MISSING PERSONS: Christopher Kohrs aka The Hot Cop of the Castro

 

The newest entry in Missing Persons is Christopher Kohrs aka The Hot Cop of the Castro. Kohrs gained fame through a Facebook page created in 2014 by a local admirer. Three weeks after the Facebook page launched, it garnered nearly 19,000 likes and Kohrs was an instant celebrity. SFPD pounced on their propaganda windfall and Kohrs quickly became the face of SFPD in the Castro, as well as a prominent face of citywide and national SFPD publicity.

Kohrs enjoyed being the handsome face of police terror until 2:20am November 29, 2015, when he drove into two pedestrians in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood and immediately fled the scene:

SFPD chief Greg Suhr tells ABC 7, “He did have two passengers with him who both said that he was the driver.” Also, they both remained on the scene and “His personal cell phone was left in the vehicle.” As the Examiner adds, they were not able to use the phone to locate Kohrs, and it was then up to him to turn himself in, which he did over eight hours later. He did not get tested for drugs or alcohol until about ten hours after the crash, which happened at 2:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Kohrs went from celebrity to cipher. His presence was wiped from social media and his Facebook page vanished. Kohrs plead not guilty in a December 3 court appearance, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 14.

kohrs_searchAnd that’s where the trail goes cold. SFPD’s once ubiquitous heartthrob vanishes without a trace after March 14. All the potential embarrassment of an intoxicated police officer driving down pedestrians brushed aside by the courts and conveniently forgotten by complicit media.

So. If you see Mr. Kohrs, know what he’s up to or just where he’s been passing his days, be sure to let us know so I can update this article on the whereabouts of an alleged drunk-driving cop currently being sheltered by the state. Feel free to email or @ me at @bandcreview.

Engineered anarchy

Earlier this afternoon, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf held a press conference in front of City Hall to lecture protesters about violence connected to last night’s anti-Trump protests. Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney offered the usual boilerplate, telling the cameras that violence wasn’t the answer, we’re all a community, etc, etc. As usual in these situations, however, the primary protesters weren’t the ones responsible:

But at some point, police said, the large group splintered off into smaller factions, and some of those people began trashing businesses. Oakland is often Ground Zero for protests. Over the last year or so, Black Lives Matter protests have turned rowdy as people called for justice after African-American men have died across the United States at the hands of police. The Occupy movement is also very strong in this city of 400,000. Those protests have also damaged small businesses.

Notice how the article mentions “smaller factions” being responsible for property damage, but then pivots back to tying Black Lives Matter and Occupy to violence. These smaller factions are common at social justice protests/actions, especially ones against state/police terror. They usually emerge late in the protest, after sunset, obscuring their faces. Many are anarchists looking to tag or burn whatever catches their attention, but undercover police are usually in the mix, too. One such undercover cop pulled a gun on protesters two years ago in Oakland after he was uncovered. This violence is always the cue for police to rush en masse, assaulting and arresting anyone in their path. No matter how peaceful or orderly a protest is, once these agent provocateurs go into action everything instantly becomes riot porn.

City leaders and police never focus on this, though, because they need public opinion leveraged against organizers, protesters and their mission. Blaming anarchist violence on the main protest is one way of doing this, as is sending in undercover cops to encourage violence. Meanwhile, corporate media outlets spread the narrative that protesters are just throwing violent tantrums and should be expressing their anger in more productive ways, those dictated to them by the state.

MISSING PERSONS: Enrique Pearce

 

While we often hear about the powerful disappearing their opponents, never to be heard from again, there’s another disappearing that the wealthy and the wicked use to their advantage. One that rewards/protects loyal soldiers who are under scrutiny or scandal, and whisks them away from the spotlight so both they and their scandal(s) will fade from public memory. I plan to make Missing Persons a series of ongoing posts to highlight some of these people and remind folks how little effort it takes for the state to make even the most disturbing scandals vanish.

Who better to begin with than Enrique Pearce? Pearce was a powerful political consultant in the Bay Area (Rep. Barbara Lee), though San Francisco was his general focus. He came up as a legislative aide to Matt Gonzalez and worked on his mayoral bid, as well as helping elect Jane Kim to the Board of Supervisors. By 2011 he was a key player in San Francisco’s progressive circles.

2011 is also the year Pearce switched sides and helped craft the Run, Ed, Run campaign, designed to appear as a grassroots effort to convince then-interim mayor Ed Lee to abandon his promise not to run for election. In reality, the campaign was a planned-in-advance stunt that hid the fact was Lee was planning to run anyway.

