Shannon Collier Gwin, the proprietor of San Francisco gallery Foster Gwin, has been arrested and charged with battery following widespread outcry in response to a video by which he’s seen spraying an unhoused girl sitting on the sidewalk exterior his gallery with a hose.
After the viral video sparked outrage on-line earlier this month, Gwin made a public apology, although by then the San Francisco Police Division (SFPD) had already begun an investigation. On Wednesday afternoon (18 January), Gwin was arrested within the metropolis’s Monetary District at or close to his gallery, taken to the San Francisco County Jail and charged with battery.
“The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our group is totally unacceptable,” Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco District Legal professional, mentioned in a statement. “Mr. Gwin will face applicable penalties for his actions. Likewise, the vandalism at Foster Gwin gallery can also be fully unacceptable and should cease—two wrongs don’t make a proper.”
Foster Gwin gallery has been focused by vandals after the video was extensively shared, fueling anger and outrage. The gallery’s glass door has been smashed and the neighbouring bar Barbarossa Lounge, which will be seen within the background of the video, has additionally obtained a slew of detrimental evaluations on-line as a result of its seeming connection to Gwin’s actions. In an announcement posted on-line, the bar’s house owners mentioned their institution “is by no means related to the inhumane actions portrayed within the video” and that they “by no means assist such actions”.
Members of the SFPD and the San Francisco Avenue Disaster Response Group responded to the unique incident on 9 January, when Gwin and the unhoused girl generally known as Q have been concerned in a dispute. Each refused additional police help at the moment. In subsequent public feedback, Gwin initially defended his actions. “I discover it laborious to apologise once we’ve had no assist with the state of affairs,” he instructed native information station ABC7. “We known as the police. There have to be at the least 25 calls to police. It’s two days in a homeless shelter, it’s two days in jail, after which they drop them proper again on the road.”
In a subsequent video assertion, he mentioned, “I’m deeply apologetic and abhorred once I watch that video. I fully broke. I’m not geared up or skilled to cope with a long-term citywide downside like this. I do know it’s very laborious to observe. I can solely ask others to possibly attempt to higher perceive my breaking level by sudden reactions they may have had in their very own life and the way they could have strongly overreacted and now really feel so humbled and sorry.”
The video has struck a chord not just for how grimly it appears as an example the intense inequalities communities in San Francisco face, but additionally the pervasive housing disaster that has gripped the town—and the whole state—for years. Homelessness within the Bay Space and California usually has steadily worsened for the reason that onset of the pandemic, which has exacerbated longstanding price of dwelling and housing crises. Some 7,800 residents of San Francisco are unhoused, with greater than 37,000 dwelling with out housing in the whole Bay Space.