‘Sanctuary City’ Sheriff Mirkarimi Fails Firearms Test

Ross Mirkarimi (Ben Margot / Associated Press)
Ben Margot / Associated Press
San Diego, CA

San Francisco’s infamous ‘sanctuary city’ sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi is coming under fire for the transfer of an inquisitive shooting range sergeant and for failing a subsequent firearms test.

Sheriff’s department officials are denying that the sergeant in charge of overseeing their shooting range was transferred for raising the question of whether a domestic violence charge would keep Mirkarimi from taking a marksmanship test, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 2012 Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a reduced “false imprisonment” charge, downgraded from “domestic violence” for actions he took during an argument with his wife.

Range master Sgt. Matt Haskell sought the determination of internal affairs regarding Mirkarimi’s eligibility to take the firearms test, the Chronicle reported. Domestic violence convictions bar an individual from possessing a gun in California, even if the conviction is expunged.

Former Chief Deputy Sheriff Vicki Hennessy was reported as saying that while the move, “could be for a shortage of supervisors,” as department officials say, “but other supervisors were not moved from noncritical positions.” Hennessy was involved in a group that opposed Sheriff Mirkarimi in the Nov. 3 election.

Sheriff’s Department chief legal counsel Freya Horne denied there was a political motive for the range master’s transfer to a prison job, telling the Chronicle: “Three other supervisors were transferred in the same time period for department needs.”

During a September 18 marksmanship the Sheriff failed to score the 80 per cent needed to qualify to carry a gun, according to Capt. Lisette Adams who was quoted in the Chronicle. He still appears in uniform, even though it is forbidden for public safety officers to appear in uniform without a weapon, because he is an elected official.

Mirkarimi garnered considerable attention after a five-time deportee and seven-time convicted felon illegal alien was arrestedfor the shooting death of 31-year-old Kate Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco. In the months before the shooting, Mirkarimi’s Sheriff’s department refused to honor a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer for the illegally present foreign national, named Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.

Lopez-Sanchez had been recalled to San Francisco on an old warrant for a marijuana possession charge, a charge that Mirkarimi has admitted is essentially never prosecuted. The charges were dismissed shortly after the accused arrived and he was released despite the ICE detainer request. Around the time Lopez-Sanchez was released in April Mirkarimi was working on having his own false imprisonment conviction expunged.

Months later, Steinle was shot and killed. Lopez-Sanchez made a jailhouse confession to the killing, but pleaded not guilty in court.

Mirkarimi continues to defend San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana