameless internet trolls.

And btw... no, I'm not "you guessed it" or "guest". I know it pains you that not everyone agrees with you no matter how hard you spin it, but I'm not the only one out there who looks at this and sees that this whole thing looks pretty screwy.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 9:45 am

push an agenda"?

Really, Greg? The entire premise of SFBG is to "push an agenda".

And would you be devoting hours of your life to this topic if it had been Dick Cheney who stood accused of DV?

I'm guessing not. And that's because you have an "agenda to push" as much if not more than anyone here.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 10:00 am

all the way down...

Dude, at some point you gotta jump ship. It ain't getting better, it's getting worse - a lot worse. It no longer "looks bad", it is bad.

The guy is a shitbag.

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 10:29 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

Do you not acknowledge that there are abused women who claim that they are not abused? And that this is often part of the overall pattern of abuse? If you read the affadavit, it is clear that Mirkarimi was threatening to take away their child - so there are plenty of reasons why people might not take her word at face value.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 10:30 am

"Do you not acknowledge that there are abused women who claim that they are not abused?"

Some. Men too, you know. Look at Joanne Hayes-White's husband... police put a paper in front of him saying that he hit himself, and he signed it! OTOH, sometimes alleged victims tell the truth, you know. It would've been good to give Hayes-White's victim a chance to have his day in court and find out.

"And that this is often part of the overall pattern of abuse?"

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. "Often" is a loaded term.

"If you read the affadavit, it is clear that Mirkarimi was threatening to take away their child "

Nothing is clear at this time. The same person who allegedly made those allegations is now saying that what appears on that tape is inaccurate.

Now that we have that out of the way, I have a few questions of my own:
-Do you not acknowledge that politicians make political decisions, or are you also of the opinion that their motives are as pure as the driven snow, and anyone who questions their motives is a conspiracy theorist?
-Do you not acknowledge that many cases that initially "look bad" turn out very differently than most people initially believe?
-Do you not acknowledge that sometimes the self-appointed advocates of alleged victims are wrong, and the victim is in fact telling the truth when they say they're not a victim?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

If Ross wasn't in deep doo-doo, Greg wouldn't be trying so hard to convince himself that he wasn't.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

What a freak you are!
Nobody cares about this hayes white stuff. Diff DA and all.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

As I said before, Webster's Dictionary now lists "Greg" as a synonym for "hypocrite."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

All the evidence is hearsay. If his wife won't press charges there's no case. Damn nosey neighbor started all this crap. Ross should move and get away from her.

Posted by Mission Loco 94110 on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 1:18 pm

You should read California Evidence Code 1370.

Posted by The Commish on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

If the wife don't want to pursue this then you ain't got a case. Anyone or anything could have caused that bruise on her arm. Prove it! You don't have a case Mr. D.A. This all started because of a nosey neighbor who can't mind her own business. If I was Sheriff Ross I would move get away from that nosey bitch!

Posted by Mission Loco 94110 on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

first-hand (i.e NOT hearsay) testimony.


Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

(1) Soap opera stars, and (2) latina women can get pretty histrionic at times.

He gave her a little tap on the arm, and now the SF Right-wing old guard is up in arms. What a crock!

Posted by Ross defender on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

I don't know what went on, and no one else but those involved do, but at last we have a blame the victim poster.

Scratch a defender of Ross and you get a 50's DA.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

Does the fact that not one prog has blamed the victim until now -- if, in fact, that was a prog (or just another troll) -- tell you anything? Oh, and the fact that you are beside yourself with glee that someone is blaming the victim ("at last!!!!!"), tell you anything about yourself?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

The progressive conspiracy non sense so far has actually amazed me, what it tells me about myself is that I had greater expectations form the local sect.

I could never have seen this coming, after years of studied outrage over right wingers who do something idiotic, along with our progressives saying that "something" is an indication of their status, race and political affiliation.

After years of that behavior, I figured they would have a wait and see view on things, not some bizarre "his enemies are out to get me because I was toe tapping under the stall door in the mens room" conspiracy crazy.

Your last line is deflection, that may well be a troll but what has come before is so outlandish.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

I never, ever thought I would see the day.

I mean, let's be real here. You guys have been shitting the bed pretty hard the past few years but this is just an entirely new level. Domestic abuse victims displaying bruises on camera while crying and saying it's not the first time are simply drama queens. And even better, we're now throwing in the "Latinas are just crazy" card to boot!

Misogyny + racism.... you run with thart Ross Defender, you just keep running!

I'm dying here, really... I am.

