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The story Ahsha Safai doesn’t tell in his campaign for supervisor

It appears that Ahsha Safai is trying to replace the best Police Commission member in the city with one of his political allies

Ahsha Safai is running for supervisor in District 11 as a labor activist who has the support of some of the city’s unions – and is building some support among what is generally considered the progressive community. John Burton has endorsed him. It’s possible that the Democratic County Central Committee, which progressives fought hard to control, could wind up giving him at least a secondary nod.

He’s well known among city insiders as a former city employee and Housing Authority Commissioner, and ran against incumbent John Avalos four years ago.

But there’s a lot about his record that hasn’t received much attention. Safai is a real-estate speculator who made a big chunk of cash buying a house that was in foreclosure and flipping it. He makes most of his money – more than $100,000 a year – from a consulting firm that works with landlords. Nearly half of the money he has raised so far, our analysis shows, comes from the real estate industry.

And while he doesn’t list Mayor Ed Lee among his endorsements (nobody’s listing Lee these days since he’s so unpopular) Safai has long been a Lee supporter and donated to the mayor’s 2015 re-election.

Here are some things we’ve found researching Safai’s history:

In 2004, he was sued for fraud in a real-estate deal that wound up with Safai buying a house that was in foreclosure at what the suit alleges was an artificially low price and flipping it for a profit of close to half a million dollars.

According to the lawsuit, Safai and his associates took advantage of a woman who was facing the loss of her property. Mary McDowell, who was working as a parking control officer in San Francisco, was living at 78 Latona Street in the Bayview when the bank that held her mortgage filed a notice of default.

She owned four other properties that were also in foreclosure.

Two real-estate sales people arrived at her home unsolicited in December, 2003, and told her they would buy her property and pay her enough to cover the notes on the other places she owned so she could avoid all the foreclosures.

The lawsuit alleges that the real-estate broker didn’t properly list the home on the Multiple Listing Service but instead brought McDowell an offer for $375,000 – “far less than market value,” according to the complaint. McDowell was “frightened and intimidated” into accepting the offer, and the house was sold to Ahsha and Reza Safai.

McDowell eventually dismissed the case, her lawyer told me, because “the defendants were dragging this out forever in court and she decided she had had enough.” Attorney C. Brent Patten said that no court ever determined whether Safai or the others had done anything wrong.

Safai in legal filings denied all the allegations.

But whatever the legality, Safai wound up buying a house that was in foreclosure at what turned out to be an excellent price. In 2005, according to the real-estate service Property Shark, the median sale price for housing in that neighborhood was $336 a square foot. Safai paid $177 a square foot for the 78 Latona St. property.

City records show that he and Reza Safai spent $60,000 renovating the place, and sold it less than a year later for $800,000.

So Safai was part of a group that bought a house in foreclosure from a woman who was in financial trouble and flipped it quickly for a short-term profit. That could be perfectly legal – lots of people have made lots of money buying properties in foreclosure and selling them for a quick profit.

But house-flipper is not part of his public resume.


Safai describes himself as the political director for SEIU Local 87, and had played his union connections into a number of endorsements. But forms he filed while he was on the Housing Authority Commission show that the vast majority of his income comes from his consulting firm, Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs, that did work for one of Lee’s main consultants and at least one high-end landlord.

Safai’s economic interest statements for 2012 and 2013 show that he earned less than $10,000 as political director for Local 87, but more than $100,000 as principal in Kitchen Cabinet Public Affairs.

On his website, he describes that outfit as “working with nonprofits, community-based and political organizations throughout the Bay Area building community and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

And indeed, some of his clients include Local 87, the Teamsters Union Local 350, and Mission Housing Development Corp. Also on the list: SST Investments, a landlord that operates high-end apartments, and Left Coast Communications, the consulting firm that ran the somewhat legally dubious “Run Ed Run” campaign.

Clients also included Jacobs Engineering and KJ Woods Construction.


— Safai is the real-estate industry’s guy. A 48hills analysis of campaign contributions filed so far shows that nearly half his money – 45 percent – came from real-estate development, construction, landlords and landlord lawyers, and big downtown companies.

Among his supporters: Janan New, director of the Apartment Association; David Gruber, who holds the landlord seat on the Rent Board, Russell Flynn (one of the biggest landlords in the city), David Wasserman (an eviction lawyer), Oz Erickson (a big developer), Mary Jung (lobbyist for the Association of Realtors), and Jim Lazarus (who works for the Chamber of Commerce).

