A Bayview pastor was arrested yesterday for refusing to leave the home he and his wife have lived in for the past 20 years. Pastor Yul Dorn and four others were arrested by Sheriff's deputies as they protested an eviction they claim is driven by real estate speculation. The scene was a dramatic one as Dorn, his wife, daughter, and 8-month-old grandson were forcibly removed from the home.
The 58-year-old Dorn is a pastor at Emanuel Church Of God In Christ, and also serves as chaplain to the Sheriff's Department — meaning he serves the very people that arrested him yesterday. A press release notes that the arrest came after protesters successfully blocked eviction efforts on Wednesday.
One Sheriff's deputy who refused to give his name summed up the situation to 48 Hills.
“I am on duty now and I can’t give my personal opinion," he explained, "but this is awful, it’s awful, and it is wrong; the city officials should fix this.”
A friend of Dorn, Lynn Westry, was among those gathered in support of the family and expressed her frustration to the publication.
“This is by design," she said, "black people are being evicted from their homes and entire neighborhoods.”
Dorn's home was bought by a San Jose man, named by protesters as Quan He, who was not on site for yesterday's eviction and protest.
When reached for comment by SF Weekly, Mr. He expressed sympathy for Dorn and countered the narrative that he is merely a speculator trying to make a quick buck. He, however, has no intention of budging.
“Don’t make me out to be the villain,” He told the paper. “All I did was buy a house on the open market, knowing nothing about its background or the people living there. It’s a sad story for Mr. Dorn, but for me too. I also have a family.”
Dorn remained in jail yesterday as supporters attempted to work out a resolution between He's lawyer and Chase Bank. However, the press release notes, repeated calls to He's lawyer's cell phone went straight to voicemail.
“Where is Malia Cohen," 48 Hills quotes Janice Powell, President of the local Tenant’s Association, as asking. "She is the supervisor for the district and she assured Pastor Dorn that she will support him. She gave him her support, where is she now?"
A group of protesters planned to gather this morning at a Chase Bank on Mission Street to further protest the eviction. Dorn blames the bank in part for his troubles, noting to the Weekly that the bank failed to properly credit payments he made in 2008 which ultimately resulted in his delinquency.