I’m all for leniency when it is warranted. A second chance if it makes sense. However, I also believe in the rules applying to everyone the same. This topic can get blurry quickly, that isn’t lost on me. Police officers give breaks and warnings all the time. They have descretion. It happens, it’s a good thing.
However, getting a warning for a speeding ticket and getting released from prison early for a murder conviction, because your sister is the Mayor of San Francisco, are completely different things. So let’s not go down that path.
Mayor London Breed penned a letter to outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown on official “Mayor London Breed” stationary asking for leniency and an early release of her brother, Napoleon Brown.
Napoleon Brown has served almost two decades of a 44-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter and armed robbery.
Breed recently released a statement defending her request to the governor.
“Too many people, particularly young black men like my brother was when he was convicted, are not given an opportunity to become contributing members of society after they have served time in prison,” she said. “I believe my brother deserves that opportunity.”
“I do believe that people need to face consequences when they have broken the law, but I also believe that we should allow for the rehabilitation and re-entry of people into society after they have served an amount of time that reflects the crimes committed,” the statement continued.
Unsurisingly, Sandra McNeil, the mother of the victim, feels differently.
“I don’t think it would be justice,” she said. “She’s the mayor, so she’s got a little power, so she thinks she can get her brother out.”
In the end, I understand that Mayor Breed is a human-being and a sister. Just like police officers, who are human beings, brothers, sisters, husbands, and wives. Like many siblings, Mayor Breed wants what is best for her brother. Where I take issue, is the fact she wrote the letter to the Governor using “Mayor London N. Breed” stationary, which simply gives the appearance she wants her title to be recognized and special consideration given.
I can only expect a public servant like Mayor Breed, believes police officers should be held to a higher standard. That’s part of being a public servant. As such, I doubt the Mayor would support leniency when police officers are found to have committed a crime. I doubt she would writing letters on their behalf using “Mayor Breed” letterhead asking that the police officer be given a chance at rehabilitation.
So why should her brother get special treatment simply because she is the Mayor of San Francisco? Some will argue she’s just being a sister. I think it’s obvious her use of the title “Mayor” was not an accident. What do you think?
The Officer Next Door