I can only imagine that it's been a whirlwind couple of days for command.io founder Justin Keller! After publishing that now-infamous "open letter" to San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr and Mayor Ed Lee that said, among other things, "I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day," reports of the post spread far beyond SF and onto the pages of publications like the Washington Post and the UK Guardian. It's to the latter publication that he defends his remarks and appears to believe that folks angry at him are focusing on the wrong target.
And it appears so far that the Guardian is the only publication to whom Keller is commenting! He hasn't responded to SFist's requests for comment, nor as of this writing do quotes from him appear in any of the numerous other news reports on his initial remarks. His Twitter account — the follower account of which has doubled from 45 when I got up yesterday to 120 as of this writing — is similarly silent, with his last tweets appearing early on February 17. So as much as I'd love to give a fuller report on Keller's response to the tumult that resulted from his post, it appears is all we have his Guardian quotes to scrutinize. Here they are:
“The thesis of the post was that inaction by the city and officials is not working. We all as citizens of San Francisco need to figure out how we can improve the city and address the homeless and drug addiction problem straight on,” he said.
“I in no way meant to vilify homeless or drug users, my frustration was that we as citizens don’t feel safe. The amount of violent crime is increasing, and it affects everybody. What specific measures is the city taking to proactively help the homeless and drug addicted?
“Instead of crucifying me, we all as citizens should be crucifying the city and elected government officials for ineptness. The status quo is not working.”
So, looks like isn't backing down, does it? At least not yet. We'll see how this goes.
Oh, and, while I have you here — everyone please stop angrily tweeting at the wrong Justin Keller. He's not the droid you're looking for.