Mayoral candidate arrested at City Hall
San Francisco sheriff deputies detained and arrested Grasshopper
at City Hall today following an alleged violation of a stay away
September 18, 2007, 9:00 p.m.
Mayoral candidate Grasshopper Alec Kaplan was detained and arrested
at San Francisco City Hall during the regularly scheduled Board
of Supervisors meeting today, and charged with violating a stay
away order and resisting arrest.
Kaplan's arrest occurred during public comment, when citizens
address the board.
Judge Garrett Wong ordered the stay away order September 14,
following Kaplan's arraignment on two counts of misdemeanor trespassing
at Supervisor Ed Jew's Sunset District residence.
The stay away order stipulates Kaplan must stay 300 yards away
from Jew at all times, except when attending meetings at City
Hall. Wong ordered Kaplan to sit in the back of board chambers
during board meetings but did not address committee meetings or
public comment considerations.
Kaplan, who was sitting in the back of board chambers during
the entire meeting, was approached by several sheriff deputies
when Kaplan got up off his seat to get in line for public comment.
Kaplan with a book and a fish at the back of board chambers.
Deputy Sheriff S. Erdmann, who was standing a few feet away from
Kaplan, immediately halted Kaplan.
Erdmann intercepts Kaplan.
Following an exchange of words between Erdmann and Kaplan, Erdmann
and two deputies detained Kaplan and forcefully ejected him from
Erdmann did not respond to media inquiries into Kaplan's detainment,
and referred questions to Sheriff's Office spokesperson Eileen
Hirst told Fog City Journal: "He [Kaplan] was asked if he
was aware of a restraining order and that if he came forward he
would be in violation of it, and he was not responsive. He continued
to come forward and we informed him that if he did he would be
arrested on that violation. And he was, in fact, arrested on that
Hirst acknowledged she has not seen the stay away order, and
could not comment on media questions related to possible exceptions
to the order regarding public comment.
For his part, Kaplan told Fog City Journal from jail: "I
stood up to give public comment and immediately Erdmann approached
me and said I couldn't give public comment. I asked if Ed Jew
could be temporarily removed so that I could provide public comment.
Erdmann said no. So I asked if a microphone could be provided
at the back of the room. Erdmann said no. Erdmann then said I
would be in violation of the court order if I provided public
comment and then, with several other deputies, they grabbed hold
of me and forced me out of the room."
When asked what he wanted to say during public comment, Kaplan
replied: "I wanted to point out that Ammiano's municipal
identification card legislation
could be used by authorities to identify the holder of the card
as being an illegal immigrant and, therefore, deportable."
When asked if he believed his 1st Amendment rights were violated,
Kaplan said: "I spoke with my attorney, Zadik Shapiro, and
he said my detainment and arrest was a clear violation of my right
to free speech."
Defense Attorney Zadik Shapiro did not return calls for comment
at the time of publishing.