Thursday, July 09, 2015

SFPD Withholds Suspect's Image in Gay Mural Arson Case

An LGBT mural on the outside of the wooden building that houses the Galeria de la Raza in the Mission was the target of arson on June 29th. The mural features images of queer Latino/as and has upset a few straight folks, leading to someone defacing the artwork before a small fire was set under it.

I was under the impression that the Galeria had turned over surveillance video images of a person lighting the fire on June 29 to the cops and that a poster was created to help catch the perpetrator(s). My public records request generated this response:

"The San Francisco Police Department (“SFPD”) received your Immediate Disclosure request on July 7, 2015. You requested 'Copies in electronic format via email if images of potential suspects caught on surveillance tape from the Galeria that were provided to the police department, the SFPD’s more-info wanted poster or leaflet circulating in the neighborhood, details on your outreach to the affected community and how you are telling folks with info to contact the department, and a status update on the investigation.'

"In response to your request, please be advised that this case is an open and ongoing investigation and disclosure of the requested information at this time may endanger successful completion of that investigation. The case file records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Govt. Code. Sec. 6254(f) as investigatory file records. SFPD investigators are actively reviewing all information and evidence that may lead to the identification or apprehension of the suspect(s) involved in the incident."

I'm not sure how the public can assist in locating the suspect(s) if the police won't release the images of him or her caught on videotape. The arson was carried out twelve-days ago and I fear any leads may grow cold as the days go by.

The Advocate site had this to say about the images:

"The police are reviewing surveillance footage in hopes of positively identifying the suspect, in addition to interviewing witnesses and other bystanders who might have seen the man. If police are unable to identify the vandal, they will be releasing surveillance footage to the media to seek the public's assistance, the SFPD spokesman [said]."

We'll have to wait and see if the police release the footage, and if this crime is ever solved.

No comments: