San Francisco Mayor London Breed has written to outgoing Governor Jerry Brown to ask that he commute her brother’s prison sentence for manslaughter in the death of a woman he pushed out of a car after an armed robbery.
The request has provoked criticism that Breed is using the prestige of her new office to seek personal favors.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday (original links):
Breed’s brother, Napoleon Brown, now 46, pushed 25-year-old Lenties White from a getaway car on the Golden Gate Bridge after an armed robbery in June 2000. She was struck by an oncoming drunken driver and died.
Breed sent a letter to Gov. Brown on Oct. 23 asking him to “consider leniency” and commute her brother’s prison sentence. The letter appears to have been sent on personal stationery, but the heading and the body of the letter reference her position as the city’s mayor.
“Although I don’t believe the 44-year sentence was fair, I make no excuses for him,” Breed wrote. “His decisions, his actions, led him to the place he finds himself now. Still, I ask that you consider mercy, and rehabilitation.”
Documents contained in her brother’s commutation application indicate that his attorneys expected to negotiate with San Francisco prosecutors for a 20-year sentence, but the district attorney’s office would only consider a “package deal,” with both Napoleon Brown and his co-defendant, Sala Thorn, pleading guilty. Thorn wanted a trial, according to Brown’s commutation application.
Notably, the Chronicle omitted reference to “manslaughter” in its headline.
NBC Bay Area noted that “Sandra McNeil, the mother of the 25-year-old victim, disagrees” with the mayor’s request: “I don’t think it would be justice … She’s the mayor, so she’s got a little power, so she thinks she can get her brother out.’’
Brown is leaving office to make room for his successor, Gavin Newsom — a former mayor of San Francisco.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.