Comfort the Guilty, Afflicting the Innocent

CW Nevius tells the strange tale of the murder of an SF high school student and the City whose fine philosophy prevents the killers from being brought to justice: Fear handcuffs witnesses to a killing in S.F.

On Aug. 14, 2006, a high school senior named Aubrey Abrakasa was gunned down on a San Francisco street.

It may be easier to say what this wasn't. It wasn't gang-on-gang violence. It wasn't in one of the city's worst neighborhoods. And it wasn't one of those cases where the police have no leads, no suspects and no chance to arrest the killers who shot Paulette Brown's 17-year-old boy.


It isn't that no one saw what happened. It is that they are afraid to speak up. Right there, in a pretty nice neighborhood by the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, people are living in fear.

"It's simple and it's complex," said homicide Inspector Kevin Jones, who is working the case. "But I can tell you this: Aubrey did absolutely nothing to be shot for. Whatever it was that the shooter or shooters were thinking, there was nothing that justified them shooting him. 

It's so "simple and complex," even the mayor and DA can understand. Not that it makes a difference:

"I know who killed her son," Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday. "The D.A. knows who killed her son. The police know."

He's serious. They can name names, identify individuals and even list home addresses. They've got everything they need to nail this down with one exception - a witness.

Come on! It can't be that tough! Unless you want to make it tough, of course. SF pols are always ready to force their preferred policies on us, whether it's gay marriage, rent control, or paper bags at the grocery store. But a couple of thug murderers arrive on the scene and suddenly everyone's paralyzed. Useless. 

Speaking of useless, the Chronicle isn't restricted by the same rules as the City. Publish the names. If bureaucrats are willing to leak the details of NSA spying, then surely there must be someone out there willing to tip off the fourth estate about these killers. 

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