Daytime Violence Addressed at Community Meeting

Oscar Barceñas was injured last week after brandishing a gun at police officers, Photo courtesy of SFPD.

Oscar Barceñas was injured last week after brandishing a gun at police officers, Photo courtesy of SFPD.

En Español.

A recent homicide, a police shooting and subsequent protests were the subjects that dominated last night’s meeting between Capt. Robert Moser of Mission Station and 18 district residents.

At the past several meetings, the issue of prostitution on Shotwell Street has been addressed, and many residents brought similar concerns this time. With so many officers devoted to violent Mission hot spots, other areas are being patrolled less.

“The pimps come around, and there’s this one group, a small pimp, a medium-sized pimp and a tall big pimp, and they wait around outside of their car,” said one resident who lives near 20th and Capp. “Then they split up and go different ways around midnight or 1 a.m., and later you see their ladies running.”

Moser reported that he has four officers who are assigned only to prostitution trouble, and residents can help this team by writing down license plate numbers and calling the 511 non-emergency number. Recently police were able to tow a car involved in prostitution because a resident had a license plate number, he said.

Crime statistics reported at the meeting included an increase in cell phone snatch-and-run theft over last month’s numbers, a 68 percent drop in vehicle theft and a decrease of 42 percent in the total property theft rate.

Moser begins most monthly meetings with crime statistics, then moves on to reports of trouble in the neighborhood. Tuesday night’s meeting, however, started with reports about the Jesus Solis homicide, the wounding of alleged gang member Oscar Barceñas by a plainclothes investigator and a pair of anti-police demonstrations that followed the Barceñas shooting.

“It’s extremely concerning to see these crimes occurring during the daytime — or happening anytime,” Moser said.

Solis, 20, was shot to death in the middle of the afternoon on Sept. 16 on Treat Avenue near 25th Street.

Moser reported immediate police action in response to the Solis homicide. Soon after the incident, the area was flooded with extra officers on foot from gang and plainclothes police units. As a result of the increase in security and police resources around the 25th Street and Treat Avenue location, at least one firearm was taken off the street and a dangerous wanted individual was arrested, Moser said.

Adrian Landers was arrested and charged with murder in connection with Solis’ death. A second suspect, Dylan Lemalie, surrendered yesterday, police announced this morning.

Moser reported that Barceñas was shot after he brandished a Tec-9 machine pistol as two plainclothes officers assigned to the Mission approached him. Shots were fired by one of the officers, and Barceñas was treated for what Moser described as “non-life threatening injuries” at San Francisco General Hospital.

“This is a gun designed to kill people,” Moser said of the fully loaded semiautomatic pistol Barceñas was carrying. “A Tec-9 is not a personal protection weapon.”

The news that an officer had shot a civilian swept through the Mission and led to demonstrations in front of the police station.

“These protesters were obviously misinformed,” Moser said.

On the second night of protests, 50 to 75 people gathered quickly at Dolores Park and moved down 18th Street. About four businesses were damaged, paint bombs were hurled at the police station and a glass bottle was thrown at a police officer, who was unharmed.

Despite the recent rash of violence in the neighborhood, officers have encountered 24 percent fewer weapons on the street since 2011, Moser said.

The statistic garnered applause from the residents, with one woman exclaiming, “Good job, officers!”

Since the violence began, officers have been in the area in greater numbers, and some residents in the crowd voiced concerns about profiling.

“I just want to say that just because kids are hanging out wearing saggy pants, doesn’t meant they are gang members,” Anabelle Bolanos said. “I see them getting questioned by police all of the time; this is their neighborhood, too.”

Two upcoming forums are scheduled in response to residents’ concerns about the neighborhood. In partnership with Google, police will hold a Bicycle Theft Summit at 345 Spear St., tentatively planned for Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

A police department forum called Less Lethal Weapons will be held at Downtown High School at 693 Vermont St. on Oct. 30, starting at 6 p.m. The meeting will cover issues around the idea of having police officers carry less lethal forms of firearms on the streets of San Francisco.

The next regular community meeting will be held at Mission police station at 6 p.m. on Oct. 30.

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10 Comments

  1. marco

    The gang members live there too — it’s their neighborhood. That doesn’t mean they get to shoot people and all.

  2. Neighborhood

    Who gangbangs still ur looking their isn’t young people or anybody getting beat up every day walking down the street

  3. I don’t care if the cops search people randomly. As a white person I should be searched as much as anyone. Being stopped and talked to is not as bad as seeing more dead neighbors laying in the street and more mothers crying over their dead sons. No one, not even a gang member deserves to die like this. So I’m ready for any solution that will help disarm the Mission.

    • timbo

      You might not care about random searches, but the Fourth/Fourteenth Amendments might have something to say about it.

  4. Dave

    Once again your publication neglects to mention that the prostitution problem exist on South Van Ness. Gi by and watch the pimps in the laundromats parking lot at 20th/South Van Ness keeping track of the women.

