SF DA blasts critics after Cash App founder Bob Lee stabbing suspect arrested

San Francisco's Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that tech entrepreneur Nima Momeni, owner of Expand IT Inc., was arrested Thursday in Emeryville on murder charges for the killing of Cash App founder Bob Lee.

The arrest ran counter to speculations spread by Elon Musk and other prominent tech entrepreneurs, who used Lee's death to portray San Francisco as a lawless city with rampant street crime.

District Attorney Jenkins had sharp words for Musk and others, saying they were spreading misinformation that jeopardizes the investigation.

"Reckless and irresponsible statements like those contained in Mr. Musk's tweet that assumed incorrect circumstances about Mr. Lee's death, serve to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco and also negatively impact the pursuit of justice for victims of crime," said Jenkins.

"We need to note that murder is rare in SF," said District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio, who spoke at a public safety meeting held by the group STOP CRIME SF in San Francisco's Miraloma Park neighborhood.

Engardio pointed to data on homicides.

"The most violent year in SF history was 1977. We had 142 murders that year. Last year we had 56," said Engardio.

Engardio says people's perception of public safety, however, is important.

"What matters is how people feel today and they do not feel safe," said Engardio.

The city released results of its 2023 resident survey, posting the data on the city's website. Public safety got a C+ for the first time since 1996. One question showed only 36% of respondents said they felt safe walking in their neighborhoods at night.

"I was held at gunpoint in front of my home and it was a shock to me. It was also a shock going through the criminal justice system as a victim," said John Trasvina, former dean of University of San Francisco Law School, who attended the meeting. He says after being held up, he joined the Stop Crime SF group.

"This is neighbors coming together some of whom are crime victims like me, some of whom are concerned for our communities and we're working together throughout the city," said Trasvina.

Engardio called for creating a transparent database for the public.

"In Chicago, progressive District Attorney Kim Fox puts all her data in the open. She lets anyone track the case from start to end with a comprehensive, transparent, and accessible online database. San Francisco deserves this too," said Engardio.

The group Stop Crime SF said another one of their goals is to follow each criminal case through the system and track the numbers of convictions and sentencing. 
They hope their Court Watch program will lead to more transparency and accountability.