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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Police Called To Last Night's District 3 Supervisor Debate

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 1:35 PM

click to enlarge And in these corners... - PHOTOS: TWITTER. ILLUSTRATION: SF WEEKLY
  • Photos: Twitter. Illustration: SF Weekly
  • And in these corners...
While the days of Tammany Hall muscle may be behind us, it's hard to read a political story without encountering a gang of violent metaphors.  

"The gloves come off in North Beach," barked the headline of recent San Francisco magazine piece about the upcoming election in North Beach and Chinatown. That story is not alone: many mentions of the November electoral "battle" between Supervisor Julie Christensen and her "challenger," former Supervisor Aaron Peskin, have been intoned with sound and fury worthy of a ringside announcer.

But last night, things got real — as in a real literal fracas. Before a debate between the two candidates at City College's Chinatown campus, police had to be called to manage an unruly crowd coming to blows, a police spokesman confirmed to SF Weekly.

It's not yet clear who started the brouhaha, which of the two candidates' supporters were involved, or exactly what happened.

What we do know is that police were called to the CCSF campus just before 5:30 p.m., when the debate was scheduled to begin, according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza, who said officers were called in order to control a crowd.

Police settled the dispute, nobody was arrested, and no further action was required, Esparza said.

However, it goes without saying — or maybe it should be said, given the language used to describe how we select our leaders — that it is a rare thing for police to be called to moderate the crowd at a political debate. Even in "bare knuckle" San Francisco, where politics is a "blood sport."

According to some witnesses, the disagreement happened between supporters of the two camps, who began pushing and shoving each other in line outside.

We reached out to the campaign managers of both candidates to hear more and will update when we hear back. 

In the meantime, if anyone has photos or video of democracy in action, please send them our way.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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