SF Chronicle photographer robbed by armed thieves while on assignment, paper says ‘we will not retreat’

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With all the high profile criminal behavior in San Francisco lately, the latest incident to make the news involves a photographer from the city’s San Francisco Chronicle newspaper being robbed.

The robbery occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. last Friday, on the 1400 block of Fifth Street in West Oakland, the Chronicle reported. The photographer was robbed of two cameras by multiple men at gunpoint, who then took off in a vehicle. Fortunately, the photographer escaped uninjured.

“Any incident in which a person is robbed of their possessions at gunpoint is incredibly troubling. We are relieved that our colleague was not physically injured. We are a part of this community, and we will not retreat from providing the news and information it needs,” said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, Chronicle editor-in-chief, in a statement released on Friday.

The incident comes on the heels of another, more deadly high-profile crime in the Bay Area. Kevin Nishita, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard for a KRON-TV news crew, was shot on November 24th, and he died from his injuries (gunshot wounds to the abdomen) days later.

Nishita’s death, itself, is coming on the heels of yet another high-profile crime spree in San Francisco: the trend of organized flash-mob style theft. The KRON-TV crew Nishita was protecting was in the act of reporting on one such brazen mass robbery. A Nordstroms outside of San Francisco was hit on November 20th by what is believed to have been over 80 robbers.

The crime sprees seem to be tied to the recent classification by California of shoplifting of goods with a total value under $950 as a misdemeanor. Some, like Caitlyn Jenner, have said that California has effectively made it “legal to steal,” a sentiment that may be behind the second recall effort of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Another possible exacerbating factor is California’s zero bail policy, in which many thieves are simply re-released back onto the streets while they await trial, with no bail to keep them around.

Perhaps the ultimate sad irony is that a San Francisco photographer would be robbed while working for the same Chronicle that ran a story in which it appeared to ask in all seriousness, what should be done with repeat offenders, since it apparently never occurred to them to punish such criminals. The Chronicle seems to ask, with a (metaphorical) straight face, if residents ought to just bar themselves indoors and barricade their homes in the face of increasingly brazen home invasion style robberies.

The response to these increasingly publicized crime sprees has been incredulity on the right over how a city can be so impotent and derelict in its most basic responsibilities to its residents, to incredulity on the left — over whether these incidents are happening at all. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared to imply that these aren’t actually happening, in a tactic that Mike Rowe might have been talking about when he referred to media “gaslighting” of issues (trying to tell viewers/readers that these things that are clearly happening in plain sight, recorded on film, aren’t actually happening).

It remains to be seen if residents in California, and especially San Francisco, have finally had enough of such brazen criminality affecting all aspects of life, or if residents are just going to accept the word of liberal elites like Seth Rogan that this is just how life has to be and to shut up and deal with it.


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