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Garry Tan tweet: If criminal charges arise, DA wants state to handle case

A man stands on a stage.
Garry Tan, CEO and president of Y Combinator, deleted the tweet after sending it Saturday. | Source: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

San Francisco’s District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has asked the California attorney general to take any criminal cases that emerge from an investigation following a threatening tweet—aimed at progressive politicians—by tech CEO Garry Tan.

“The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office proactively reached out to the Attorney General’s Office to request that they handle any case that may arise after the San Francisco Police Department completes their investigation to avoid the appearance of any impropriety,” DA spokesperson Randy Quezada said in a statement.

A threatening message with an image of Garry Tan's deleted tweet,
This message was mailed to Supervisor Aaron Peskin after Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan sent out an expletive-filled tweet that has since been deleted. | Source: Courtesy Aaron Peskin

Quezada did not explain why the DA taking the case would be improper. However, Sam Singer, a spokesperson for Tan, said Tan is a major donor to Jenkins and late last year held a fundraiser for her at his San Francisco home.

Campaign finance reports show that Tan gave Jenkins $500—the limit in San Francisco for specific candidates—in 2022. Her campaign committee has yet to file its latest report, which is due by the end of the day on Jan. 31.

The Attorney General’s Office did not return a request for comment or the agency’s response to the DA’s request. 

Tan’s tweet, which named seven progressive San Francisco supervisors, was sent early Sunday morning and cursed them all as a “crew,” before saying “die slow motherfuckers.” 

Just after midnight Saturday, Tan posted a tweet mimicking 2Pac’s famous diss track “Hit ’Em Up.” Tan's late-night rant replaced 2Pac’s references to the Notorious B.I.G. and Bad Boy Records with the names of Supervisors Connie Chan, Aaron Peskin, Ahsha Safaí, Dean Preston, Shamann Walton, Myrna Melgar and Hillary Ronen.

Tan deleted the post and apologized, saying there’s “no place, no excuse and no reason for this type of speech and charged language in the discourse.”

But the tweets appear to have inspired someone to send threatening messages to at least two supervisors, Preston and Peskin. The letter they received included a screenshot of Tan’s deleted tweet and a message that read, “I WISH A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES.”

The message sent to Peskin also featured an image of Tan on the envelope, the supervisor told The Standard.

Both supervisors have since filed police reports.

The police department is investigating the case but has yet to complete its inquiry. 

“We know about the mailer and are investigating,” said SFPD spokesman Evan Sernoffsky.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at jonah@sfstandard.com

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