S.F. beating of Asian father was a hate crime, DA Chesa Boudin decides

Lee Heidhues 5.8.2021

My Response to Reader Comments to the article which follows:

The smug sense of cynicism and snark evident in several of the responses to SF Chronicle reporting is reprehensible. It’s a series of cheap shots taken by folks who should be aware that San Francisco voters have elected “Progressive” District Attorneys since 1993; Terence Hallinan, Kamala Harris, George Gascon and Chesa Boudin. Each of these DA’s sees their job as being more than handmaidens for the Police Officers Association (POA), law and order politicians and the lock ’em up brigades in the media. These “Progressive” DA’s continue to be elected because they represent the criminal justice viewpoint of San Francisco voters.

San Francisco Chronicle 5.7.2021

There have been 12 reported hate crimes in San Francisco against Asian Americans through March of this year, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. That’s already more than the nine anti-Asian hate crimes reported in the city during all of 2020.

The man accused of attacking a 36-year-old Asian father while he pushed a baby stroller last month will be charged with a hate crime, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced in a Twitter post on Saturday.

Asian racist attacks I 5.7.2021.jpg

Boudin said on the social media platform that he “received new evidence” that the April 30 attack outside a Mission Bay grocery store was “racially motivated.” Police arrested Sidney Hammond, 26, in connection with the crime.

Boudin did not specify what prompted the decision to allege that the attack was a hate crime. The victim was pushed to the ground and pummeled. The victim told ABC 7 that he thought the attack could have been racially motivated given increased hostility against Asian Americans, though police considered the incident random at the time.


Hate crimes are difficult to charge and prove in the courts.

Boudin’s announcement came one day after his office said that the suspect in Tuesday’s stabbing of two Asian women at 4th and Market streets would be charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.


The suspect in that case, Patrick Thompson, 54, could be imprisoned for life if convicted. Boudin’s office, in a media release, said Thompson was a former mental health patient at Napa State Hospital. In an unusual move, the district attorney represented the prosecution at Thompson’s May 7 arraignment.

Boudin, who was elected on a reformer platform, is fending off two online recall campaigns from conservative interests that seek to paint him as soft on crime. A spokesperson for the D.A. wasn’t immediately available.