Political figure says guards assaulted her

The vice president of one of The City’s Democratic organizations has filed assault charges against security guards who forcibly removed her from a San Francisco fundraiser for a group focused on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Catherine Cusic, 63, the vice president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, said two to three officials fractured her arm and left serious bruises on her body when she was kicked out for distributing leaflets at the Human Rights Campaign gala dinner July 26.

Cusic said she bought a $125 ticket for the event, held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, with the intent of passing out pamphlets decrying the Human Rights Campaign for not advocating the inclusion of transgender individuals under a recently passed human-rights bill.

During a multimedia show at the event, Cusic said she began to place the leaflets on the dinner tables, but security officials accosted her and demanded she leave. Cusic put another leaflet on a table and the guards yanked her arm behind her back, forcing her to scream out in pain, she said.

“I was in shock,” Cusic said, adding that she told the guards she would leave voluntarily. “They were pretty brutal physically, but the psychological effect of seeing 750 people sit and watch me get dragged out was pretty humiliating.”

Cusic said she filed a police report the following day, claiming an assault charge. One week later, she went to her physician, who said her arm was fractured.

Officials from the Human Rights Campaign released a statement on the event, saying it was the organization’s policy to remove guests who create a disturbance. The statement also said that Cusic’s version of the events differed from that of many spectators.

“Cusic stood up, walked from her to table to the front of the ballroom while the event was in progress and began yelling and disrupting guests,” the statement said. “After she refused to follow instruction, she was escorted from the room and continued yelling all the way to the hotel exit.”

Officials from the San Francisco Police Department said they are investigating Cusic’s assault claim.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewscourtsCrimeCrime & Courts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation intended to help California schools reopen. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Newsom signs $6.6 billion school reopening legislative package

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Gov. Gavin Newsom and state… Continue reading

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company, Recology, has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

Most Read