Now public: The notorious video of Eliana Lopez showing the bruise on her arm she got during a heated argument with husband Ross Mirkarimi, who was newly elected as San Francisco sheriff.
The short video was taken the day after the incident by Ivory Madison, a neighbor who later called police. The video shows a tearful Lopez bearing her bruised arm for the camera and saying:
“This happened yesterday…This is the second time this is happening. I tell Ross I want to work on the marriage, we need help. I have been telling him we need help. And I am going to use this just in case he wants to take Theo away from me. Because he said that, he’s very powerful and he can do it.”
Mirkarimi pled guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment in March after originally being charged with one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, all misdemeanors as well. He was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service, and a year of domestic violence classes.
Lopez refused to cooperate with the investigation and has repeatedly characterized the charges against her husband as a political witchhunt.
After the sentencing, Mayor Ed Lee asked for Mirkarimi’s resignation as sheriff. Mirkarimi refused, and Lee then sought to have him removed by filing charges against him with the city’s Ethics Commission, which is now deciding on procedural rules for the case.
Attorneys for Lopez and Mirkarimi had sought to keep the video from being used against Mirkarimi in the ethics case, but Judge Garrett Wong allowed it and also refused to put any restrictions on its public release.
Mirkarimi and Lopez had also unsuccessfully sought to have the video excluded as evidence in Mirkarimi’s trial, which ended up not taking place due to the plea deal. Lopez’s attorney, Paula Canny, argued that the video was subject to attorney-client privilege, because Lopez thought — incorrectly — that her neighbor Ivory Madison was licensed to practice law.
Update 1:10 p.m. Per SF Weekly, Eliana Lopez responds to the video’s release:
I am sad and hurt by the elected officials of the city of San Francisco: Mayor Lee, City Attorney Herrera, District Attorney George Gascon and Judge Wong. They each have contributed to the release of the video against my wishes and allowed it to go viral. Because of their actions the images on that video will exist forever for anyone to see — including my son, Theo, now and forever. My grandchildren will see the video, as well as my great grandchildren. I believe what Judge Wong, the District Attorney, the City Attorney, and Mayor Lee have done to me is far worse than anything they accuse Ross of doing. I hope they realize after reflection that what they have done is irreparable and perpetually damaging to me and my family.
Update 2:10 p.m. From Bay City News:
Mirkarimi also issued a statement today, saying the release of the video “utterly violates my wife’s rights and serves no public good. It is the politics of destruction at its worst, and those who advocated its release should be ashamed.”