In case you missed all the dramatic Mirkarimi news this week, here’s a recap.
On January 6th, news broke that Ross Mirkarimi, then-Supervisor of District 5 (which includes most of the Lower Haight), was being investigated for an incident of alleged domestic violence.
The Chronicle reported that Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez, got into a “heated argument” on New Year’s Eve. Lopez went to a neighbor’s house following the argument, and the neighbor then called the police, telling them that the incident “might be part of a larger pattern of abuse.”
Two days later, Mirkarimi was sworn in as San Francisco Sheriff, with Lopez by his side. At the ceremony, he addressed the domestic violence investigation as “a private matter, a family matter.” Meanwhile, Lopez defended Mirkarimi, saying “I don’t have any complaint against my husband.”
However, a police affidavit obtained by SF Examiner revealed new details about the alleged abuse. Lopez’s neighbor stated to police that Lopez had shown her a bruise on her upper right arm where Mirkarimi had grabbed her. The neighbor then videotaped the bruise at Lopez’s request, according to the affidavit. Police seized the neighbor’s videocamera and an iPhone reported to contain text messages from Lopez about the injuries.
A week later, on Friday January 13th, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon announced three charges against Mirkarimi: domestic battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness. According to SF Appeal, Gascon acknowledged that the case will be challenging, given that Lopez is refusing to cooperate. In fact, just after Gascon announced the charges, Mirkarimi and Lopez held a joint news conference denying them.
Still, Mirkarimi turned himself in later that afternoon, saying “I’m not above the law like anyone else” and vowing not to resign as sheriff. He was booked at 4:43pm, and was released after paying $35,000 bail.
Mirkarimi’s next hearing will be this Tuesday, January 17th, according to SFist. A protective order requested by Gascon would require Mirkarimi to give up all firearms and maintain a distance from both his wife and son. If convicted of the charges against him, Mirkarimi could face a year in jail.
As usual, we’ll keep an eye on it.