The Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized the payment Tuesday of two $10,000 rewards for witnesses who came forward with information that led to an arrest and conviction in two separate homicide cases.
“We all know that we don’t ordinarily see these rewards to John Does in our agenda packet. It’s really great,” said Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier. “This is how we are going to be able to help bring down the homicide rate in San Francisco when people have the courage to step forward and come up and tell about what they have seen. I hope to see more of these in the future.” Reward offerings have previously met with little success with few witnesses being enticed by the reward to come forward with information.
Both $10,000 rewards were offered for information in the solving of two murder cases involving members of the Down Below Gang.
On Feb. 18, 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom offered a $10,000 a reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who killed the Jovanie Banks and Michael Hill. The reward is for a witness who came forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Emile Forte in federal district court. Forte pleded guilty and received a sentence of 41 years for the murders.
In a separate homicide case, a $10,000 reward will go to a witness who came forward with information that led to the arrest and conviction of Don Johnson in the federal court case of the murder of Jaquain Williams. Newsom established the reward on March 2, 2005. Court documents said Johnson “possessed marijuana with intent to distribute it on two occasions and that he killed Jaquain Williams with a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun in retaliation for his suspected cooperation with police.”