The fact that a candidate takes money from special interests doesn’t always mean that candidate will do what they want. But it’s pretty clear from the preponderance of money that the people who have been making big money from evictions, displacement, and the destruction of neighborhoods think Safai is the one who will represent their interests at City Hall.


— He is a supporter of Mayor Ed Lee. Not a single politician in June used the mayor’s endorsement; in fact, polls show that more than half of San Franciscans would vote against someone associated with the immensely unpopular mayor.

Safai doesn’t list Lee’s endorsement on his website either. But he’s clearly a fan: In 2015, when 46 percent of the voters chose candidates with no name recognition, no electoral experience, and no real campaigns over the incumbent, Safai donated $250 to the Lee campaign.

That suggests that he endorses the agenda that the mayor has promoted: A tech boom that has created the worst displacement crisis in modern history.

Safai didn’t return messages left with his campaign. He will try to avoid a lot of these issues as he seeks progressive support. But it’s all there, on the record. And it’s worth thinking about.

Research assistance for this story was provided by Don Ray and Sofia Aguilar.


The sick politics of the Farrell-Wiener anti-homeless measures

Portland is taxing companies that overpay their CEOs -- and using the money for homeless services

The key to understanding the two homeless and street crime ballot measures sponsored at the last minute by Sups. Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener is that neither of them has anything to do with homelessness or quality of life crimes.

The Farrell measure would allow the police to clean out a homeless camp – taking away everyone’s tents and possessions – as long as the campers get 24 hours’ notice and are offered a shelter bed.

Arresting homeless people and tearing down their tents makes no policy sense; it's a political game
Arresting homeless people and tearing down their tents makes no policy sense; it’s a political game

The Wiener measure would mandate that the Police Department create a new force of at least 60 officers to address car break-ins, vandalism, and homeless encampments – the “quality of life” crimes that tend to lead to the criminalization of the poor.

Neither measure would do anything that the city can’t already do. It’s already against the law to camp on the sidewalk. It’s already against the law to break into cars or spray paint tags on buildings.

It’s long been the policy of the city that the police first go after serious crimes – murder, rape, assault, arson, robbery, gun violence hate crimes – and that car break-ins, which are almost impossible to solve, aren’t at the top of the list.

That, of course, is logical.

The cops and the Department of Public Works already tear down homeless encampments. And there simply aren’t enough beds in the shelters to offer to the displaced people.

From the Coalition on Homelessness:

San Francisco has 23 anti-homeless laws on its books, more than any California city. This includes a camping ban that already prohibits the exact same behavior.

Let’s look at the numbers:

As of June 22nd, there are 869 people on the 311 shelter waiting list, for an average of five weeks. Currently, an officer can offer a bed for only one-night, taking a bed from someone who would have been waiting in line for hours. This means any shelter offered will put another person on the street. This practice prioritizes complaint driven placements over those who have been waiting or in medical need. Thus, this legislation merely perpetuates the sidewalk shuffle.

So it makes no sense. Why is it on the ballot?

Like the many anti-homeless laws passed before, this law is about political gain masquerading as legislative action by taking advantage of wide spread frustration with homelessness in the city.

As for the Wiener law? It also makes little sense. From COH:

This measure set asides police for property crime, and then bizarrely includes homeless encampments as part of that, making these two items the city’s top policing priority, as the only ballot mandated set aside within the police department. “This effectively locks in a citywide commitment to addressing homelessness through policing rather than through housing and services,” said Jennifer Friedenbach of the Coalition on Homelessness. “We know that criminalizing people for being poor isn’t working, and we know that housing people does work. In the wake of multiple police murders of homeless individuals, this ordinance is particularly cynical.”

Wiener and Farrell are not fools. They are smart legislators who understand policy, budgets, priorities, and all of the things that would make anyone with any sense say these laws are ridiculous.

Homeless camps are the target of a cynical political play
Homeless camps are the target of a cynical political play

But this is an election year, and the progressives and the conservatives are bitterly at odds; Wiener is behind in a state Senate race that he thought he’d be leading by 10 points.

