The Lees worked in the city for decades, raised their family in their apartment and still care for a disabled daughter in their home. When developer Matthew Miller offered buyouts to the other tenants, the Lees tried to move as well. But as seniors on fixed incomes whose daughter is dependent on care she receives in San Francisco, Calimbas said, they didn’t have the kind of leverage they needed. So they decided to stay and fight.
In a daylong protest outside their 1840-A Jackson Street apartment building the Lees, accompanied by politicians like San Francisco Supervisors David Campos and Jane Kim and community advocates including the Chinese Progressive Association and the San Francisco Tenants Union, protested their eviction.
“I’m conflicted on that,” Shellie told Lauer on TODAY Thursday. “I believe the evidence, but this revelation in my life has really helped me take the blinders off and start to see things differently.” Lauer pressed further, asking, “So you now doubt his innocence, at least the fact that he was acting in self-defense on the night that Trayvon Martin was killed?”
“I think anyone would doubt that innocence because I don’t know the person that I’ve been married to,” Shellie responded. “I have doubts, but I also believe the evidence.” Despite these doubts, Shellie vehemently denies that George profiled the teen. “He did not profile Trayvon Martin,” she said.
(Marissa) Alexander, who had given birth the week before, testified that after an altercation regarding texts from her ex-husband, she locked herself in the bathroom. Her husband, Rico Gray, broke through the door, grabbed her by the neck, and shoved her into the door. She ran to the garage, found she couldn’t get the door open, and returned with a gun. When Gray saw the gun, he said, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” Alexander testified that firing the gun into the air as a warning shot was “the lesser of two evils.”
The jury rejected her self-defense argument, and instead Alexander was sentenced under the “10-20-Life” law, which carries a series of mandatory minimum sentences related to gun crimes. The prosecutor in her case was Angela Corey, who also prosecuted George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. After an outcry at the apparent racial double standard in the application of “stand your ground,” Corey told the Washington Post, “I think social media is going to be the destruction of this country.”
When Shaun Donovan, Barack Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, went to go visit Everett Middle School in San Francisco’s historically Latino Mission District, he probably expected to hear glowing things from students at a school that had drastically improved their academic performance in recent years.
Donovan sat with the school’s principal Lina Van Haren and several students about what they like and dislike about their neighborhood. One 12-year-old student’s gave a brutally honest answer.