San Francisco, CA – The deaths of two pedestrians mowed down by an intoxicated parolee in a stolen car on New Years Eve could have potentially been prevented if San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin would have charged the career criminal for any of the various offenses police arrested him for over the past several months.
Boudin, the son of two convicted cop-killers, took little responsibility for the Dec. 31 murders of 27-year-old Hanako Abe and 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt, both of whom died after 45-year-old parolee Troy Ramon McAlister slammed a stolen car into them on New Year’s Eve, according to the Laredo Morning Times.
Instead, the former public defender blamed the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for not doing more to fix the repeat offender’s behavior.
“We referred these cases to parole because we believed there was a greater likelihood of him being held accountable and having the kind of intervention that would protect the public and break this cycle of recidivism,” Boudin told the Laredo Morning Times.
“Clearly, it was a mistake to think parole supervision would be adequate,” he added.
“All of us did what we could, took action to intervene and prevent the criminal conduct that so tragically cost two lives on New Year’s Eve,” Boudin claimed in an interview with KNTV. “Obviously, what we did was not enough.”
McAlister was released from prison onto parole in April of 2020 after serving time for an armed robbery conviction, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
He was arrested multiple times in the months that followed, with the most recent incident occurring on Dec. 20, less than two weeks before the fatal collision.
Boudin – who has not charged McAlister in a single one of those cases – was quick to point out that CDCR did not incarcerate the repeat offender “for a single day” after his Dec. 20 arrest, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
The convicted felon was allegedly intoxicated as he sped down Mission Street in a stolen car at approximately 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, according to police.
He blew through a red light at the Second Street intersection, crashed into another vehicle, then slammed into Platt and Abe, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
McAlister then bailed out of the stolen vehicle and took off on foot into a nearby commercial building, according to police.
Witnesses and officers found him within minutes and took him into custody.
One of the pedestrians McAlister allegedly hit died at the scene, police said.
The second victim was pronounced dead at San Francisco General Hospital.
I don't usually ask for help here, but in final hours of 2020, I received a call to identify #HanakoAbe's body after a hit and run in #SF. Please help me send her home and to support her family who she was looking after when she was still with us: https://t.co/kosbLW1GFX @SFPD
— Jason Mayes (@jason_mayes) January 2, 2021
Investigators said they found drugs and a handgun with an extended magazine inside the crashed car, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
McAlister, a three-time felon, has also been convicted of felony carjacking in the past.
According to court records, he was released from prison on the robbery sentence on April 10, 2020, and was supposed to wrap up parole on Nov. 15, 2022, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
On Nov. 6, 2020, the San Francisco State University Police Department arrested McAlister near a student housing complex on suspicion of possession of burglary tools, auto burglary, and parole violation.
He was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department on Dec. 20, 2020, on suspicion of possessing stolen property, methamphetamine possession, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and car theft, according to the Laredo Morning Times.
McAlister has also been arrested several other times since he was released onto parole, but details of those incidents were not immediately available, the Daily Mail reported.
Boudin’s office declined to file charges against the repeat felon in every instance.
“We evaluated the facts, the strength of the case and the charges, and decided it was more likely that he would be held accountable through parole,” the district attorney told the Laredo Morning Times.
He justified his lack of prosecution by shifting responsibility to McAlister’s parole officer, who Boudin claims has “much deeper knowledge of the individual and the challenges that are leading to that criminal behavior than my office is able to obtain.”
Boudin further argued that parole officials have “more leverage” to keep people in custody than his office does, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
The district attorney said he plans to “make changes to ensure that people on parole receive the supervision and structure needed from parole to prevent this kind of tragedy from recurring,” but provided no details regarding what specific actions he plans to take.
“This is a terrible tragedy and awful end to a brutal year. It is a system failure that resulted in irreversible harm to two families. My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” Boudin said.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the deaths of Abe and Platt were entirely preventable.
“[This was a] senseless tragedy that shouldn’t have happened,” Chief Scott told the Laredo Morning Times.
