The image has been sparking anger on the Internet for a few days.
The video captured by a bakery employee shows a man standing and leaning against a fence shooting water at a homeless woman who is sitting on the sidewalk in front of the subject's business, an art gallery in the luxurious Jackson Square neighborhood. , in San Francisco.
Collier Gwin, the gallery owner, was arrested Wednesday night by police and charged with a misdemeanor for the incident.
"Assault on a homeless member of our community is unacceptable," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement Wednesday.
The lawyer affirms that Gwin, who was arrested around 3:30 p.m., will face consequences for his actions.
If found guilty by a judge, the gallery owner can spend up to six months in county jail and fined $2,000.
Only in San Francisco.
Business owner #reelsinstagram #shorts #briochesf @sfgov @SFGate @SupervisorTang @AaronPeskin @Telemundo48 No respect ✊🏼 pic.twitter.com/Gn2mmPpLtb
— #briochesf (@briochesf) January 9, 2023
The scene that has caused outrage in San Francisco was captured Monday, January 9, on a mobile phone by Edson Garcia, a Salvadoran who works as a chef at a bakery near the Foster Gwin Gallery in Jackson Square.
The problem started when Gwin wanted to clean her sidewalk and asked the woman to move from where she was sitting.
The affected person has only been identified by the residents of the neighborhood as Q.
Refusing, Gwin began to hose her down.
Garcia has said it was a rainy morning and the sidewalk was already wet from the storms that have hit Northern California in recent weeks.
The city supervisor, Aaron Peskin, one of the highest authorities in San Francisco, announced a few days ago that the woman had to be treated at a hospital after the incident.
The video quickly went viral on Twitter, where it reached more than 10.5 million views.
But the humiliating sequence also provoked reactions.
The gallery was vandalized and the glass entrance door was smashed.
"I understand that there are many impulses to act, but what we need most now is civility," the police chief, Bill Scott, had to say publicly to calm things down.
The gallery's score and reputation on online services also plummeted.
After the wave of outrage caused by the video in San Francisco, Gwin apologized.
He did it nuanced and grudgingly.
He told a local station that it was difficult for him to apologize for his "horrible" actions.
In an interview with the station, he assured that during the two weeks prior to the video, he had asked the city police to provide help to the homeless woman.
That Monday he was just fed up and acted as he appears in the images.
Little is known about Q, who suffers from mental problems and is known to several of the merchants and residents of the neighborhood.
According to testimonies collected by
The San Francisco Chronicle
, the woman roams the area in search of food in street garbage cans.
She is sometimes hostile to people walking down the street.
At 815,000 people, San Francisco has one of the highest homeless populations in the United States.
A census by local authorities estimated, in the summer of 2022, that some 20,000 people were in this situation.
The figure was the best achieved in years, since it represented a drop of 3.5% compared to that of 2021. Despite this, there are many images of this tense cohabitation that can be seen on the streets of the city.
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