So Wiener and Farrell are looking for wedge issues, things that they can use against the progressives. It’s an old tradition among San Francisco candidates who want to cynically use problems like homelessness to advance their careers: Gavin Newsom was elected mayor to a significant extent by running a side campaign called “Care Not Cash,” designed to take money away from homeless people. (And now, in a few years, he may be governor of California.)

Wiener is planning to start attacking Jane Kim as soon as he can, as fast as he can, with every issue that he can. And he’s already started on homelessness: His campaign sent a mailer out before the June election, in Chinese, suggesting that Kim wanted to allow homeless people to camp in front of homes in the Sunset.

There aren’t a lot of homeless camps in the Sunset. Most of them are in Soma or the Mission. Most homeless people try to stay away from residential doorways; the camps tend to be in commercial and industrial areas, where the people who are living on the street (in many cases because they have been evicted or lost their housing) don’t get rousted by the cops.

But never mind: Demonizing the homeless worked for Newsom. Making the cops arrest people for minor crimes while homicides remain unsolved may play well in some neighborhoods.

But this whole thing right now reeks of desperation.

Mayor Lee faces questions on police violence — and has no real answers

Mayor Lee talks with reporters after the board meeting

Mayor Ed Lee was forced to answer a series of questions about his embattled police chief and department today, and he took the opportunity to obfuscate, duck, and refuse to deal with the most serious issues.

Mayor Lee talks with reporters after the board meeting
Mayor Lee talks with reporters after the board meeting

The supes “question time,” which is usually a scripted farce, actually turned into a semblance of what it was always intended to be today. The supes, in response to the recent police protests and the scathing report from a blue-ribbon panel on police practices, suspended the silly rules that prevent real back-and-forth and allowed board members to ask questions that hadn’t been pre-screened by the Mayor’s Office.

So Lee had to respond to concerns about the SFPD – and for the most part, he didn’t say anything remotely useful.

That happened again when I asked him the direct question after the meeting: How can all the new policies you talk about work when the cops don’t pay attention to the existing policies?

Lee first read from prepared remarks. “Across the country, there is a crisis of trust between communities and law enforcement,” he said. “Unfortunately that is happening here too.”

He then complained that “last week’s property damage and violence went too far.” Umm… the violence was largely on the part of law-enforcement, and at least some of the property damage – particularly to the metal detector – wasn’t caused by protesters but by sheriff’s deputies dragging and pushing people toward the doors.

He talked about all of the reviews of the department, about “rebuilding trust,” and how he is allocating another $17 million to the Police Department for violence-prevention and reform programs.

At no point did he mention accountability, or say that anyone in the department leadership might have done anything wrong.

Under the current board rules, all questions for the mayor have to be submitted in advance, so his staff can script a response. But if eight supes vote to suspend the rules, an actual conversation can happen.

And with the support of Board President London Breed, that’s what the board agreed to do – mostly, with a few weird glitches.

Sups. Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener spoke up to oppose any sort of real questioning of the mayor. Farrell said the board was heading down a “slippery slope” (to where? Honest questions for the mayor?) Wiener said all of the questions could have been submitted in advance (which, of course, would turn the meeting back into a pre-scripted play).

But when Breed said she wanted to ask a question, she got eight votes (Farrell, Wiener, and Katy Tang dissenting). Breed asked what was on a lot of people’s minds: “The community is hurting,” she said. “Where does this end?”

Lee simply re-read his opening statement, adding nothing. The end-game, he said, would be “the community coming together.” I’d say the evidence on the streets is that the community’s not coming anywhere close to together.

Sup. Eric Mar talked about the Public Defender’s Racial Justice Committee and asked the mayor if he would support that group’s recommendation, which include moving the budget of the Office of Citizen Complaints out of the Police Commission and asking the US Justice Department to conduct a civil-rights investigation to see if anyone in the SFPD ought to be held legally accountable for racist actions.

Lee: “I will review every one of those recommendations.”

Sup. David Campos then tried to ask a question about the findings of the District Attorney’s blue-ribbon panel, which issued a scathing report on the SFPD yesterday. But in an odd, almost inexplicable move, Sup. Malia Cohen joined the other three mayoral allies in refusing to allow the question. Breed and Mar got to ask theirs; Cohen blocked Campos from his. In the end, Campos had to ask the board to rescind that vote and convince Cohen to go along with what turned out to be a very reasonable question:

“The panel,” he said, “reached a finding of a lack of oversight and accountability.” In the recent officer-involved shootings, he said, “not a single officer has been terminated.” And the report shows “100 percent increase in the number of officer-involved shootings” in 2015.

