Many More Women ...?
Update on Joyce Tempongko
of the domestic violence civil rights cases poised to stand
on the shoulders of the Macias victory is that of Claire Joyce
stabbed to death in front of her two young children by her ex-boyfriend
Tari Ramirez on October 22, 2000 in San Francisco.
did the initial investigation into this case, showing repeated
failures by San Francisco Police and D.A. Terrence Hallinan's
office to follow the law and their own written policies on domestic
violence. The result of those failures, as in Macias, was that
Ramirez remained out of custody and free to murder Joyce, despite
her numerous calls for protection.
family attorney Khaldoun Baghdadi filed a federal civil rights
lawsuit on behalf of Joyce's mother, Clara, and her two children,
citing 14th Amendment equal protection and due process claims
similar to the Macias claims. The case, assigned to federal
District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, is currently in
the discovery phase.
the Political Front ...
In March of this year, the San Francisco Commission on the Status
of Women (CSW) called a news conference to release the results
of the City Attorney's investigation into Tempongko. The investigation
had been launched nearly a year before with much fanfare on
the part of Mayor Willie Brown and the women's commission. At
that time, Purple Berets begged them to do a real investigation
and not to "front" for a law enforcement cover-up.
our pleas fell on deaf ears. Imagine our surprise when the March
press conference was opened with the announcement that the report
would not be released!
got a copy of the report, we saw why. The City Attorney's investigation
was as good as ours, detailing call-by-call how the police,
district attorney and probation department botched the Tempongko
case and contributed to her death. Clearly the CSW was unwilling
to stand on stage with the mayor and have press asking embarrassing
questions about the revelations of the misconduct of city officials.
(The report was later quietly released without a whisper in
despicable, Joyce Tempongko's mother, Clara, had been invited
to speak at the press conference. Though she waited in the wings
throughout the conference, she was never brought on stage, again
apparently because she might say something to embarrass the
a month later the commission held a meeting to discuss the results
of the investigation, Purple Berets showed up with a detailed
analysis of the report, including changes that must be made.
Chief among them is the need for independent victim advocates
whose jobs are not at the whim of local police and district
were surprised to find that, other than V.P. Dorka Keehn who
had engineered the cover-up, all the commission members in the
room supported our analysis and recommendations, seemed shocked
at their leadership's duplicity, and advocated launching Purple
Berets-style actions to ensure that law enforcement does their
another lesson in the utter lack of integrity or accountability
on the part of the leadership in many of those agencies and
commissions supposedly dedicated to women's rights. These well-paid
"professionals" daily put maintaining cozy relationships
with cops and elected officials above the desperate need of
the women they're supposed to represent. They should be ousted.
In our last newsletter we promised an expose of exactly this
type of behavior in Sonoma County. We had too much to report
on to include it in this newsletter, but stay tuned!)