Posted by Sambo on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

then you can bet that all these hypocrits would be singing a very different, and very opportunistic, song.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

You don't know -- and can't prove -- that it was a progressive who posted that disgusting comment. The poster who goes by the name Ross Defender might be one of you -- i.e. a right-wing troll, posting racist comments in order to discredit progressives. I don't know many progressives, if any, who would make a bigoted remark like that about Latinas.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

How many blacks or hispanics work for SFBG?

Trick question.


And the SF green party is overwhelmingly white. Coincidence?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

Because an organization is all white doesn't mean it's racist, unless it's a progressive complaining about republicans, of which I am not.

People gravitate to thinks that they identify with culturally, the bike coalition is almost all white, but you see people of all races riding bikes, it's just that white liberals gravitate to joining these catch all leftist operations. Like the Bay Guardian and the Green Party.

Our local left wingers are more racialist. They think that if the city lays off people it's unfair because a lot of the people who gravitate to those jobs are not white or women...

Posted by matlock on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

Wow, do I love hypocrites! A "little tap on the arm"! Great stuff! Of course, if a conservative Republican did the same thing . . . . Oh, never mind, you get the idea.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

All progressive men are potential rapists and abusers, and I'm so glad the DA sees the scope of the problem and followed the law and charged him and slapped him with a restraining order. And no, progressive hypocrits, the law doesn't apply in those other cases, because the victims in those other cases were MEN!!! So stop talking about that because we're tired of hearing it. There is NO BIAS AT ALL in the law enforcement community! Don't you know that women don't abuse men because women aren't as violent and they're weaker anyway, so if she says he hit himself with a shot glass, then he probably did! But if a woman says she's wasn't abused, then she needs to be in therapy because she's just under the influence of her abuser. The domestic violence community knows that you can't believe anything a woman says when her husband is accused of abuse, and it's better if professionals speak for her until she's gone through domestic violence survivor counseling and understands how badly she was abused. That's why the law was written that way, because all men are potential abusers and all women are potential victims, and they need to be protected. Thank god we have a DA who understands this! Ross's wife may be upset about it now, but later when her abuser is in jail and she gets her counseling for domestic villence survivors and her son is in foster care where he belongs, she'll thank DA Gascon for being a real man and protecting her.

Posted by Ross Hater on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 9:03 pm
Posted by matlock on Jan. 18, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

Have to admit that is amusing (though this is not a laughing matter).

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:37 am

after the first minute because it looked like it was going to just be some attack on the two, which I find tasteless and not funny, then it became a general satire.

- matlock

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:18 am

and insult women, greens, vegans, bike nuts and hispanics with equal abandon.

Outstanding, and one in the eye for Mirk the Smirk.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:49 am

...and every fascist, teabag troll

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

"Ooops, I have just been informed that I hit myself in the head..., (unintelligible 3rd party comment).... oh yes, twice".
ANY kind of violence, domestic or otherwise, towards another, is inexcusable.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:01 am

Women don't hit men, men hit women! Don't you know that you sexist pig? If she says that he hit himself, then he did and he probably deserved it! We should always trust our sisters, except when they say they're not abused. Then we need to recognize that it's best if we domestic violence victims rights advocates speak for them, because in this case they're clearly incapable of speaking for themselves!

Posted by Ross Hater on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:03 am

I can only suggest that you hold a mirror up to reveal your true hateful nature, your comments are demeaning to all my sisters, and brothers. With 'advocates' like you all victims of abuse are guaranteed more of the same.

Posted by Patrick Monk. RN on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 11:36 am

Eliana gave an interview in Spanish on a Venezuelan radio station where she categorically denounced the prosecution as political.

Now she didn't have to do that. She could've kept quiet. I'm sure all you self-appointed advocates of "victims" will now denounce her as a conspiracy theorist too. But that's not the point. The point is that this doesn't sound like a woman cowering in fear.

The other shoe to drop: Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that she's likely going to ask the court to lift the restraining order today.

Yep. I asked about this days ago. What say the self-appointed advocates now? And what will you say if she does take the stand, and with tears in her eyes, points her finger squarely at the prosecutor and yells, "YOU who should be removed from office! YOU should be in jail! For tearing our family apart and abusing your power for a political prosecution!"

You guys will probably stick to your guns even then, but I have a pretty good idea of how any fair-minded jury might react.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:10 am

Are you aware that you are obsessed with this case? I think the next RO should be for you and your 23 other guest commenters

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 9:30 am

simulataneously trying to claim that it's really something trivial.

A classic case of "the more he speaks, the less he says".

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:42 am

People who identify themselves as "Guest" accusing me of being other "Guests," when in fact I've never posted as Guest. Ouch. My head is starting to spin.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 19, 2012 @ 10:57 am