Lillian Tweten on September 22, 2023
Residents in San Francisco’s Richmond District expressed frustration with police officers Thursday over the department’s apparent lack of progress solving the murder of a local store owner, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Yohannes “John” Tewolde, aged 60, died in August after a would-be shoplifter brutally attacked him with a baseball bat when the shopkeeper tried to keep the suspect from stealing from his store, according to the San Francisco Standard. A month after his death, the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) admitted at a public safety meeting that it has still not made any arrests in connection with the murder or named a suspect in the attack despite numerous residents claiming that they have an image of the suspected attacker, the Chronicle reported.
“We get photographs and then we have to verify who that person is and then we have to find them,” SFPD Police Chief William Scott said, according to the Chronicle. “I can say that we are doing everything we can to do all of those things. People, when they murder somebody, go into hiding, and that sometimes takes us far away.”
Residents demanded the police increase their resources in the area to combat rampant retail theft, drug use, graffiti and other crimes that have plagued the San Francisco district and the rest of the city for years, the Chronicle reported. But officers said they could only do so much to enforce crime due to a lack of resources.
“Imagine raising a kid who gets out of control. By the time they’re 14, it’s a lot harder to get them back on track,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said, according to the Chronicle. “That’s where we’re at right now. We have the out-of-control teenager, that’s what our city is.”
Democratic San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced on Thursday that she will send more “Public Safety Ambassadors,” a city-sponsored group made up of local volunteers and retired unarmed police officers, to patrol the crime-ridden district to address residents’ safety concerns.
Breed and the SFPD did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.