Issue:  Vol. 45 / No. 48 / 26 November 2015

‘Hot cop of the Castro’ Kohrs arrested in hit and run

San Francisco police Officer Christopher Kohrs. Photo: Steven Kyle Weller.

San Francisco police Officer Christopher Kohrs. Photo: Steven Kyle Weller.

San Francisco police Officer Christopher Kohrs, 38, was arrested early Sunday after allegedly injuring two pedestrians in North Beach with his car and leaving the scene.

Kohrs, who became known as the “Hot cop of the Castro” after a local photographer took his picture a couple years ago, was driving west on Broadway at about 2:20 a.m. November 29 when he hit two men who were “apparently” crossing the street, according to Sergeant Michael Andraychak, a police spokesman.

Officers responded to Montgomery and Broadway and found the vehicle involved, a Dodge Charger, but the driver had fled, Andraychak said in a news release.

Police investigators identified the driver as Kohrs, who was booked into custody on suspicion of two counts of felony hit and run.

The pedestrians, both in their 40s, were taken to a hospital with “serious, but non-life threatening injuries,” Andraychak said.

Kohrs’ custody status isn’t clear. The sheriff’s department’s website indicated he’s not in custody. Andraychak said he was working on getting updated information.

[Update]: Andraychak said in a follow-up news release that Kohrs, who’s been with the department for seven years, is the Charger’s registered owner.

He surrendered himself at police headquarters, Andraychak said, and police Internal Affairs investigators placed him under arrest after interviewing him.

“Kohrs is currently on leave due to an unrelated medical condition,” Andraychak said. “If he becomes eligible to return to duty, he would then be placed on suspension.”

Both victims are still in the hospital.

In response to emailed questions about Kohrs’  custody status, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kenya Briggs said, “Mr. Kohrs is not currently in our jail. That’s all of the information that I can release.” [End update]

Police haven’t yet released Kohrs’ booking photo.

Anyone with information in the case may call the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 30, 2015 @ 10:36 am PST
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SF Public Defender apologizes for attorney’s comments on trans victim

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Photo: Robert Fujioka

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Photo: Robert Fujioka

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi apologized today (Wednesday, November 25) for one of his attorney’s repeatedly misgendering a transgender woman who was allegedly attacked in a recent hate crime.

The case involves Samantha Hulsey, who allegedly was punched and called transphobic slurs outside the Holiday Inn at 50 Eighth Street November 15. Dewayne Kemp, 36, and Rebecca Westover, 42, face charges including assault and hate crime enhancements in the case.

At the couple’s arraignment Friday, November 20, during which they pleaded not guilty, Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof repeatedly referred to Hulsey as a man and used male pronouns for her. The Bay Area Reporter ran an editorial today calling on Adachi to provide sensitivity training to his attorneys.

In his apology, which his office emailed to the B.A.R., Adachi said, “Having read your editorial, I offer my sincere apology to [Ms.] Hulsey and the transgender community for an incident in which one of my staff misgendered Ms. Hulsey in court. It is my policy that everyone associated with my office treats transgender people with respect and dignity, whether they are clients, victims, witnesses, colleagues, or members of the public. This includes referring to transgender individuals by the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity.  Mr. Maloof has expressed it was not his intention to treat Ms. Hulsey in an insensitive manner, but the buck stops with me. Our office has undergone training around transgender issues in the past, but this incident makes it clear that we need further education. I have contacted the Transgender Law Center and will plan additional sensitivity training and education. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. We will do better.”

At a hearing in the Hulsey case today, Maloof used feminine pronouns for a transgender woman who was with her during the alleged attack and called her “Ma’am.”

TLC confirmed Adachi has reached out to the nonprofit.

The B.A.R. will have more on this story in the Thursday, December 3 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 25, 2015 @ 1:53 pm PST
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SF AIDS Foundation posts CEO job description

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which announced in August that current CEO Neil Giuliano is leaving, has finally posted the job description for the top position, the nonprofit announced today (Tuesday, November 24).

