Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Cappella Brings Out Worst In Mob
[Originally posted on 1/10/2007 at 22:52—bumped to top for updates.]
The men's a cappella singing group of which I was a part at Yale, the Baker's Dozen, was attacked on New Year's Eve after performing at a private party in San Francisco.

As the group is still on tour (troopers, they are), they have asked me to post a statement on their website—it is now up.

My thoughts are with Sharyar, a great guy who was the central victim of a totally unprovoked and unbelievably outrageous attack, as well as the other guys who sustained injury in the fray.

More News Coverage
Baker's Dozen singers injured in attack - Yale Daily News

Yale Singing Group Attacked Outside New Year's Eve Party - FOX News

Homophobes assault US university singers - Sydney Morning Herald

Yale Singing Group Attacked in SF - Salon (AP article)

Renowned Yale singing group attacked in San Francisco - Boston Globe

Attack on Yale Singing Group in San Francisco May Yield Lawsuit - Law.com

Yale Singing Group Victims of Hate Crime... in San Fran! - Gay Patriot

A cappella brings out worst in mob - DailyIndia.com

Visiting Yale Singers Pummeled Outside New Year's Party - All Headline News

SFPD Criticized for Inaction After Unusual New Year’s Eve Fight - KCBS, CA

Yale group assaulted after San Fran party - New Haven Register

Continuing news coverage can be found via Google News. I'll post updates as more information becomes available.

UPDATE [1/11/2007 - 21:20]: The San Francisco Chief of Police, Heather Fong, has spoken out to defend the actions of her officers on New Year's eve. I recognize that she has to do that, but here's an important point raised in the article:

Reno Rapagnani, a retired SFPD officer whose daughter hosted the party, said he understood that the department's officers might have been overwhelmed on New Year's Eve.

"I'm trying to assist the department," he said. "I think any cop or any citizen would do the same thing. I hope."

Delay in interviews?

But, he said, there continue to be delays in police interviewing the singers.

"It just seems to be taking a lot of time. They assigned inspectors, and they were off for two days. They (the singers) were still in San Francisco for a couple of days. What does that look like? Maybe I'm missing something."
We've since heard that the BDs were asked to return to San Francisco to conduct further interviews. That's just ridiculous.

And, in case anyone is wondering what the BDs are really all about, make sure to check out this series of photos from a performance from January 10.

UPDATE [1/11/2007 - 22:56]: There's also this YouTube video taken sometime (I'm not sure exactly when) in the days immediately following the attack.

And this article... well, get this:
Now, 10 days later, investigators are demanding that the young men pay their way back to San Francisco to be interviewed. One investigator told a parent, "the kids are affluent, so they can afford it." The Baker's Dozen's attorney says it's ridiculous.

Whitney Leigh, Gonzalez & Leigh Law Firm: "The notion that the police should now put the burden on the families or on these kids to fly back to San Francisco, a place they're now afraid to come to frankly, doesn't seem to make any sense to me." [emphasis added]
Um, no kidding.

But there's good news:
Also today, a development that the police and mayor's office may not welcome -- former San Francisco prosecutor Jim Hammer has joined the team of attorneys for The Baker's Dozen.
The wheels of justice are slow. Hopefully they're turning in the BDs' favor at the moment, but come on. Who places the financial burden on the victims of an attack?

Apparently the San Francisco Police Department.

And San Francisco residents are speaking out. Let's hope that the SFPD does its job and resolves this more quickly than they have been, and with full justice.

UPDATE [1/12/2007 - 0:40]: I just watched the replay of January 11's Hannity and Colmes on FOX News. Sean Hannity has offered a $10,000 reward to anyone coming forward to provide information leading to the prosecution of the individuals responsible for this attack.

UPDATE [1/17/2007 - 11:40]: The SFPD have finally interviewed members of the group, but it's clear that a lot of questions remain.

Here is a good summary of all that has happened so far, with the good news that the issue is still receiving national attention.

And here's a rather amusing column about the incident. While I think it's unfair to accuse a group of guys who were, by some accounts from outside the group, outnumbered 8-to-1 of being wimps, the column is still entertaining.

More here and here.

2 comments:

Lauren said...

It is indeed a sad day when a cappella groups are attacked without provocation. As a former member of an a cappella group myself, my heart and sympathy go out to the group. Sing on.

Tugboat Phil said...

San Francisco Justice, making Durham, NC look efficient.