Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Ammiano recognized by criminal justice attorneys’ group

Out gay Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) has been named Legislator of the Year by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Ammiano, who recently accepted an invitation from out gay Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) to stay on as chair of the Assembly’s public safety committee, said in a statement today (Friday, December 10), “I thank CACJ for their recognition of my work in Sacramento on sentencing reform and three strikes, among other criminal justice priorities. As Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee I pledge to continue to work hard to ensure a fair and equitable justice system is maintained in this state for the betterment of our residents.”

The longtime San Francisco progressive has tried twice to get an LGBT prisoner safety bill passed, but both times outgoing Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed the proposal. Ammiano plans to try again to get the bill past the governor’s desk, and he’s likely to have an easier time with a Democrat, Governor-Elect Jerry Brown, in the state’s top office.

Ammiano, a former San Francisco supervisor, has recently rejected calls for him to serve as interim mayor after incumbent Gavin Newsom resigns to become the state’s lieutenant governor.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 10, 2010 @ 6:06 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

Teen gets probation in August attack on gay SF man

A teenager involved in beating a gay man on a Muni train in August won’t have to go to a boys’ ranch as punishment, but he’s been placed on supervised probation.

Zachary Davenport, 26, (pictured at right) has said that on August 14 he was beaten by a group of youths who repeatedly called him “faggot” on the J Church near Market and Church streets.

Through a plea deal in October, a 15-year-old boy essentially admitted to committing a hate crime in the case and to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. The boy’s name hasn’t been released, because of his age.

Seth Steward, a spokesman for San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris’s Office, said the boy has been sent home from the Juvenile Justice Center, where he apparently had been held since his arrest in August.

In a hearing Friday, December 3, Judge Kathleen Kelly stayed the boy’s placement at Log Cabin Ranch, but conditions of his probation include going to school every day, not drinking or doing drugs, paying restitution, and attending “trainings and conferences focusing on LGBT issues,” said Steward.

The boy must also stay away from Davenport, according to Steward, who said the boy is not barred from riding Muni.

In a phone interview this week, Davenport said, “Overall, I’m very happy” with the disposition. He said he’d recommended the boy volunteer with the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and attend their workshops, and go to meetings of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays with his parents, among other conditions.

In the statement he read in court and provided to the Bay Area Reporter, Davenport recalled that during the incident he’d feared he was about to be killed. He said that since the incident, he’s only taken Muni about three times.

He stated that his visible physical injuries, which included a black eye and a fractured nose, lasted about two weeks, but “the emotional and mental injuries have not healed and I am not sure if they ever fully will.”

He said the incident’s made him “too scared to leave the house” most of the time, and he’s considered leaving San Francisco.

In an October e-mail to the B.A.R., Kenneth Quigley, the attorney who represented the boy, wrote that the 15-year-old is a San Francisco native and “emphatically NOT homophobic. He has openly gay school friends and relatives, and of course many of his parents’ friends and their neighbors are gay.”

In another e-mail, written in November, Quigley referred to Log Cabin as “the highest level of incarceration available in the county.” The facility is in a bucolic setting that Quigley described as being “way down in the woods.” Log Cabin is located in San Mateo County but operated by San Francisco.

Quigley wrote, “Only the most serious sort of repeat offenders are sent there,” including “gang members, robbers, rapists, burglars and those who shoot other people with guns.” He said placement in Log Cabin would be “excessive,” since the boy had never been on probation before.

“While his conduct was certainly unacceptable, the actual level of violence was to give an adult a black eye,” Quigley wrote. “There was no hospitalization, and no lasting physical injury. In the normal world or criminal law, this level of offense would be considered a relatively minor misdemeanor assault.”

Davenport told the B.A.R. that Quigley made similar remarks in court.

“I understand he’s the defense lawyer, and that’s his job to discredit” what happened, he said. However, he added, it was “difficult” to hear Quigley say “it wasn’t a big deal.”

“I made it clear in my statement it’s a very big deal,” said Davenport.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, December 9, 2010 @ 1:53 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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