His question: Would the mayor agree to allocate $1.9 million to set up an independent office under the district attorney to review police shootings?

Lee: The DA can do that already. Why don’t we wait until all the current investigations are completed.

Campos asked about the message that gets sent when the mayor is happy to put up another $17 million for the police, but not a fraction of that for independent investigations of the police. The mayor had nothing to say.

Lee left the Board chambers in a scrum of sheriff’s deputies, far more security than he typically has after Question Time. In fact, all of City Hall was on high alert – the main entrance was blocked off all day, although the only demonstration out front was a peaceful rally in favor of expanding the Sanctuary City law. There were no Frisco Five events, no protestors trying to get into the Board meeting … really, nothing to justify the shutdown.

The sidewalks in front of Mission Station were still blocked off, too, although nobody was trying to protest there.

A few reporters still managed to stop the mayor, who said he felt like “Steph Curry – I’m tired.” I got in my question:

What good will all of these reforms and new policies do if we have a climate in the department where officers can violate the existing rules and nothing happens? Why have no officers faced any discipline in the recent shootings?

Lee: “You have the DA doing at least three investigations.” He also mentioned the Justice Department review of the SFPD.

But the DA is only looking at whether an officer did something so bad that it violates the law something he can take to a jury. Chief Greg Suhr can discipline or fire an officer for violating department policy – which pretty clearly happened in at least some of these shootings.

And the Justice Department investigation will not, and was not designed to, hold anyone accountable. It’s basically a performance audit.

So: When will anyone be held accountable for violating department policies? The mayor wouldn’t say.

My friend and colleague Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez asked the mayor about the clear allegation in the blue-ribbon report that the Police Officers Association was running the department. Lee said that “we have some differences” with the POA, but vowed to “continue the dialogue.”

“Some differences” seems a bit mild, considering that the POA has bitterly fought every reasonable reform that anyone has tried to do.

Then Lee dashed back to his office, surrounded by a phalanx of cops that none of us could get through.

There were, by the way, no demonstrators on hand when the mayor left the Board chambers. Nobody was there to meet him except reporters. There was no visible threat anywhere in the building.


So back to the Board meeting, where we got some bizarre arguments about a plan to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote.

The case for this is pretty clear – getting young people to register and vote while they are still part of the San Francisco community, before they go off to college or jobs somewhere else (which tend to be a distraction), will encourage lifelong participation in democracy.

Sup. Scott Wiener, who initially was dubious about the idea, has come around and pointed out that many of the biggest problems facing the world, the nation, and the city today are things that the older voters among us will leave to our kids: Global climate change, social security, inadequate infrastructure … it makes sense to allow the people who are going to have to deal will all of this to have some say in it.

But it got strange when Sup. Malia Cohen started arguing that 16-year-olds are too young to be responsible enough to vote. After all, she said, the board just voted to ban the sale of tobacco products to people under 21. And maybe the criminal justice system will decide that if young people can vote, they need to be tried as adults.

“That,” Sup. John Avalos told me, “is the first time I’ve ever heard a correlation between voting and incarceration.”

Wiener had a good answer for the tobacco policy: Public health studies show that tobacco has a much greater negative impact on young people than on older people. Start smoking at 16 and you are far more likely to be addicted than if you start at 25. The physical harm is greater, too.

None of this has anything to do with voting.

Cohen also said “our lives are full of transitions,” mentioning marriage as something that could, like leaving home at 18, interfere with voting. That is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say that getting married discourages people from registering to vote.

Sup. Norman Yee noted that until 1971, the voting age in the US was 21. People said that allowing 18-year-olds to vote would be a horrible idea, he said – but history, as is so often the case, proved them wrong.

In the end, the supes voted 9-2 to place the matter on the November ballot, where only adults will be allowed to decide if younger people can vote.

A measure to tighten the Sanctuary City provisions was continued for two weeks, as Avalos, the sponsor, wanted more time to negotiate with the sheriff, who wants more leeway to turn immigrants who are in the city jail over to the feds for deportation.