Executive search firm Egon Zehnder published the posting for the job, which involves overseeing a budget of $32 million and a staff of 141 full-time employees. Founded more than 30 years ago, SFAF provides a wide variety of free services, including HIV testing, counseling, and syringe access to thousands of people every year.

Outgoing SFAF CEO Neil Giuliano. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Outgoing SFAF CEO Neil Giuliano. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Giuliano, who joined the nonprofit in December 2010, is becoming president and CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership, a business organization focused on civic improvement initiatives.

“The foundation is at the forefront of HIV prevention and care and we are confident that our partners at Egon Zehnder will be able to identify a visionary leader who is up to the task,” SFAF board Chair Michael Kidd said in a news release. “In order to attract top talent, we ask for the community’s help to spread the word.”

The job description doesn’t list salary information, but Giuliano’s total compensation for the fiscal year ending in June 2014 was $327,447, according to SFAF’s most recently available tax filings.

“The incoming CEO will have the opportunity to lead the foundation at a pivotal moment,” the job posting says. “The foundation has played a key role in evolving the conversation surrounding HIV, and profound success in bringing new HIV cases and AIDS-related deaths in the San Francisco community to zero. Now that the disease has to a great extent been mainstreamed, the question of the organization’s next strategic thrust is one that needs to be defined. The foundation needs a CEO who can think strategically and lead the organization in this evolutionary change.”

The new CEO will be tasked with challenging staff, government officials, funders, and others “to refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable,” the posting says.

Among other duties, the nonprofit’s new leader will oversee fundraising, the leadership team, and services in locations around the city, including Strut, the new gay and bi men’s health center at 470 Castro Street. The center had been expected to open this month, but an opening date hasn’t been announced.


— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 24, 2015 @ 5:44 pm PST
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Gay Richmond police chief leaving for Tucson, AZ

Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland.

Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland.

Chris Magnus, the out gay police chief of Richmond, California, is leaving his post in the East Bay city to become chief of Tucson, Arizona’s police department, according to media reports.

Richmond police spokespeople didn’t respond to requests to interview Magnus.

In an email, spokespeople for Tucson police declined to be interviewed “until Chief Magnus arrives in Tucson and takes over the department.”

Crime rates in Richmond have dropped since Magnus took office in 2006. The chief also garnered attention last December when he and others from his department stood with people protesting national incidents of police brutality and held a sign that said, “Black Lives Matter.”

Police in Richmond have “done some incredible work,” Alicia Garza, who identifies as queer and is co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, said at the time. The department “has a lot to show” other police agencies in terms of addressing problems like racism and a lack of transparency.

Richmond City Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles, a black Latina lesbian and the city’s vice mayor, called Magnus’ participation “a beautiful image of our city.”

Beckles added, “Our police department actually respects our community,” and called the police officials’ act “a perfect example of community policing, not military policing.”


— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 1:11 pm PST
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Protest for trans black women planned in SF

Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project was represented in a previous event. (Photo: TGI Justice Project.)

Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project was represented in a previous event. (Photo: TGI Justice Project.)

A demonstration is being planned in San Francisco to call for more shelter spaces for black transgender women. The event starts at 8 a.m. Friday, November 20 at 10th and Mission streets.

The protest, which organizers are calling “#HereToStay: Denying Shelter and Dignity to Black Trans Women is a Weapon in the War on Black People,” is taking place on the global Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Danielle Castro, a transgender woman who’s supporting the demonstration, said, “It is a very important event. It’s an ongoing battle with the violence that we face.”

Castro added that black transgender women especially are being “erased” and called what’s happening “genocide.” There has been widespread concern about the murders of black transgender women and other trans women of color in recent years.

Almost one out of every three homeless people in San Francisco identify as LGBT, according to a recent city survey, and winter is approaching.

“The cold months are coming, and we don’t have adequate shelter for trans women or trans people in general,” Castro said. “It’s a big barrier, and a scary time to be homeless.”

The city recently opened Jazzie’s Place, a homeless shelter designed to be welcoming to LGBTs. The space, which is operated by Dolores Street Community Services, is named for Jazzie Collins, a black trans woman who advocated for housing, seniors, and other issues and died in 2013. The shelter is located at 1050 South Van Ness.

