SF police in need of homicide witnesses

April 28, 2008 6:53:00 PM PDT
In San Francisco, two more people were shot to death over the weekend, bringing the city's homicide rate to 36 so far this year. However, some hefty rewards being offered by the city don't seem to help solve these crimes.

Jason Mosely was shot to death at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday night, the day before his wedding.

"It was supposed to be something small, but she's having a baby so he wanted to do the right thing and marry her," says the victim's mother Selina Arceneaux.

He was killed near his mother's apartment in the parking lot of a housing complex in the Western Addition.

The 28-year-old had a good job at a community housing program. His mother says he was not involved in gangs. She says he loved to play with the neighborhood children.

"He had just distributed candy to the little children an hour before he was murdered," says Arceneaux.

After a spike in homicides, the Western Addition experienced peace for almost a year. Jason Mosely's murder was the first in the Western Addition in 11 months.

The brazen daylight killing happened in the shadow of City Hall in Supervisor Ross Murkarimi's district.

Murkarimi credits foot patrols for the respite in murders in the neighborhood. He believes more officers ought to be walking beats.

"But there's both institutional resistance and a lack of understanding of what true, and I think effective and acceptable community police is in San Francisco," says Murkarimi.

Murkarimi chaired the Supervisors' Public Safety Committee meeting Monday, which had scheduled a hearing on the city's rising murder rate.

So far, there has been 36 homicides this year -- more than last year this time.

Police officials said they could solve more murders if only witnesses would come forward.

"Some people in San Francisco have committed two to three homicides and we haven't had witnesses come forward to stop the homicides," says Lt. Mike Stasko of SFPD Homicide.

Rewards apparently are not working. The city is offering a $250,000 rewards in 16 unsolved murders. So far, there have been no takers.

"There's a level of fear out there that even this kind of money cannot encourage people to come forward," says Kevin Ryan of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

Jason Mosely's aunt believes the lack of jobs is forcing young people into crime.

"Thats exactly what they can do to help these children because its hard as an adult to even get a decent salary. And the way the world is going into a recession, and the way society is today, these children are lost. He was just a good kid. He was a good boy," says Rozell Mosley.


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