While cops pass notes and look away, Alex Nieto’s mom talks of the death of her son

    In what has been the most overwhelming day in the Alex Nieto trial, the court heard testimony from a range of experts, mostly witnesses called by the city –but it was the testimony of Elvira Nieto that marked the end of the day and provided the emotional evidence of the impact of the shooting.

    Elvira Nieto took the stand today, and was treated with utmost disrespect by the four cops who shot her son
    Elvira Nieto took the stand today, and was treated with utmost disrespect by the four cops who shot her son

    And during her tearful testimony, the officers who killed her son were busy passing notes and ignoring her.

    The day began with the testimony of Officer Roger Morse, who was the last to arrive at the scene but the first to go near Nieto’s body after the shooting. Deputy City Attorney Margaret Baumgartner played back an audio recording from the police radio of Office Morse. “Shots fired, shots fired” the recording said. Baumgartner then played the other half of the recording, pausing briefly to ask if the officer heard anything.

    Even though she repeated the question three times, Morse said he was unable to recognize or remember anything of significance from the recording. Baumgartner was trying to demonstrate that police at the scene were yelling commands, a key element of the city’s claim that Nieto ignored warnings to show his hands. She asked Morse if he remembered shouting commands at Nieto as he approached him, but Morse said: “I don’t remember, not at that time. I began shooting”.

    He continued: “Nieto was in a prone position, with an arm extended and the gun was in his hand. It looked just like our gun. When his arm was extended, the way I thought he was moving, it made me believe that he had a gun.” Morse said he saw a muzzle flash so he continued to shoot at Nieto, despite the fact that the young man was down on the ground, until he was told to stop shooting. He would later learn that no shots were ever fired from Mr. Nieto and the only gunfire came from his colleagues on the scene.

    On cross examination, Morse said he had never seen a Taser, except for in the movies. The jurors, who are allowed to ask questions, posed one: “Can you tell the jurors what you said to Mr. Nieto when you arrived at the scene?

    “When I arrived,” Morse said, “I didn’t say anything.  I don’t remember. May be I said, don’t move, there might have been some swear words. I don’t remember what I said at that time” he said. Asked if he yelled any commands at Nieto while shooting him, he said: “No I didn’t shout any commands when I was shooting.” he said. That testimony turned out to be of great significance later on in the day.

    Next up on the stand was Bryan Chiles, technical compliance manager for Taser International. In an earlier deposition, Chiles had discussed time stamps from the microprocessors on the M26C Taser that Nieto was carrying (he had that weapon because he was about to report to his job as a security guard at a nightclub). The time on the chip did not match the timeline of the incident as narrated by the cops.

    In brief, a microprocessor keeps an activity log that can determine the number of times the Taser is used along with timestamps. That could show whether or not Nieto actually pulled the trigger on his Taser during the incident.

    However, today, Chiles introduced a different analysis to the court. He told the court that in his previous analysis he hadn’t calculated what is known as a clock drift, the phenomenon that all computer systems tend to deviate over time from the accurate or “true” time.

    Chiles said he had calculated that drift, and presented a timeline that matched the testimony of the police officers. He suggested that Nieto’s Taser had been used three times from 7:18 to 7:19 pm. However, on cross examination, several aspects of his testimony proved faulty,

    “At that time while discussing the calculation you said your calculations are based on speculation and logic?” Nieto Family Attorney Adante Pointer asked. “Yes” Chiles responded.  Fighting back hard, Pointer went on to ask details of the analysis conducted by Chiles. Chiles acknowledged that his analysis took less than a month to complete, involved only ten samples, was never published and has never been peer reviewed.

    Pointer then showed Chiles and the jury a photo of Nieto’s Taser as it was photographed at the crime scene. According to the crime scene photo, confirmed by Chiles, Nieto’s Taser was off, or in safe mode — and no laser light could be seen.

    In another shot where the Taser could be seen pointing directly at the camera, Chiles testified that there was no laser light visible. “About the image of the trigger. Can you show the jury where you can see whether the Taser was on or off?” Pointer asked?

    “It is bright yellow safety, you would be able to tell if it was on and off. The round piece of plastic extends out, when the safety is up it keeps it up, it will keep it on position. It won’t slide back on.” Chiles responded.

    It’s hard to figure out how Nieto would have turned the Taser off while being shot at more 50 times.

