SF DA, Chronicle publicly quarrel over DA's disqualification from murder case

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is beefing with the San Francisco Chronicle over a headline regarding her office being disqualified from prosecuting the murder of her husband’s cousin. 

Jenkins took to X, formerly Twitter, to lambast a Chronicle headline stating "S.F. D.A.’s office is disqualified from prosecuting murder case following Jenkins’ comments."

"This headline is inaccurate + misleading. Please correct + do better," Jenkins posted. "To be clear, when I spoke out about this case, I was not an employee of the San Francisco DA’s Office. I was speaking out, independently, as a family member of the victim."

"Failing to point out my personal relationship and personal experience with violence like this is irresponsible, especially as a Black and Latina woman, when it is our communities who suffer from the highest rates of violence," Jenkins added. 

In a rare public move, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, the Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, responded.

"I think your beef is with the court," he posted. He added that he stood by the "100%" accuracy of his news organization's reporting. 

The current spat between the Chronicle and Jenkins comes after a state appeals court ruled Wednesday that the SF District Attorney’s Office is disqualified from prosecuting the man charged with murdering Jerome Mallory, Jr., the cousin of Jenkins’ husband. 

Wednesday’s ruling most likely means the California Attorney General’s Office will handle the prosecution of the case, which previously declined to prosecute the case and said the prosecution should remain with the SF DA’s Office. 

Mallory was killed in the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco on July 5, 2020, during a drive-by shooting. Jenkins immediately notified her boss that she had known Mallory and that she couldn’t be involved in the case. 

Former SF DA Chesa Boudin filed murder, conspiracy, gun and other charges against Stevie Mitchell and Sincere Pomar, as well as gang enhancements, on June 8, 2021. However, the gang enhancements were later dropped. 

Months later, Jenkins resigned from the DA’s Office and joined the recall efforts against Boudin. In an October 2021 Chronicle article, Jenkins "criticized the [DA’s] Office for refusing to file ‘felony charges of gang conspiracy’ against Mitchell and Pomar in the Mallory case," the appeals court ruling states. 

Boudin was eventually recalled and Jenkins was appointed as the Interim DA in 2022. The DA’s Office sought to "wall off" Jenkins from the case to ensure a fair trial. 

But attorneys for the two defendants sought to recuse the SF DA’s Office from prosecuting the case. The DA’s Office seemingly asked the state Attorney General’s Office for their opinion on the need to be recused from the case. The AG’s Office declined to take over, stating there was an "ethical wall" in place to ensure a fair trial. 

In July 2022, the DA’s office asked the AG to "assume prosecution" of the Mallory case, but the AG, once again, declined.

But attorneys for Mitchell and Pomar pressed on and urged the state courts to recuse the SF DA’s office from prosecuting the case. 

Although Jenkins made these comments as a private citizen, a state court and now an appeals court ruled that those comments will jeopardize the impartiality of the Mallory case. 

A judge pointed out that many of the former prosecutors who served under Boudin left the DA’s Office after his 2020 recall. 

"Based on these facts, the trial judge concluded that Jenkins had a conflict of interest in the Mallory case due to her ‘familial relationship with the homicide victim,’" the ruling states, adding that Jenkins did not commit any ethical violations. 

The appeals court also upheld a previous ruling that highlighted Jenkins’ comments to the Chronicle and how they may impact the case. Jenkins tied another drive-by shooting case allegedly involving Pomar to the death of her husband’s cousin.  

"Jenkins also harshly criticized the Office’s handling of the Mallory case," the ruling states. "She even went so far as to declare that the prosecution of Mitchell and Pomar for the Mallory murder would likely fail because the Office dropped [gang charges].

"These undisputed facts provide substantial evidence that Jenkins had a deep, personal interest in the Mallory case, believed in the guilt of Mitchell and Pomar, and harbored animosity toward them for their role in Mallory’s death," the ruling continued.

Read the appeals court ruling here: