After the Chronicle broke a story that DA Brooke Jenkins’ office had been disqualified from a case involving her family member, Jenkins took to Twitter to excoriate the newspaper’s seemingly accurate reporting on the subject.
The Chronicle itself had a nice little mini-scoop on Wednesday — not a huge story, but some good original reporting that would be of interest in legal circles — that DA Brooke Jenkins’ office was disqualified by a state appeals court from prosecuting a murder case involving a family member. The case was that of three defendants accused of killing Jenkins’ husband’s cousin Jerome Mallory in 2020 while Chesa Boudin was still DA, and Jenkins spoke critically of Boudin’s handling of the case in a 2021 Chronicle profile by Heather Knight that In retrospect, Jenkins’s may have launched his political career.
Indeed, Jenkins personally recused herself from that case in 2020, when she was Boudin’s assistant DA at the time. And now that she is the DA, it has been well-discussed in the media that the judges were skeptical that Jenkins’ office could be objective in this prosecution. They ended up disqualifying her from office, that decision was appealed, and the state court upheld that decision Wednesday. None of this is terribly unusual.
But Golly Ned, Jenkins is fuming at the Chronicle about their coverage of the case. Jenkins fire off an angry ten-tweet diatribe in the paper on Thursday, bitterly lashed out with the Chronicle’s headline “SFDA office disqualified from prosecuting murder case after Jenkins’ comments.”
“This headline is inaccurate + misleading. Please correct + do better,” Jenkins tweeted. Later in the thread, she added, “This decision has absolutely nothing to do with my ‘comments. However, the headline grossly suggests otherwise.”
“The Chronicle may not have experience covering a DA, or DAs, whose family members are direct victims of violence. But that is my lived, personal experience as a Black and Latina woman,” her thread continues. “Your headline fails on the news and also fails to acknowledge the ongoing pain and suffering of my family as we continue to seek justice – just for the sake of clicks.”
(As an aside, I work in the media. I can assure you that articles about state appeals court decisions in general you noget clicks.)
But is the Chronicle wrong in reporting that Jenkins’ 2021 comments were part of the appeals court’s decision? The full 22-page ruling is available online, and the judge who wrote the decision specifically says that “Jenkins made these critical comments to the press in support of a highly publicized campaign to recall the current district attorney .Yes, more than one newspaper published their criticism of the (Jerome) Mallory prosecution, including the Chronicle, the largest newspaper in California.
I’m no legal scholar, but I’m sure the judge there is referring to comments Brooke Jenkins made to the Chronicle.
Hey, we can all sympathize with someone who has lost a family member to violent crime, as too many of us have. But sympathy does not apply to professional, taxpayer-funded public service duties. And Jenkins sure seems to have more recall drama and conflict of interest issues than any SF DA I can remember in the last decade. Plus, a lot of it is the result of her media stunt to recall Boudin, which we’ve since learned wasn’t exactly “volunteer.”
However, the case of murdered Jerome Mallory, and the three suspects Stevie Mitchell, Sincere Pomar, and Ravenell Young, will now be assigned to the office of state AG Rob Bonta, or to the DA’s office of a nearby county .
Related: Appeals Court Finds SF District Attorney Brooke Jenkins Committed Misconduct (SFist)
Image: SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 31: San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins speaks at a press conference on October 31, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Jenkins announced state-level charges against David Wayne DePape who attacked Paul Pelosi, husband of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, after he broke into her home. DePape is charged with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elderly person and threats against a public official and her family. The US attorney has also filed federal charges against DePape. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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