One of the groups involved in organizing Friday’s demonstration is the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project, which helps trans people who are incarcerated. Janetta Johnson, the nonprofit’s executive director, didn’t respond to a request for comment about the protest.

Castro said, “There’s no system in place to really help those coming out from the prison industrial complex, and in my mind it would be ideal to deconstruct the entire thing” and “dismantle the system, because it’s just a perpetual money-making machine off the backs of people suffering.”

In an email, she added, “[W]e hold demonstrations and march again and again but see very little progress. Although the city of SF has allocated funds for violence prevention, we have to take definite steps as a city including the creation of a transgender commission.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 19, 2015 @ 6:32 pm PST
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Oakland police: Dead man charged with transgender woman’s 2012 murder

Brandy Martell (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

Brandy Martell (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

A dead man has been charged in the 2012 murder of transgender East Bay resident Brandy Martell, Oakland police announced today (Thursday, November 19.)

It’s not clear how a dead man could be charged with murder, but a tweet from the Oakland Police Department indicated that the Alameda County District Attorney’s office has charged Maliqui Parrott, who was killed two months after Martell, in her fatal shooting.

A spokeswoman for the DA’s office couldn’t immediately explain the development. OPD spokespeople didn’t immediately return a call from the Bay Area Reporter.

[Update]: DA’s spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said in an email that OPD’s tweet was inaccurate. There are “no criminal charges, as the suspect is deceased,” Drenick said, and police will send another tweet.[End update]

The B.A.R. will have more on this story in the Thursday, November 26 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, @ 3:07 pm PST
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SF preservation panel approves LGBT historic document

San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission today (Wednesday, November 18) unanimously approved an LGBT historic document that’s meant to help hold on to  gay spaces in the city.

Officially titled the “Citywide Historic Context Statement for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer History in San Francisco,” the survey spans the centuries and features groups from Native American two-spirit tribe members and gender nonconforming Chinese immigrants to various artists and service members.

Once adopted as an official city document, the historic context statement will assist with efforts to landmark, either by the city or national programs, properties of historical significance to the LGBT community.

Members of the city panel had high praise today for the work of authors Donna Graves, a public historian based in Berkeley who is straight, and Shayne Watson, an architectural historian based in San Francisco who is lesbian.

“This was really brilliant,” Commissioner Jonathan Pearlman told the women, who made presentations about the work that went into the project and highlights of what they found. “I was so thrilled to read through this document. It is so rich” and reads like “a novel.” He said the report should be seen as “the gold standard.”

Commissioner Richard S.E. Johns said it was “really a magnificent effort.”

During public comment, Randy Burns of the group Gay American Indians asked for the vote on the statement to be postponed for three months to allow for more input from communities of color. Despite repeated warnings about the time limit, he went over his time, and his microphone was cut off. Watson approached him immediately after he spoke.

Commissioner Aaron Hyland said there had been “robust public outreach” and “plenty of opportunity to participate in this process,” but encouraged Graves and Watson to think about working in more information about communities of color.

After the commission’s vote, Watson said she was “thrilled” to have the panel’s support. “I couldn’t be more excited.”

The statement will see some more editing and should go before the preservation panel’s Cultural Heritage Assets Committee next year.

Today’s vote was 6-0. Commission President Andrew Wolfram was absent.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 18, 2015 @ 6:12 pm PST
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SF Pride settles ’13 shooting lawsuit

Plaintiff Trevor Gardner, shown outside of court this month. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Plaintiff Trevor Gardner, shown outside of court this month. Photo: Rick Gerharter

Organizers of San Francisco’s annual LGBT Pride parade and celebration today (Tuesday, November 17) settled a lawsuit with a man who’d sued them after he was shot at the June 2013 party.

Trevor Gardner, 25, of Los Angeles, claimed that SF Pride’s lax security led to him being shot in the leg after a brawl broke out nearby.

Gardner had sought millions from festival organizers. Ryan Lapine, Gardner’s attorney, and Maria Caruana, SF Pride’s attorney, declined to share details on the settlement, citing confidentiality.