Pearce used money and influence filtered from the Chinatown power player/progressive bogeywoman Rose Pak to convince Lee to “Run, Ed, Run,” which dominated political headlines last summer. The unofficial campaign to draft Lee to run for a full term in office began with a photo shoot at Rainbow Grocery, where Pearce declined to identify himself or the campaign’s purpose to a local blogger. The campaign ended up at the Ethics Commission in August, accused of campaign law violations. It was fully exonerated.

Once Lee “acquiesced” to “grassroots” demands that he run, Run, Ed, Run faded away to be replaced by independent expenditure committees such as SF Neighbor Alliance,  focused on getting Lee votes by any mean necessary.

In the fall, controversy again followed Pearce when volunteers for the SF Neighbor Alliance, another independent expenditure committee formed to support Lee, were videotaped by a rival campaign helping elderly Chinese voters fill out their ballots, in some cases with a stencil. “That crossed the line,” Pearce says now. The campaign also published an unauthorized biography of Lee, an “instabook” dropped on tens of thousands of doorsteps in late October.

By May 2015, life was working out well for Pearce. He was firmly nestled into a corrupt City Hall, a valuable consultant who continually Got It Done for the right people. On May 7, however, police raided his apartment, seizing computers filled with photos and videos of children being sexually abused. His phone stored 115 images of children “in his preferred age range of 8 to 12” taken covertly throughout the city, including on the steps of City Hall. While his clients immediately severed ties with him, the state began clearing his path to freedom, attempting to keep his bail relatively low and explaining how the charges weren’t that bad:

Prosecutors asked the judge to increase Pearce’s bail to $400,000 due to the serious nature of the charges and said some of the images found in Pearce’s possession showed toddlers being sodomized by adult males and young children under 8 years old being tied up.

Burke disagreed with the higher bail amount and said this is not a case of child molestation, but charges of possession of images.

Pearce’s bail was finally set at $400,000, up from the original $250,000, but imagine a judge being hesitant to raise bail because the defendant was allegedly “only” looking at, and distributing, child pornography. The evidence was so serious Pearce was ordered to stay away from children a month later, yet the court was mystified why Pearce shouldn’t re-enter society until his trial date.

Ah yes, his trial. The one that never came. After a series of court appearances following his arrest, Pearce’s trial was set for June 12. Nothing happened on that date and coverage of Enrique Pearce stopped for over a year. It took Lauren Chief Elk and I throwing Pearce’s name around like a Frisbee on Twitter, and a little trolling of San Francisco DA George Gascón, to conjure Pearce’s name into public record again. That yielded a “Stay Tuned” from Gascón, and the scheduling of an October 19 court date that…well, we don’t know. The media wandered off again, allowing Pearce to re-schedule to a future date that may or may not ever be named.

So. If you see Mr. Pearce, know what he’s up to or just where he’s been passing his days, be sure to let us know so I can update this article on the whereabouts of an alleged child predator currently being sheltered by the state. Feel free to email or @ me at @bandcreview.

The tech turnover

San Francisco has seen a 16.6% increase in voter registration since November 2014; by comparison, California voter registration increased by 9% over the same time. The current San Francisco tech boom has been in peak form during that same time. Construction cranes seem to have taken permanent residence throughout the San Francisco sky as new luxury condo towers rise anywhere and everywhere. With those luxury towers come more and more tech employees. The newest in a long line of settlers moving west to join others like them in a new world, violently uprooting and casting aside anyone who dares delay their manifest destiny.

This hasn’t been natural, all-of-a-sudden growth as most local politicians claim. It’s a planned turnover of the electorate designed to create a utopia in tech’s image. SOMA, where most San Francisco tech companies now reside, and the Mission were the first to experience this turnover. Many of the city’s most vulnerable residents lived in SOMA and were powerless to stop one building owner after another from evicting them with little or no notice and converting the building to office space and/or luxury housing. The Mission was a mostly Latinx neighborhood until techies decided it was the hot neighborhood at the beginning of this wave of tech gentrification. Block after block of Latinx grocery stores, restaurants, salons, clothing stores and more were evicted to be replaced with trendy cafes, organic grocery stores and micro boutiques.

By removing the existing population of both neighborhoods and replacing them with affluent, privileged young tech workers, City Hall and its tech allies removed two voting blocs unsympathetic to the desires of rich white tech CEOs and replaced them with loyal young tech workers who would vote for whomever as long as it allowed them to keep their stratospheric salaries and move unhindered throughout San Francisco. This effectively neutered what passed for a progressive left at City Hall. Not only did this fracture and often disintegrate politicians’ base constituencies, it presented them with new constituencies that would only be appeased if they appeased tech.