    I am beginning to think that South Van Ness is intentionally being left out. Please accurately report the issue or don’t report it at all.

    • Thanks for your comment Dave. We’re reporting what was said at the police meeting and South Van Ness Ave. wasn’t mentioned. Thanks, Helene

    • Missie

      I live in the prostitution area and I don’t care at all about that. I think it even makes me safer as I walk around at night–johns&hookers=more witnesses=disincentive to shoot and mug people. The prostitution can be noisy, annoying, or cause traffic jams, but as far as I know, it hasn’t endangered me in my two decades renting in the Mission. Let’s encourage the police to keep their priorities straight: focus on crimes that cause bodily injury, not crimes that only offend people’s morals or property values. If a pimp, john, or prostitute is violent, OK then, they are part of the violence problem. If they aren’t, let’s just let them make a living and focus on keeping ourselves alive.

      PS: Same goes for the cops–if they are just doing their job, leave them alone! Save the protests for true misconduct, not for disarming gang members.

  5. Anon

    Cops can search, but it’s how they do it. Don’t embarrass folks and wrestle em to the ground. We’ll comply if they comply.

    • dave

      YOU SAID COPS IN GENERAL SO YOUR NOT SPEAKING ABOUT A PARTICULAR CORRUPT COP? THERE ARE GOOD AND BAD COPS JUST AS IN ANY PROFESSION. WHILE WE HAVE THE PROTECTION AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES (4A) COPS CAN SEARCH PEOPLE IF THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE TO DO SO. PRESENCE OR VIEW MIS/CITS AND FELONY ARRESTS CAN BE TERRIBLE TO EXPERIENCE FIRST HAND BUT SAYING YOU WILL COMPLY IF THEY COMPLY ABOUT SOMEONE CARRYING A GUN, MACE AND A CLUB TELLS ME YOU HAVE MORE TO WORRY ABOUT THAN EMBARRASSMENT. PERSONALLY, I WOULD NOT WANT THE RACE CARD TO PASS THEIR LIPS OR EVEN ENTER THE PICTURE. YOUR INTELLIGENCE, BEHAVIOR, DEMEANOR AND RESPECT (EVEN IF THEY ARE THE FOOL) DURING THE TIME YOU ARE IN THEIR PRESENCE CAN, FOR A LARGE PART, DETERMINE THE OUTCOME.

      BEING ON THE RADAR OR HAVING A PAST IS NOT LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR SEARCHING A PERSON, THEIR HOME OR THEIR CAR. COPS KNOW ILLEGAL SEARCHES MEAN A GOOD CHANCE OF A BAD BUST AND POTENTIAL CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS. THAT’S NOT TO SAY IT DOES NOT HAPPEN.

      IF SOMEONE IS GIVEN A CLEAR POLICE ORDER TO NOT RESIST OR DID NOT COMPLY OR PRESENTED THEMSELVES AS A THREAT– ANY REVIEW BOARD WOULD FIND THE COP NOT AT FAULT-UNLESS YOU HAVE A WITNESS?. DON’T RESIST. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW IF YOUR BEING ARRESTED AND THE CHARGES AGAINST YOU. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY.
      AND HERE IS A HARD ONE TO UNDERSTAND FOR SOME: DON’T SAY A WORD. GUILTY OR INNOCENT. DON’T TELL LAW ENFORCEMENT ANYTHING. THEY WILL PLAY A FRIEND GAME BUT THEIR JOB IS TO USE EVIDENCE AGAINST YOU.TALK TO YOUR ATTORNEY WHO WILL FIND OUT THE EVIDENCE–IF ANY–AGAINST YOU AND ESTABLISH A DEFENSE.

      ‘IF THEY COMPLY–WE WILL COMPLY”….IS A WORRISOME STATEMENT.
      YOU CANT CHALLENGE THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY WITH THE COWBOY MENTALITY. LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS ENOUGH COWBOYS.
      AND THAT KIND OF MENTALITY WILL ONLY MAKE YOUR LAWYER’S JOB HARDER.
      IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD A PRIVATE ATTORNEY DON’T EXPECT EVERY PUBLIC DEFENDER TO GIVE YOU THE BEST PROFESSIONAL PERSONAL CARE YOU THINK YOUR CASE DESERVES–AFTER THE FACT. YOUR POTTY MOUTH/COWBOY MENTALITY MAY SAY OTHERWISE.

      LASTLY, YOU MAY FIND IT HARD TO GET A PRIVATE ATTORNEY TO TAKE YOUR CASE IF YOU HAVE A COWBOY MENTALITY. CHALLENGE THE COP AND PROBABLY TELL THEM TO MUCH. I WILL TELL MYSELF. I AM SORRY I DON’T SPECIALIZE IN YOUR AREA OF CONCERN OR I DON’T HAVE THE TIME. AT LEAST THERE IS ONE ATTORNEY WHO WILL TURN YOU AWAY.

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