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Gascon seeks restraining order after repeated protests over police shootings

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District Attorney George Gascon at a press conference on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

After video emerged of District Attorney George Gascon and protesters flinging bits of watermelon at each other outside his home, the top prosecutor is seeking a restraining order against one of the men demanding he “jail killer cops.”

Court records obtained by the San Francisco Examiner show Gascon requested a stay away order against Victor Manuel Picazo on Tuesday. Picazo is known for regularly demonstrating with others against Gascon outside the criminal courthouse on Fridays for never having charged an officer with murder.

The demonstrations escalated after Gascon, who announced last week that he would not seek a third term in 2019 due to the ailing health of his mother, decided in May not to charge the officers who fatally shot Mario Woods and Luis Gongora Pat in two of the most controversial recent police shootings in San Francisco.

SEE RELATED: No charges for SFPD officers who fatally shot Mario Woods, Luis Gongora Pat

“Since that day, and even before, groups of individuals would gather in front of my residence in San Francisco,” Gascon wrote. “Based on the conduct of these individuals I contacted law enforcement to respond to my home. Additionally, I installed a new security surveillance system and a fence in front of my home.”

The court records reveal that Gascon has reported the protesters multiple times since May to police for malicious mischief, trespassing and disturbing the peace. The reports name Picazo and other protesters including local rapper Ilyich “Equipto” Sato, who went on a hunger strike against police shootings in 2016.

The protesters allegedly played loud music, yelled chants through megaphones, projected images on to his house and vandalized a campaign sign Gascon posted during the June election.

Gascon is seeking the restraining order on behalf of himself and his wife based on alleged harassment causing “substantial emotional distress to myself and my wife.”

Attempts to reach Picazo were not immediately successful.

Victor Picazo records video on his phone while embracing Luis Poot Pat, a cousin of Luis Gongora Pat, at a news conference after District Attorney George Gascon announced there would be no charges filed against SFPD officers involved in the shooting deaths of Gongora Pat and Mario Woods on Thursday, May 24, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

In one significant incident, Gascon alleges that someone tampered with his wife’s car in early July when it was parked in a public parking lot.

“Our mechanic confirmed the damage to the belt was caused by someone tampering with the car, and not just wear and tear,” Gascon wrote. “Had this not been discovered prior to her driving out of the parking lot, she could have been seriously injured.”

In another specifically naming Picazo, Gascon claims that Picazo “jumped in front of my car and hit my car” on June 17 as the he attempted to pull out of his garage with his wife in the passenger seat. The incident was recorded on video.

Gascon alleges that Picazo said, “Run me over. Run me over.”

Gascon claims that Picazo participated in eight demonstrations outside his home between May 26 and Sept. 2.

Video of the most recent incident, posted on Instagram Sept. 2 by a group called Frisco Cop Watch, shows Gascon pick up a piece of watermelon left on his steps and fling it at the protesters gathered below. The video then shows a person in the crowd lob more watermelon back at the district attorney in response.

In Gascon’s account of the incident, which does not mention the exchange, the district attorney said Picazo used chalk to write on the brick stairs, as well as to write “jail killer cops” on the wall next to the stairs.

In a police incident report from Sept. 2, Inspector Glenn Pon of the District Attorney’s Office wrote that he watched surveillance footage of the demonstration and saw Picazo throw watermelon on a planter box outside the home.

“It took Mr. Gascon over 30 minutes to wash the chalk off his residence and the chalk from the sidewalks and street,” Pon wrote.

Picazo posted live video of the demonstration on Facebook.

“We’re out here at Gascon’s house,” Picazo said in the video, encouraging people to attend. “Punkass. He won’t charge the killer cops with murder… Keep the pressure on. Reach out to his neighbors. Let his neighbors know they’re living next to a cop killer protector, criminal.”

Despite not having charged an officer in a shooting since becoming district attorney in 2011, Gascon has filed charges against law enforcement in other cases including the Alameda County sheriff’s deputies caught on video beating a man in a city alley in 2015.

Gascon also advocated for Assembly Bill 931, which died this summer, that would have raised the standard for when police could legally shoot a suspect.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com


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