Vulnerable politicians like Jane Kim and David Campos became easy targets for a power broker like Rose Pak, and she wasted no time in gobbling up City Hall’s roster of progressive darlings, with the possible exception of Avalos. Rose Pak and tech often clashed, because Rose represented the old-school corruption that tech wanted to supplant. Just because they were rivals didn’t mean they weren’t often on the same page, though. Both completely supported law enforcement, cronyism, pay to play and development in general. And whatever Rose was for, her stable of progressives were for, as well. She’d let them stray here and there on low-priority issues, but for, say, Greg Suhr, they made no waves and did as they were told.

With City Hall’s progressives reduced to hiring themselves out as mercenaries to survive politically, City Hall and tech moved forward with one less obstacle in their way. Once SOMA and the Mission were turned over, tech turned its attention to the Fillmore, Potrero Hill, the Tenderloin, Bayview, Dogpatch, on and on and on. All neighborhoods of Black and Latinx people who were forced out to make way for more luxury construction and an ever-growing population of proxy votes for tech CEOs. And since tech now outspends Wall Street 2-1 in lobbying, they’re able to craft legislation that suits them and then have their loyal employees approve it at the ballot box.

Yet the general population remains unconcerned by tech’s rapidly growing influence in all levels of government. The same lack of concern that allowed tech to conquer San Francisco in the first place.

Housekeeping: Email & Comments

Two notes about this blog. I run the site’s email through ProtonMail, so if you ever need to send the blog anything through encrypted channels, create a free ProtonMail account and you’ll be set. I use them for my personal email as well, and I recommend using an encrypted email service, ProtonMail or otherwise, even if you only use it occasionally. Hillary has already promised to boost law-enforcement surveillance, and if they know you speak out against them, they’ll be watching. Encrypt as much of your online life as you can to stay safe.

Speaking of staying safe, you may notice Comments are turned off. It’s early days for the blog and traffic is low, so it’s not much of an issue at the moment. Comments sections are a horror show I avoid and the adblocker on my phone/tablet removes any temptation to view them by blocking them altogether. If the site ever develops such a following that Comment sections would be a good thing, I’ll revisit it, but until then I’m outsourcing the Comment sections to Twitter at @bandcreview.

The shell game of police-union endorsements

The fallacy of police-union endorsements is they go to the farthest-right candidate, because those are the candidates most willing/likely to do the union’s bidding. No doubt, Republicans couldn’t be more willing to partner with law enforcement. This could tempt a person into believing the opposing Democrat would be open to reining in police and police-union power and influence, but this is so very rarely the case.

Last year in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors D3 race pitted City Hall-backed incumbent Julie Christensen against previous D3 Supervisor and eventual winner Aaron Peskin. Christensen was an open rubber stamp for City Hall, so she was expected to receive the police-union endorsement that very quickly came her way. Peskin, a long-time darling of San Francisco’s “progressives,” presented himself as her antithesis in every way. A last-month surge of police-union funding to Christensen’s campaign as polls tightened made them look desperate for her to win. Certainly Peskin’s progressive ideals would demand he stand up to the union as supervisor, if their enthusiastic support of his opponent didn’t convince him first.

Not so much, as it turned out. Red flags had already been waving around Peskin like semaphore. His candidacy would never have been viable without Rose Pak, who was backing Peskin solely as revenge for Ed Lee choosing Christensen as interim D3 supervisor over Cindy Wu. Pak’s loyalty to SFPD was unwavering, especially towards Greg Suhr, around whom Pak always beamed with pride and joy. I repeatedly asked Peskin’s canvassers about his commitment to Black Lives Matter and ending police terror; they always patronizingly answered, “Of course! He’s a progressive! Naturally he supports that.” I had similar interactions with his campaign volunteers online, and they assured me he had the deepest commitment to stopping police violence.

Fast forward several months to the Frisco 5 hunger strike and demands to fire then-Chief Suhr. Peskin essentially ran and hid in a corner. Granted, the actions of his fellow “progressives” were little better, but Peskin was shut down for the entirety of it. No way Rose Pak was allowing Peskin to utter the first syllable against Suhr. So despite all the money and support the police-union gave to Peskin’s opponent Christensen, the progressive hero vanished from the debate surrounding one of the highest-profile police-chief resignations in years. Their endorsement of Christensen didn’t matter; in the end, both candidates had been theirs all along. Joke was on us.

