Ricci Wynne, a self-described Twitter activist who uses his cell phone to record unhoused people using drugs on the streets of San Francisco, released a short video this week in which he skips down a tent- and graffiti-lined alley to the theme of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Wearing a cardigan sweater like the longtime children’s entertainer, Wynne (or @RawRicci415) grins while walking an Australian shepherd, sending a message of disapproval.
The average San Franciscan will likely grasp that this is an alley in the Tenderloin, one of those narrow, east-west streets named for trees. Eagle-eyed viewers can make out the AMC Van Ness in the background, which tells us that this is Myrtle Street between Larkin and Polk streets—a neighborhood that is both troubled and within spitting distance of City Hall.
Normally, it would be wise to ignore attention-seeking trolls and the various cast of chronically online types who enhance their own social media presence through lukewarm takes about the city’s perceived decline. But Ricci Wynne isn’t just some publicity-hungry nobody; this fall, he lobbied for a seat on the Reentry Council, a body that advises San Francisco on rules for people exiting the criminal justice system.
Wynne was not appointed. During his campaign, he cited his “deep roots to the community,” which may have been a euphemism for his own personal history with the distribution of controlled substances—namely, a 2019 incident in which he advertised a “cocaine buffet” on Snapchat, leading to his arrest on drug and weapons charges.
Prosecutors pushed for a 12-year sentence. After spending two years in jail, his attorney won leniency from the court, successfully arguing that Wynne’s troubled youth and history with drug use meant a treatment program was the better course of action.
He was released on Dec. 28, 2021—almost a year to the day of his viral Mr. Rogers parody. In producing videos that bash unhoused drug users, he aspires to become a sort of in-your-face influencer, gleefully going where the rest of the anti-San Francisco hate squad dare not tread. To that end, he tagged podcaster Joe Rogan and Fox News as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Standard reached out to Wynne for comment.
Astrid Kane can be reached at email@example.com