A homebuilding company apologized for a controversial incident in which an armed guard sent to record a health-related community meeting inside a makeshift mosque was placed under citizen’s arrest.
Miami-based Verasys LLC – the risk-management company that hired the security guard – also apologized for the incident and said Miami-based homebuilder Lennar did not know that its consultant would carry a weapon to the meeting.
The plain-clothes garbed guard was removed from the Feb. 18 community meeting in the Bayview district after a concealed weapon was spotted by meeting participants.
A US EPA consultant shared health information during the meeting with community members about asbestos dust kicked up at the shuttered Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where Lennar is leading redevelopment efforts.
The former SFPD officer was licensed to carry the weapon and not charged with any crimes.
The meeting was held at the Center for Self Improvement and Community Development on Third Street, which also serves as a mosque.
"Notwithstanding my legal right to carry a legal firearm, I was unaware that the presence of my firearm would result in so much controversy," Verasys’s guard wrote in his own apology letter, which was signed only by attorneys. "Had I known the meeting was being held in a place of worship, I would not have brought a weapon."
Verasys was recently acquired by Andrews International, a Los Angeles-based firm that advertises that it employs more than 10,000 experts in security, investigative and disaster-related services.
Lennar Urban President Kofi Bonner apologized for the incident in an open letter after San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to request such an apology.
“Lennar apologizes for any actions that escalated tensions or led to additional misunderstanding in the Bayview Hunters Point community,” Lennar Urban President wrote in the statement. “We do not condone and deeply regret the incident on February 18. As stated in the apology letters submitted to the Board by the security firm and its independent consultant, Lennar neither authorized nor was aware that the consultant would be carrying a concealed firearm that night to a community meeting at the Center for Self Improvement and Community Development.”
Supervisor Chris Daly, who sponsored the legislation that requested the apology, told the Examiner that he appreciated Bonner’s statement but said it failed to address main points raised by supervisors.
“Most importantly,” Daly said in an email, “it is not addressed to the (Stop Lennar Action Movement) Coalition.”