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Friday, September 7, 2007

Mirkarimi – The San Francisco Treat

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2007 at 10:25 AM

The District 5 Supervisor helps break up a crime – yes, again. But you won’t catch him bragging about it.

By Joe Eskenazi

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi admits it – he carries his wallet and cell phone with him in a fanny pack when he goes out for a run.

“I know that sounds nerdy,” he said somewhat meekly.

And yet all vestiges of nerdiness would be vanquished by Mirkarimi’s actions while out a morning jog on the last day of August. The District 5 Supervisor was heading up Webster Street past Grove when he peered up toward Alamo Square Park – and witnessed a drive-by shooting.

Then, fanny pack and all, he ran toward the gunfire.

“I was concerned, extremely concerned about the bystanders nearby. And, as you know, I’m extremely concerned about the lack of arrests and prosecutions. And I’m tired of seeing shootings and criminal violations go down with impunity,” he explained.

Very altruistic. But, still, running toward gunplay? It isn’t as if he had a Kevlar fanny pack.

“I feel like I’m on call. This is a natural part of what we [supervisors] do and the role we fill,” he continued.

This is what supervisors do? You mean Bevan Dufty and Aaron Peskin are out busting up pizza store robberies and Tom Ammiano is leaping out of the trees to startle muggers and…

“Come on!” says Mirkarimi impatiently before I can even think of what Chris Daly might do.

In any event, the supervisor made sure the bystanders had called 911 and then leaped into the back of a squad car. Mikrarimi declined to go into detail about an ongoing investigation, but it appears his eyewitness account helped nab two suspects.

We’re hardly the first to note, by the way, that Mirkarimi seems to have a knack for this.

Two years ago he chased away a man burglarizing a car. Later in 2005, he performed CPR on a man in Buena Vista Park and helped paramedics load the victim into the ambulance.

Counter-intuitively for an elected official, Mirkarimi didn’t want to talk about actions some would label as heroic. He has no idea why these sorts of things keep happening around him. And he bristles at even the slightest mention of comic book superheroes.

“It makes me uncomfortable,” he said. “Collectively speaking, we all have a responsibility to send a message … that crime should not be tolerated. We need to do our best to help reclaim our streets. We send the wrong message when crimes are being committed and we’re tolerant of the so-called ‘no-snitch rule’ in San Francisco.”

All things considered, it seems that Mirkarimi is just a very serious, earnest public servant. And it’s a good thing he’s so adamantly opposed to comic book allusions, as Serious Earnest Public Servant (and his utility fanny pack) would not sell many volumes.

But if Mirkarimi does change his mind, I do know a guy who can draw a little.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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