Video: SEIU, Labor Council Rally for Reinstatement of Suspended Sheriff

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Labor, News, Politics

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Published on September 24, 2012 with 13 Comments

Video by Steve Zeltzer.

By Luke Thomas

September 24, 2012

Chanting “Shame on you,” a reference to Mayor Ed Lee and his effort to remove a political opponent from office, as many as 100 protesters attended a rally under the balcony of the mayor’s of office on September 17, calling for suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi to be reinstated.

The rally was attended by members of SEIU 1021 and the Labor Council. Speakers included Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez; Sheriff Mirkarimi; SEIU 1021 organizer Gabriel Haaland; Frank Martinez of the the Labor Council; former District Attorney Terence Hallinan and SEIU 1021 field representative Gus Feldman.

“It’s a challenging situation,” said SEIU 1021 organizer Gabriel Haaland. “But what’s so ugly and makes me so angry, as a domestic violence survivor – I got the shit kicked out of me as a child – to have this issue used as a political tool, for no other reason than to take out a political opponent, does a disservice to domestic violence survivors like me.”

Mirkarimi was suspended without pay in March by Mayor Lee following Mirkarimi’s plea to one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment stemming from a heated argument with Lopez on December 31 during which Mirkarimi grabbed Lopez’ arm and caused a bruise.

A subsequent Ethics Commission probe comprising political appointees sustained, in a 4-1 vote, two of six charges of official misconduct filed by the mayor. However, the Board of Supervisors, which is expected to take up the matter on October 9, will ultimately decide if Mirkarimi will be reinstated or be permanently removed from office. Nine of eleven supervisors must vote in the affirmative to remove a democratically elected official from office.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Video: SEIU, Labor Council Rally for Reinstatement of Suspended Sheriff are now closed.

  1. I wish that some people could get as worked up over their Obama (rather than making excuses for him) as they do over Ross Mirkarimi.  Ross hasn’t killed anyone, isn’t droning innocent people daily, hasn’t tortured anyone or engaged in indefinite detention as some examples.  Yet some people will serve as an unconditional (blind) cheerleader (Obamabot) for Mr Change’s actions and make excuses and justifications for them, and they live in this world of kindergarten thinking: “my team (D) is better than your team (R)” mentality, but when it comes to RM…”HE MUST GO” they scream.  Oh the hypocrisy!

  2. Hopefully, each Supervisor will disregard his diversionary tactics and vote to permanently remove Ross Mirkarimi from the office of sheriff.   It is the right thing to do.What matters is the facts.  First, the Ethics Commission found that Mirkarimi committed official misconduct.  Second, his wife Eliana Lopez in her video displayed bruises inflicted by Mirkarimi and stated that this was not the first incident; her neighbors corroborated her statements about past abuse.  Third, an ex-girlfriend alleged that Mirkarimi had abused her. Finally, he pleaded guilty to a false imprisonment charge and was sentenced to a term of 3 years of supervised probation, 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling, and other probation conditionsIn her August 13, 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Op Ed,  Mary Walker, a former judge who heard many domestic violence cases, said it best, “Mirkarimi’s actions fall far below the standards of decency, good faith and right action that San Franciscans demand of their sheriff.”  ( (

    • @ce455907df8d1e27625ba98f1e3ff23f:disqus . The right thing to do for the board of supervisors is to reinstate the duly elected sheriff of San Francisco, and to issue apologies to Eliana Lopez.
      Note: Your link provided did not work, you certainly meant to say Mary C Morgan, Judge Morgan. Thanks.

    • Mary Walker can exculpate her guilt on her own time.

  3. SEIU, Ed Lee and Ross MIrkarimi.  San Francisco would be better off without any of them.

    •  Come on, sfsoma, this is just starting to get interesting.  Mirk is going for payback.  He and his legal team are gearing up to bury Ed Lee.

  4. Are these the “Mirkaloonies” Melissa Griffith of the Examiner wrote about?

    • Ralph, what do you think you or Melissa Griffith have added to the discussion of what this is about and what is at stake here by calling people names?

  5. lopez if you want to get your tail whipped by this creep, go a head; he just won’t be doing it while he’s a sheriff in OUR town. thankfully, lopez NO ONE is going to listen to you especially women who know enough about respecting themselves. you clearly have NO CLUE.

    • Look at all of the verbal abuse heaped on Ms. Lopez by those who claim to be protecting her!

      By anonymous trolls, no less.

      Their latest spin is that Mirkarimi supporters need to learn how to stand up for ourselves. Yeah, protesting in front of City Hall means we have no courage or self-respect whatsoever.

      “Shing D”: are you Chris Cunnie or Gossip Girl?

    • Gee, Shing, now that the Chronic has kicked off most Mirkarimi supporters from sfgate I’d think you’d find that place safe for your slanderous garbage.

      • @24ad1d3a188e9cccf76351824b136115:disqus . Are you Bob in Beaverton? and were you kicked off from sfgate? Thanks.

  6. This is legitimate outrage against the unjust treatment of Ross Mirkarimi and his wife, Eliana Lopez. All these months later I am still taken aback by the vindictive actions of City Hall.