The trial in the case started last week but the jury that had just been selected was dismissed after an error in the juror questionnaire, according to court documents. A new jury was supposed to be selected this week.

Eric Ryan, who was also shot at the 2013 Pride event, has also sued organizers. His case has not been resolved.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the Thursday, November 19 edition.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 17, 2015 @ 3:16 pm PST
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Wiener adds three endorsements to Senate campaign

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, who’s running for a state Senate seat next year, rolled out endorsements this week from the state’s largest LGBT political group, a powerful U.S. senator, and a newcomer to politics.

(State Senate candidate Scott Wiener. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

(State Senate candidate Scott Wiener. Photo: Rick Gerharter)

Equality California, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and San Francisco Sheriff-elect Vicki Hennessy have all announced their support for Wiener, a gay man who’s running to replace gay state Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) in the District 11 seat.

Wiener’s campaign issued a news release Monday, November 16 touting the three endorsements.

“Scott has a solid record of accomplishments on the issues impacting our region today, and has the foresight to address the challenges that will face us in the years to come,” Feinstein stated in the release. “I’m impressed with Scott’s record of supporting increased police staffing to improve public safety, his dogged determination to improve our public transportation systems, his outside-the-box ideas to address and ease our housing crisis, and his work to increase water recycling. I know that Scott will take that same creativity and work ethic to the state Senate.”

EQCA is California’s lead LGBT civil rights organization and LGBT-focused lobbying presence in Sacramento. Rick Zbur, EQCA’s executive director, said that Wiener is a leader on many of the issues affecting the LGBT community.

“From standing up to, and successfully stopping, insurance companies from raising prices on life-saving HIV medications to fighting every year to ensure full funding for HIV care to creating programs that address the housing and health needs of our LGBT seniors and homeless and at-risk youth, Scott Wiener leads the way for our community,” Zbur said in the statement. “EQCA is committed to getting Scott elected and maintaining LGBT representation from San Francisco in the state Legislature.”

Hennessy was elected sheriff of San Francisco two weeks ago in a landslide victory over Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Wiener had endorsed her and campaigned for her election.

“Scott Wiener has been instrumental in advocating for a safer city by increasing public safety,” Hennessy stated. “He led the effort to ensure mandated staffing levels for the Police Department, and also understands the need to ensure that the city provides alternatives to incarceration when appropriate, as well as meaningful programming and treatment for those in our jails.”

Wiener told the Bay Area Reporter that he’s “honored” to have the support of Feinstein, EQCA, and Hennessy.

“To confront the critical issues facing our state – housing, transportation, health care and education access, and the drought, – we need to build broad coalitions,” he said in a text message. “I’m proud of the support we are receiving in this campaign and look forward to talking to voters about how to move toward a sustainable and affordable future.”

Wiener has amassed numerous endorsements for the race, including an early endorsement from the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club. Leno, who’s termed out of office next year, has also endorsed Wiener to succeed him, as has Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

Additionally, new endorsements this week include state Senator Bill Monning (D-Santa Cruz) and Sam and Julia Thoron, both former longtime PFLAG leaders. The Thorons were also community grand marshals in this year’s San Francisco LGBT Pride parade.

Wiener announced his state Senate bid in early July. Last month, Wiener’s colleague, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, announced that she is also running for the Senate seat. Kim is viewed as the more progressive candidate in the race, which includes all of San Francisco and a portion of northern San Mateo County. Wiener has secured the backing of all five members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

— Cynthia Laird, November 16, 2015 @ 11:59 am PST
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Man’s necklaces taken in Castro robbery

Two gold necklaces were taken from a robbery victim in San Francisco’s Castro district early Monday morning.

The November 9 incident started at 2:40 a.m. when the suspect approached the victim near 18th and Castro streets, grabbed the necklaces, and fled, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said in a summary.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male between the ages of 20 and 30.

The victim, who wasn’t injured, is a 43-year-old man. No arrests have been reported.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, November 11, 2015 @ 1:58 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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