Debra J. Saunders

Readers, therefore, should ask whether jailing Wolf for months is worth the cost to the taxpayers. He attacked no one. It is not even clear that his video implicates anyone -- or that investigators could not use some other footage to find out who attacked two city cops and damaged their patrol car. Then there's the question as to whether the U.S. attorney even has jurisdiction here, even if the SFPD does receive federal funds.

Peter Shields, the San Francisco cop who was out of work for a year after his skull was fractured in the incident, has little problem with Wolf's incarceration. Shields also is none too happy that the San Francisco supervisors "immediately" mobilized to show support for Wolf's cause. "Why couldn't they do that to find who hit me?" Shields asked over coffee Monday morning.

Shields took Spanish classes so that he could better serve the diverse Mission District where he is stationed. He was furious to see the activists, who say they support the poor, trashing a vibrant, diverse working-class neighborhood during the protest. When he arrived on the scene, he said, "they were destroying property. They were endangering lives."

What if he were attacked not because he is a cop, but because he is a gay man? Shields, who is gay, said people here would be "furious." He added, "If this chaos happened in the Castro, there would not be this hoopla, if you will, around the Josh Wolf videotape." But there is no public outrage, he added, "just because I put on a uniform."

Alas, in the Special City, attacking a gay man is a hate crime, while attacking a gay cop can be a cause celebre.

Debra J. Saunders

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