We can expect many of the San Francisco doomsayers and friends of Elon Musk to either stay silent or turn defensive following the revelation that a fellow tech entrepreneur is the prime suspect in Bob Lee's stabbing. And local politicians are all saying, "You shouldn't jump to conclusions about every crime."
The stabbing death of Lee last Monday was strange for a number of reasons, with many noting that it had occurred in "nice" and quiet part of town, for starters. Also, his wallet and cellphone were not taken, so it was pretty clear it had not been linked to robbery.
We now know that Lee was stabbed in the upper left chest area, and as we saw from surveillance video, he succumbed fairly quickly to his wound. A four-inch kitchen-type knife had been found in a parking lot across from where Lee was found, and now know from investigators that Lee had been in a car with an acquaintance, 38-year-old Nima Momeni, whose occupation on LinkedIn is "IT Consultant/ Entrepreneur."
In recent days, Mayor London Breed had referred to Lee's murder and the case of the assault against former fire commissioner Don Carmignani, saying, "When the facts of many of these cases come out, many people are going to be surprised. It has really heightened events like this as well as people jumping to conclusions about what they think is happening."
And now others are jumping in to castigate everyone who decried San Francisco's terrible street conditions, generalizing from this one stabbing that it was a tragic symptom of the city's larger problems.
"The people who tried to exploit this tragedy to stoke hatred of the poor should be ashamed. Some public apologies are in order," tweeted Supervisor Dean Preston Thursday morning.
State Senator Scott Wiener gave a quote to the New York Times, saying, "This is the danger of making one crime into a symbol. This was a horrific, brutal murder, and I am so grateful that the police solved it so quickly. And San Francisco does have real public safety problems. But this particular crime does not appear to have anything to do with them."
Police commissioner Kevin Benedicto tells the Times, "This is why you need to wait for investigations before you jump to conclusions," adding that some had tried "to weaponize this tragedy" online in its immediate aftermath.
One of those people, the one who tweeted "Fuck San Francisco" and got Elon Musk to react with his own comments about the "many" victims of assaults on SF streets whom he allegedly personally knows, is former MMA fighter Jake Shields. In between fat-shaming women on his Twitter feed today and proudly calling himself transphobic, Shields writes, "I'm thankful Bob’s murderer has been arrested. I'm surprised it was someone who knew him because I've even seen bob In a disagreement but happy [someone] has been arrested."
Unsurprisingly, a friend of Elon Musk's, entrepreneur/podcaster Jason Calacanis, who had been part of Musk's ersatz transition team when he took over running Twitter last fall, couldn't help himself, tweeting this morning, "*everyone* has said we don't know the details of any individual case, but at the same time anyone who walks a couple of blocks in San Francisco (outside of Pac Whites where things seem to be oddly safe) knows how dangerous the city is." He also referred on Twitter today to the "thousands of violent crimes that occur every month" in SF, which is not based in fact.
There have been 13 homicides to date this year in San Francisco, 633 reported robberies, and 628 reported assaults, or approximately 200 per month, and not all on the street.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has charged Momeni with murder, with a special allegation enhancement alleging murder was committed with a knife.
In a strange coincidence, local "fixer" and crisis PR expert Sam Singer is Momeni's next-door neighbor in the Emeryville loft complex where he was arrested early Thursday morning. As he tells ABC 7, Singer just moved in to his unit a month ago, and he says of Momeni, "He's very welcoming, very kind, just a good neighbor. So what he's accused of is a shock to all of us because he was such a nice fellow and we all hope that it's not true."
Singer added, "We were shocked by the murder because there's been so much violence in San Francisco and Oakland as well. So, it's even more shocking to know that your neighbor is accused of the murder."
On Facebook, Season of the Witch author David Talbot writes, "as I told friends, Lee's stabbing in a pre-dawn hour smelled to me like a personal attack — not a random killing by a crazed homeless person as it was alleged... Will the tech industry — and the press — now apologize for accusing San Francisco of descending into wanton violence? I can just as well accuse the tech industry and its political and media patrons of laying waste to this once beautiful city... Don't hold your breath. The tech industry would rather whine about SF — even when the blood is spilled by one of their own."
Previously: Fellow Tech Exec Arrested In Stabbing of Bob Lee