David Campos didn’t run and hide in a corner, but he really should’ve considered it. While Peskin was under Rose’s gag order, his fellow progressive titan Campos condescendingly lectured the Frisco 5 hunger strikers as if they were tantruming toddlers.

Campos wasn’t as indebted to Rose Pak as Peskin, but she still held enough sway over him to make him stonewall any action against Suhr. Like Peskin, Campos was a progressive darling who wasn’t about to receive any police-union endorsements, but there he was, scolding hunger strikers while literally backed by law enforcement. Since then, Campos has been more than willing to look the other way on police violence against homeless people in D9 and ensures they’re allowed to handle quality-of-life issues their way. That’s amazingly deep in the police-union pockets for an elected official who the police union all but shuns openly.

And right on time this year, the national POA loudly endorsed Trump, despite the fact Hillary has promised them $1 billion on Day One, in addition to promised boosts to surveillance capabilities and promising swift and final vengeance on anyone convicted to killing a cop. So yeah, police-union endorsements are nice ways to filling up flier space during campaigns, but don’t be fooled. Either way the police union gets its candidate.

Give Your Websites to Women

I recently added a #GiveYourMoneyToWomen section to the site’s sidebar. See? Over there on the right. Or down below beneath everything if you’re in portrait mode.

First of all, donate to them. Then add another zero and repeat. Second, consider placing a similar list on your blog, site, whatever. Mine took about five minutes to make between copying/pasting basic HTML and links. People often donate during the holidays to assauge their guilty consciences and that’ll be especially true this year. Instead of allowing people to waste their money on the NPIC, point their cash in a much more worthy direction.

Update: Though the #GiveYourMoneyToWomen section fell victim to the site redesign, I still recommend donating directly to women of color and urging others to follow suit.

Welcome back, Coltrane Church

Photo: Lisa Pollack/Hoodline
Photo: Lisa Pollack/Hoodline

One positive note this year is the return of the Saint John Coltrane Church, thanks to Saint Cyprian’s Episcopal Church. Coltrane Church will be sharing their space at Turk and Lyon, holding worship services Sundays at noon.

Though Coltrane Church isn’t returning to Fillmore Street itself, the church’s return is a boost for the community. Coltrane Church, along with Marcus Books, was a source of gravity in the Fillmore, holding the neighborhood together in the face of constant threats from gentrification and a white-supremacist City Hall all too happy to ignore Black residents in favor of tech, realtors and/or whoever else had the money to spend. The evictions of Coltrane Church and Marcus Books made the current whitewashing of the Fillmore so much simpler, which is why City Hall and the powers that be gave them both the coldest of shoulders when they were in times of need. Coltrane Church and Marcus Books were always fully independent and never bent a knee to the City Hall machine. That’s what made them such a target of San Francisco’s corrupt elite, and so necessary for the community.

White Doe, though?

This might be the most ambitious fiction of Francis Ford Coppola’s entire damn life.

So Coppola opens a restaurant in Geyserville named Werowocomoco that serves “American native” food and centers the legend of Virginia “the White Doe” Dare:

a fair-haired young girl of English descent, raised among a Native American tribe, transformed through black magic into a doe until she was killed by a hunter’s arrow. Where she fell, grapes grew that were forever “stained by her blood.” And this was how wine in the Americas became red, or so the legend goes.

Coppola goes out and jacks all the Native culture he can find and drapes it around a marketable white myth to use as branding. When he’s called out for it, Coppola decides a whitesplaining editorial in the Chronicle will soothe worried minds.

Originally my interest in Virginia Dare came as a child upon hearing the jingle of the Virginia Dare wine on the radio, and seeing the label art that featured a pretty blond girl who seemed out of a fairy tale. Later, I wondered what had happened to this early American winery, which was one of the first in the U.S.A., and this led to research and the fascinating story of the birth of the first Anglo child in the New World, the disappearance of the Lost Colony, and the power of the consolidated Algonquin tribes under the great chief Powhatan and his brother Opechancanough, in Werowocomoco, Va.

“What really drew me to Native American history was white people, white people, white people and a bunch of tribes out in Virginia. Also, white people.”

The rest of his editorial is basically a Dan Snyder impression, listing all his authentic endorsements and how noble his aims are. He’s even good enough to whitesplain “cultural appropriation” on his way out the door.

Cultural appropriation is good, it fosters inter-communication between people and cultures through what they love most: food, art, etc., Coppola said. “However, cultural misappropriation is not good, as it misuses culture without giving back, and is hurtful. Especially to peoples who need to benefit by it.”

Got it.

And if you’re wondering what sort of alabaster abomination “American native” is, well….

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Photo: Werewocomoco
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