S.F. Supervisor Attacks Breitbart Reporter as ‘Racist’ for Covering ‘Sanctuary City’ Debate

John Avalos (Kai (Wilson) Forsley / Flickr / CC)
Kai (Wilson) Forsley / Flickr / CC

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos attacked Breitbart’s lead investigative reporter Lee Stranahan as a “racist” for trying  to cover a Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss a resolution expanding the “sanctuary city” police for illegal aliens.

Avalon made the comments at the meeting itself, and on Twitter.

Stranahan was unlawfully thrown out of a Board of Supervisors’ meeting for filming radical pro-amnesty protestors disrupting the discussion and breaking the rules repeatedly without repercussion.

San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policies prevent local officials from enforcing federal immigration law. After a young woman, Kate Steinle, was murdered by an illegal alien last July while sightseeing in the city, voters replaced the San Francisco Sheriff with another Democrat, Vicky Hennessy, who is has a somewhat more cooperative posture towards federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

However, Avalos introduced a resolution to broaden the city’s policy to limit information provided to ICE — in response, he says, to the “xenophobic” presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump.

Video shot by Stranahan at the debate shows that one of the activists stood up from her seat during the meeting and then sat down next to him to block his camera.

A new video (below) released by Stranahan shows an unedited account of his removal, including his interaction with law-enforcement, who were following the orders of the politicians. The video shows how the La Raza-connected, community-organized protesters violated the gallery rules by applauding, and then attempted to stop Stranahan from filming their outbursts.


After Stranahan was led from the room by law enforcement, Supervisor Avalos verbally attacked him in his absence — and showed how nervous he is about a renewed national spotlight on the city of San Francisco.

…it’s just, I’m just reminded, you know, with the presence of this man who was intimidating present people in the audience just what City Hall went through, uh, last year, and uh, there were, Fox News came here, tried to have their own little reality TV show here, putting San Francisco’s sanctuary city ordinance in the crosshairs, uh, we were actually harassed in our own homes and our own communities because we were standing up for San Francisco values. Uh, and that is something that, I – I want to thank you all, colleagues, for what you had to go through for all that.

Some of us actually got threats because we were actually holding up San Francisco values. And you see that there’s a real level of intimidation that’s even here in our board chamber — people who actually are not fearful of being a minority in our board chambers who don’t fit with our values, and that’s something that makes sure that we have to stand up and be courageous in this time when the fear of immigrants is so strong, and it’s being trumped up in our presidential election. So colleagues, again, thank you for holding fast to our due process for all ordinances last year. We have to do more work this year, not just to hold fast, but to make sure we’re closing the loophole that ICE would like to make, uh and the Sheriff needs to – we need to unite with the Sheriff and the community to make sure we can all work together in the future to protect all of San Francisco against harassment from the federal government.


Later, Supervisor David Campos spoke and continued to falsely attack Stranahan and attempt to portray his actions as “intimidation” by saying:

I’m now going to speak to the substance of what Supervisor Avalos is doing, and that I wholeheartedly support. I hope our Sheriff was watching what transpired in the chamber, because I think that it illustrates why this is so critical, and why it is so critical for us not only as a board, but also for the entire elected family of San Francisco to speak with one voice.

You saw the intimidation that this sick person brought to this chamber, targeting, by the way, a young man, Chuy, and his family, Donaji, who have been an inspiration to our community.

Campos turned up the emotional pitch, which had nothing to do with what actually transpired. At no point had Stranahan focused on the young man, nor did he have any idea of who he was or his medical history.

This young man has survived leukemia twice. Three times. Three times. And the fact that he and Donaji, his mom, are here tells you how important this issue is, and that a sick man would come to this chamber to intimidate this young man illustrates why we as San Franciscans need to speak with one voice, and to say that we are not going to be intimidated. And so, Chuy, thank you for being here, I want to say I’m sorry that this happened, I want to say Donaji, I’m sorry that this happened but thank you for your courage, and I think that for Chuy and what everything that he represents and his family has fought for, I hope that we can find in the next week a compromise. And I’m really sorry. I’m very proud of you, Chuy.

The day after the Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Avalos of District 11 continued his attack on Twitter, calling Stranahan a “white supremacist” and a “racist” because he decided to “monitor ppl of color.”

Under the Brown Act, California law protects the rights of citizens to record public meetings as long as they are not obstructing others or being disruptive.

California Government Code section 54953.5(a) stipulates:

Any person attending an open and public meeting of a legislative body of a local agency shall have the right to record the proceedings with an audio or video recorder or a still or motion picture camera in the absence of a reasonable finding by the legislative body of the local agency that the recording cannot continue without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that constitutes, or would constitute, a persistent disruption of the proceedings.

The rules of order of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors indicate that pro-amnesty demonstrators had clearly violated the rules, and yet were not removed:

1.3.1. Actions Prohibited during Board of Supervisors’ Meetings.

Applause or vocal expression of support or opposition
Standing in meetings
Eating or drinking in the public gallery
Use of electronic devices, unless they are in silent mode
Hand held signs in the Legislative Chamber or in the committee room (although small signs may be worn on clothing)


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