Today in inappropriate tweets, sassy Richmond police chief, Chris Magnus, tweeted—then later deleted—a comedic bit that landed with a thud. Luckily, SFist grabbed it before it went away. Ahem: "4 Johns & 3 prostitutes arrested in area of S 2dn & Ohio yesterday. Yes, it sounds made up, but one was named Velvet, another Destiny."
Oh, Christopher. Less tweeting, more focus on actual crime.
Magnus is a saucy one on Twitter, one who would like to "publicly shame" alleged customers of sex workers. This, as SFist told you a month ago, is no secret. Now, it seems, he's coming after sex workers. Whether making remarks like "loose pants expose crack" (about drugs allegedly found on an arrestee) and taking a shot at an 61-year-old sex worker, no one is safe from his ostensibly witty barbs. Odd, though, that he pulled this one after it went live.
SFist reached out to Magnus for comment. We'll update as soon as we hear back.
Update: Magnus responds:
"I’m sorry if anyone was offended by my initial Tweet, although I made it a point NOT to use anyone’s last name or even get super specific about where/when they were arrested (despite the fact all of that is a public record). I think that some folks (all, interestingly from outside of Richmond) have a very unrealistic view of what prostitution really looks like in our City. It’s not like the movies and it’s HIGHLY exploitive. Part of the irony of the arrests on Friday is that a couple of them involved women who—like the movies and TV—have first names that sound exactly like some sort of stereotype, yet what they’re doing in real life and how it impacts the neighborhoods around them is completely unlike what gets portrayed by most of the media or the entertainment industry.
"Twitter is a great vehicle for people who want to be anonymous and come after someone for delivering a message they don’t agree with to pile on. As I discovered, trying to respond in any sort of thoughtful or meaningful way is pointless—it just makes things worse. That’s why I deleted the initial Tweet.
"I think my record around community policing, human exploitation, civil liberties issues, and women’s rights issues is actually pretty strong, but clearly I’m not going to convince any of the folks who came after me on Twitter of this—so it was time to let it go. I am happy to have future conversations about how we publicize what we do utilizing social media (including arrests and various kinds of enforcement). I’m also very open to looking at how we can best provide support and services for individuals caught up in prostitution (who, at least in Richmond, are usually being pimped by gang members and others who brutally exploit them)."