    The court room also heard that since the fatal shooting, Taser International received a contract of $2.3 million to supply the SFPD.

    Craig Fries, CEO of Precision Simulations, company that conducts forensic analysis, visualization, and crime scene recreation was up next. According to Fries, the testimony provided by Antonio Theodore, that Nieto’s hands were in his pocket at the time of the shooting did not match the injuries sustained by him.

    During his testimony Fries revealed that he had seen pictures of Nieto’s jacket. However, Dr. Amy Hart, the chief medical examiner, testified last week that no photographs of the jacket were ever taken. On cross-examination, Fries could not provide satisfactory responses to how a bone fragment was found in Nieto’s jacket. He did, however admit that he was paid, $325 an hour for his analysis and had spent 200 hours on the case, bringing his total invoice for the San Francisco Police Department to $65,000.

    Retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Roger Lama Clark testified on behalf of the Nieto Family. Clark has testified over 800 times in trials and depositions in more than 1,400 cases around the country.

    “I was in two major riots. In 1992, during the Rodney King riots, was put in command of a platoon to protect the federal buildings.” Clark said, “Throughout my career, I came across armed individuals hundreds of times and brought them into custody without firing a shot.”

    Despite Clark’s extensive experience in testifying in several courts, including courts in San Francisco, Baumgartner moved to remove him from the witness list claiming he wasn’t an expert.

    “That is your argument?” asked US Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins “Yes,” Baumgartner said, “Overruled then” announced Judge Cousins, as the court house erupted in laughter.

    Clark made several points. “The first point directly deals with the tactical response connected to this unnecessary shooting.” He explained that police officers need to remain calm and discuss strategy during these types of incidents – but the officers involved in the Nieto shooting, who were sitting at the defense table in the courtroom, were clearly dismissive, nodding their heads in disagreement as Clark explained “command, control and communicate.”

    “When they saw him (Nieto), rather than keep their distance they reduced the distance, they charged up directly at him rather than observing him. So when they saw him what did they see? He was walking, he was not running, they didn’t need to pursue him and should have dealt with him from the safety of their cars,” Clark said.

    He added: “You’ve to assess, what is the totality of the circumstance, possible person armed with a gun? There were no shots fired, no bungling, no flight, no injuries, no one was threatened, the suspect was not running and the individual calling 911 is online. There are a whole lot of other possible reasons for a person to have a gun. So when the officers got to the scene they should have approached him from a distance and issued verbal commands like “Stay there don’t move, listen to us” If he continues to keep going the officer is supposed to say “Stop moving or I will shoot.”

    He noted that a command to “show me your hands” is going to lead to a suspect moving his hands around. “If you give an order that expects movement you gotta expect it. Those are things that are taught over and over again,” he said.

    The last half hour of the hearing was perhaps the most overwhelming. Alex Nieto’s mother, Elvira Nieto, took the stand, testifying with help of a translator. As a photo of Nieto with President Bill Clinton was projected on the screen, Mrs. Nieto spoke proudly of her son.

    “I remember when I first saw this photo, because he was very happy. He felt very happy and content with helping people. He had this photo in an album. Very frequently he would have a look at it,” she said, as tears rolled down her face.

    The court saw photographs of Nieto as a child, during his graduation, on family holidays, and at Christmas. The whole courtroom fell silent as we listened to Mrs. Nieto break down quietly as she spoke about her son.

    In a shocking display of insensitivity, the officers on trial for use of excessive force that killed Alex Nieto never once looked at the photos displayed on a courtroom screen; instead they spent most of their time scribbling and passing notes to each other as Mrs. Nieto broke down in court.

    Nieto frequented Bernal Hill, sometimes twice a day, she said. It was a place he walked with his father as a child and continued to visit it till the day he died. “Now that Alex is gone, Mrs. Nieto, how has that affected your life”? asked Pointer “Well, it has affected me a lot” she said pausing as she broke down, and continued “In the beginning I couldn’t heal. Even now my heart isn’t accepting it that he isn’t here with me any more.”

    “And how has it affected your husband?” Pointer asked “Objection” Baumgartner yelled, as if a father’s grief is hearsay. The objection was overruled.

    “In the same way it has affected him a lot,” she said. “He goes there every morning, he goes for a walk over there, and sometimes he even goes twice.”