Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mirkarimi video released

This San Fran saga continues, and here is the latest:
The past year has been a public airing of dirty laundry for suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez.

Since a neighbor turned over a video of Lopez alleging domestic violence to authorities in January, Mirkarimi has faced an extremely public investigation, a plea bargain, an unpaid suspension and now, an Ethics Committee inquiry.

Lopez, who did not authorize the release of the video to police, has condemned her neighbor, Mayor Ed Lee, the city, district attorneys and the media, fighting desperately for privacy.

But any remaining hopes for discretion were dashed on Thursday with the public release of her video.
This is not evidence. In a real court, there are rules of evidence that prohibit hearsay. The rules are to prevent unsworn opinions being used as if they are sworn, and out-of-context statements being miscontrued. Without a hearsay rule, it would be easy to frame someone by making videos and not testifying.

On the video, Lopez says:
This happened yesterday and in 2011. This is the second time this is happening, and I told Ross I want to work on the marriage, we need help. I have been telling him we need help. And I'm going to use this just in case he wants to take Theo away from me. Because he said that, that he is very powerful and he can do it.
Reportedly, she threatened to take the boy to Venezuela. Listening to one side of a domestic dispute is useless. It gives the impression that she wants to work on the marriage but he does not. Listening to him might give the opposite impression. But regardless of who wants to work on the marriage, or who wants to pursue a child custody dispute, none of that is criminal or even relevant to any criminal charges.

Lopez could have made that bruise herself, and then made the video to blackmail her husband. The bruise looks ugly, but I have gotten much worse bruises playing recreational sports. It is not a big deal. If she is not willing to swear out a complaint against her husband, then the whole case should be none of anyone's business.

I asked a woman I know about this case. She had not followed the details, but said that the neighbor who made the video had to turn it into the police. I asked her if she ever had a boyfriend beat her up. She said yes. I asked her if she called the cops. She said no, she liked the guy. She did say that she complained to the guy's father about it, and that he would have gotten into a lot of trouble if she had called the cops.

So I asked her why, if she wanted the discretion of whether to call the cops in her case, shouldn't Lopez also have the choice of whether to make a police complaint? I never got an answer. I don't think that she understood the question. Do people really support these evil policies? I din't know. I suspect that they have not thought through the consequences.

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