Willie Brown Criticizes S.F. Sheriff’s Extreme Sanctuary City Policy

Willie Brown (David Paul Morris / Getty)
David Paul Morris / Getty
Las Vegas, NV

San Francisco’s first black mayor, Willie Brown, slammed San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi Friday for “doubling down” on his department’s extreme version of sanctuary city policies–policies that released a five-time deported, seven-time convicted felon just two months before the he shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle, according to the suspect’s own jailhouse confession.

Revelations continue to unfold in the July 1 killing of Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s Pier 14.

Brown wrote in an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, “Ross Mirkarimi is doubling down, insisting that it was all the feds’ fault, that they didn’t give him the right piece of legal paper so he had to let Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez go instead of doing what Mayor Ed Lee suggested–just pick up the phone.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) submitted a detainer request prior to Lopez-Sanchez’s release from San Francisco County custody. The detainer request is intended to allow ICE notification of a suspect’s release before it occurs so that ICE may then take custody. San Francisco Sheriff’s department policy is to deny all ICE detainer requests.

Months and a killing later, Sheriff Mirkarimi is claiming improper paperwork–that ICE should have submitted a court order for Lopez-Sanchez.

“Step up to the plate,” Brown charged to Mirkarimi. He even slammed Mirkarimi’s ubiquitous uniform: “And by the way, Ross, that uniform you’ve been wearing was last used by an actor portraying Haile Selassie in a grade-B movie. I think Jos. A. Bank might even give you a better suit.”

Brown still advocates for some version of a sanctuary city policy, and he is no conservative. Yet he minced no words when calling out Mirkarimi for “embarrassing revelations about how [Mirkarimi] had taken it upon himself to make city policy on illegal immigration.”

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