He noted that his department takes responsibility “whenever we fall short of expectations,” and that other government agencies need to do the same.
“That’s an approach every element of our criminal justice system needs to embrace,” he said. “We must all be held equally accountable for the decisions we make, because they can have serious implications for the safety of those we serve.”
Chief Scott did not specifically mention Boudin or the district attorney’s office.
UPDATE: No bail due to parole hold for Troy McAlister, accused of running over & killing pedestrians Hanako Abe, 27 (pic) & Elizabeth Platt, 60, at 2nd & Mission on NYE after running red & speeding on stolen car, then fleeing the scene, per @SFPD. Witnesses chased him down pic.twitter.com/wBlndB4aNT
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) January 3, 2021
The CDCR also released a statement in the wake of the pedestrian deaths, the Laredo Morning Times reported.
“Our top priority is public safety and we will work with our local partners on this unfortunate incident,” the agency said.
“None of the parolee’s arrests following his 2020 release have yet to result in filings of criminal charges by the District Attorney,” the CDCR added. “Our parole office followed all procedures after these incidents, including conducting investigations and making appropriate referrals for the individual.”
Retired Alameda County Senior Deputy District Attorney Rockne Harmon told the Laredo Morning Times that the parole officer isn’t the one responsible for deciding when criminal charges should be filed.
“At some point, if you care about the public, you say ‘this isn’t working,’” Harmon said of the way Boudin’s office failed to handle McAlister’s multiple arrests.
Boudin is the son of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, two members of The Weather Underground who were convicted of murdering two police officers and a Brinks security guard during an armed robbery in 1981, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Boudin was endorsed by Presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), singer John Legend, and the co-founders of Black Lives Matter, as well as several first-term radical liberal prosecutors including Chicago’s beleaguered Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx and Philadelphia’s cop-hating district attorney, Larry Krasner.
Activist Shaun King’s Real Justice PAC and a lot of other money from outside the state of California filled the public defender’s campaign coffers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Boudin was 14 months old when both of his parents left him with a sitter while they committed an armored car robbery in upstate New York, NBC News reported.
After his parents went to prison, he was raised by The Weather Underground’s leaders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, in a life of privilege that led him to Yale University.
After college, Boudin won a Rhodes scholarship and then worked as a translator for the late Communist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, according to NBC News.
“Growing up, I had to go through a metal detector and steel gates just to give my parents a hug,” Boudin said in one of his campaign videos.
His mother, Kathy Boudin, was released from prison in 2003 after serving 22 years for the murders, but his father, David Gilbert, remains behind bars serving life in prison, NBC News reported.
The public defender ran his campaign on criminal justice reform, claiming that he was also a “victim” of his parents’ armed robbery in 1981 that left three people dead, two of them police officers.
Boudin has claimed he was motivated to run for office because he has experienced the results of the “destructive effects of mass incarceration,” NBC News reported.
He promptly fired several senior prosecutors just two days after he was sworn into office in January of 2020, KTVU reported.
“I had to make difficult staffing decisions today in order to put in place a management team that will help me accomplish the work I committed to do for San Francisco,” Boudin said in a written statement released after the terminations became public.
In February, the notoriously anti-police district attorney announced a host of criminal justice reforms that allowed, among other things, gun-toting criminals to stay on the streets.
Boudin said that San Francisco prosecutors will no longer charge suspects for contraband found by police during “stop-and-frisk” searches conducted during the course of another interaction, KTVU reported at the time.
That means that going forward, if officers find a gun or drugs inside a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop for a vehicle violation, for example, the district attorney’s office won’t charge the person for the illegal gun or drugs, KTVU reported.
Boudin also announced that the district attorney’s office would no longer apply California’s three-strike law.
And he made good on a campaign promise to do away with gang enhancements to charges that frequently put gang members behind bars for many years longer than called for by the crime they committed, according to KTVU.
“Today we take action. We send a message that is loud and clear to the police department and to communities of color. We will no longer participate in, condone, tolerate or amplify racist police tactics,” Boudin declared.