SF mayor, police agree to release video of fatal attack on senior Asian woman


San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Police Chief William Scott have agreed to release surveillance video believed to show the moments in which an elderly Asian woman was shoved to her death last year.

Key points:

  • Yanfang Wu, 63, died after being shoved on a sidewalk in the Bayview neighborhood on July 3, 2023. No arrests were made and no charges were filed as the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) ruled the incident an accident.

  • Thea Hopkins, 43, the person accused of shoving Wu, was arrested earlier this month for attacking a 71-year-old Chinese woman “without provocation.” The news prompted calls to reopen Wu’s case and release surveillance video of the incident.

  • Wu’s case was reopened in light of the new evidence, police said. Amid the demands for transparency, Breed and Scott agreed to release the video after the investigation is complete.

The details:

  • Wu was walking in the area of 3rd Street and Egbert Avenue at around 6:40 p.m. when someone pushed her from behind. One witness reported hearing that person yell at the senior. She suffered a head injury and died at the hospital two days later.

  • Hopkins was arrested and charged for attacking the 71-year-old victim from behind, grabbing her hair, punching her repeatedly and throwing her to the ground on the 1000 block of Gilman Avenue on March 4. She pleaded not guilty to one count of assault and one count of elder abuse on March 7.

  • Hopkins’ arrest sparked calls from Asian American activists and civil rights organizations to reopen Wu’s case. Last week, the SFPD confirmed that it was reopened but declined to release the surveillance video, citing possible interference with the ongoing investigation.

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  • After meeting Asian American community leaders on Saturday — which also marked the third anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings — Breed on Facebook called for the release of the video while echoing the importance of the ongoing investigation.

  • Scott subsequently shared Breed’s statement on X and vowed to release the video once the investigation is complete. “The SFPD will release the video in this case, as Mayor Breed requested after the investigation is complete and we’ve determined it will not interfere with the investigation or potential prosecution,” he said.


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