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Bob Lee killing: Elon Musk slammed for ‘reckless’ tweets by San Francisco DA

Elon Musk | Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has slammed Twitter CEO Elon Musk over his tweet attributing the killing of tech executive Bob Lee to perceived rampant violent crime in the city.

At a Thursday press conference following the arrest of a suspect in Lee’s killing, Jenkins said that Musk’s remarks were “reckless and irresponsible.” 

Police say Lee and his alleged assailant were acquainted and the crime was not random.

Musk's statements, which implied otherwise, “served to mislead the world in their perceptions of San Francisco and also negatively impact the pursuit of justice for victims of crime,” Jenkins said, because they spread “misinformation at a time when the police are trying to solve a very difficult case.”

“Since waking up to Elon Musk’s tweet, my office has worked hard to tell people not to make assumptions about this case,” she told journalists. 

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins (right), San Francisco Mayor London Breed (left) and San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott (not pictured) hold a press conference at SFPD Headquarters on Thurs., April 13, 2023. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Police Chief Bill Scott also pushed back on the idea that the high-profile killing was representative of broader trends in San Francisco, telling reporters that "this is more about human nature and human behavior than it is about our city."

"This is not about San Francisco," Scott said. "It happened in San Francisco, and that is unfortunate."

Lee was stabbed to death in the early morning hours on April 4 in San Francisco’s Rincon Hill neighborhood. His killing made headlines around the world.

Numerous tech entrepreneurs took to Twitter to blame the stabbing on supposedly runaway violent crime in the city. 

Musk was among them, directly calling out Jenkins on Twitter: “Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately,” he wrote. “Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders @BrookeJenkinsSF?”

READ MORE: Bob Lee Killing Not a Sign of a Violent Crime Wave in San Francisco

At the press conference, Jenkins said police had been working around the clock to crack the case, while her office had urged the public to be patient and let the investigation play out.

“Now we have facts we can offer,” she said. “The killer was a known person to Mr. Lee.”

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