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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chron Columnist Asks if S.F. Should Be Sanctuary City for Abusive Husbands

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 4:30 PM


As we all know, the Chron pays their "token conservative" Debra J. Saunders to espouse whatever ideals are contrary to those of San Francisco. In her column today, she takes on the issue of whether everyone is being a little too hard on Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who on Friday was charged with battery, child endangerment, and intimidating a witness.

In her article she argues that we should stop assuming Mirkarimi is guilty of physically abusing his wife, Eliana Lopez, in a New Year's Eve dispute. Saunders' reasoning is basically sound: He's not been convicted of any crime.

But her column also seemed to be laced with ignorance about domestic violence laws. For starters, she says: "I have to ask: Do San Franciscans really want to throw the full weight of the law at a man initially accused of bruising his wife's upper right arm? Is this battery?"

And then for her most puzzling point: "As for the other charges, the district attorney told The Chronicle he filed the child-endangerment charge because the couple's 2 1/2-year-old son was present when Mirkarimi abused his wife. Is that really child endangerment?"

So does she think children should witness domestic violence disputes? On special school field trips, perhaps?

It's worth noting that while she comes down on

Mirkarimi's critics for vilifying him, Saunders is jumping to silly conclusions of her own -- namely, that

Mirkarimi isn't a danger to his family. She writes: "Wife

Eliana Lopez refutes the charges. I wonder if the city would be better

focusing on more dangerous offenders."

Of course, Mirkarimi should not be convicted in the press -- or anywhere else -- until he is proven guilty. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be prosecuted if he did in fact hurt his wife in a fight, especially if there are bruises to prove it.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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