It doesn't matter how many times Ross Mirkarimi apologizes for his "arrogance and anger issues," women in San Francisco aren't ready to forgive -- or forget. And it will be hard for the now-suspended sheriff to forget his troubles as long as there are these billboards up to remind him of what he's done.
Domestic Violence groups have installed five more anti-domestic violence billboards, all of which will reference Mirkarimi's tragic quote "this is a private matter, a family matter," which he said when defending himself against his own charges of domestic violence.
The billboards -- which are in Spanish -- were installed throughout the Mission District yesterday, and read: "La Violencia Doméstica NUNCA es un asunto privado/ Si necesita ayuda, llame al (877) 503-1850."
The Spanish-language billboards accompany the English billboard
"Domestic Violence is NEVER a private matter." The English billboard went up in the SOMA neighborhood in February, a month after Mirkarimi was arrested and charged with domestic violence misdemeanors stemming from a New Year's Eve argument he had with his wife, Eliana Lopez. Although he was charged with battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness, those charges were dropped last week when Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to false imprisonment
Beverly Upton, executive director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, said
these billboards are nothing more than a reminder that "we don't lose sight of the
damage Sheriff Mirkarimi's actions and subsequent statement has had on
victims of domestic violence locally. It is an important step in
reassuring DV victims in immigrant communities that they can safely seek
help from city law enforcement."
After being sentenced to three years probation, a tearful Mirkarimi apologized for his anger and arrogance issues, and insisted that he does not believe domestic violence is a private, family matter. He then retracted his notorious quote, claiming he misstated when he blurted it during his swearing-in ceremony as the new county sheriff.
"I appreciate that in prepared
remarks after his sentencing Mirkarimi repudiated his earlier statement
that the charges of domestic violence against him were a "private, family
matter," yet he continues to refuse responsibility," said Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres
, an anti-domestic violence group.
She went on, again urging him to permanently resign as sheriff, "Domestic violence
is a crime, and it is a choice -- It is not about "anger issues" but
power and control. That Sheriff Mirkarimi thinks he can plead guilty in
one breath and swear to 'move forward' as sheriff in the next is simply
"If he does not do the right thing and resign, then the
sun will shine soon through the Ethics Commission and Board of
Supervisors," she said.
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