The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said on March 1 that it will drop charges against a 20-year-old black man and use “restorative justice,” NBC San Francisco Bay Area Television reported. The man was arrested for robbing an Asian scavenger in his 70s on Feb. 22, and the robbery was captured on a video that went viral on the Internet.
Apollo.com reported that the elderly Asian man was of Chinese descent, but the NBC story did not say that we would use the elderly Chinese man for the story.
The decision to use “restorative justice” came the day after the second suspect in the robbery turned himself in to police (Feb. 23). District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the Democrat who made the decision, has spent the last year promoting progressive justice, including restorative justice, on a criminal justice platform that promotes reconciliation with victims rather than punishment of offenders.
Jonathan Amerson, 56, was booked Sunday on two counts of robbery and elder abuse, police said in a news release Monday.
Dwayne Grayson, 20, was booked in late February on suspicion of robbery, elder abuse, hate crime charges and probation violation after robbing an elderly man on Feb. 22. Police said Grayson videotaped the robbery, in which someone shouted racial slurs.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that prosecutor Borchers withdrew the charges after speaking with the victim. Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said, “We have been in dialogue with the victim, who has expressed an interest in using restorative justice in this case. We respect the victim’s wishes, and we will explore the outcome of restorative justice.”
Bastian said the prosecutor’s office has the option of filing charges if restorative justice does not work.
The robbery video sparked widespread outrage after it was posted to social media on Feb. 23, and Amerson turned himself in the same day; it is not known if Amerson has an attorney defending him.
Authorities said Amerson allegedly robbed the same victim of recyclable items in the same area about two months ago. The video shows a man believed to be Amerson wielding a pole and threatening a Chinese-American man who was trying to retrieve a shopping cart containing aluminum cans he had collected.
A person recording the video tells the victim to “go get your cans. Another person says, “I hate Asians.
Later, the victim appears to be crying. Several people from the Bayview neighborhood stood around, but no one intervened, and some people laughed and mocked the victim.
The elderly Chinese man who was robbed was crying