Arrest in Bob Lee Case Has Upended Tech Narrative of San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — After entrepreneur and Cash App creator Bob Lee was stabbed to death last week in a San Francisco neighborhood popular among tech workers, prominent tech executives, including Elon Musk, decried city leaders. tore up.
Venture capitalist Matt Okko said San Francisco officials had Lee’s “literal blood” on their hands. Others suggested homelessness and rampant violence were to blame.
But that story was turned upside down Thursday when police arrested Nima Momeni. We are fighting back against those who slandered the city.
“I think you’ll see that this story isn’t a universal one in the big city of San Francisco,” said Jeff Lawson, chief executive of Twilio, a tech telecom company with offices just a few blocks from Mr. Lee’s home. (CEO) said. he was killed “Rather, it’s a tragic deviation, the result of conflict between humans, the kind that can happen in any city or time period.”
Lee was killed in an upscale neighborhood called Rincon Hill, located between Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and a quiet area near the bay, home to offices for companies such as Google, Meta and Salesforce. . Lee’s brother, Oliver Lee, added on Thursday that San Francisco was a city he loved, and that a move to criticize the city in light of his death “wouldn’t have turned out like him.”
As news of his murder spread last week, some Bay Area-based tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists concluded that San Francisco’s efforts against crime and homelessness led to his death.many of them condemned San Francisco’s oversight board and former district attorney Chesa Boudin, who was ousted in last year’s recall vote.
Tech investor and podcaster Jason Karakanis tweeted a video of San Francisco Police Commissioner Kevin Benedict.
“These are the madmen who run San Francisco,” Karakanis said. I have written on video. “Evil incompetent fools and grifters who accomplish nothing but enable rampant violence.”
Last Friday, a tech podcast hosted by Karakanis and other venture capitalists continued to pile up. At the show, Craft Ventures founder and partner David Sacks said: Said He would “bet” that Mr. Lee’s murder was like the case in Los Angeles where “a young woman was stabbed for no reason by a psychotic homeless person.”
Musk, San Francisco-based Twitter’s millionaire chief, “completely” agreed with Sachs. reply to his tweetMr. Musk did not respond to a request for comment.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins slammed Musk on Thursday, calling his tweets, particularly regarding Lee’s death, “reckless and irresponsible.” National crime data show that the city of over 800,000 people has seen a decline or a flat rate of violent crime over the past few years, with a homicide rate in 2020 surpassing that of any other major U.S. city. was low compared to
But since 2020, the city has seen an increase in property crime and a noticeable increase in homeless camps and drug use in public areas. All of these factors were highlighted in Mr. Boudin’s recall campaign last year. Jenkins had criticized his predecessor for being too lenient with criminals.
When asked on Thursday if he had changed his mind about the situation following Momeni’s arrest, Karakanis said in an email. do you think it’s safe? ”
Asked again to elaborate on his position, he explained that it had not changed.
He said, “I’ve seen San Francisco go from being the number one destination for founders and senior management to the bottom of the list. The number one reason given is crime and violence.”
Sachs did not respond to a request for comment, but a spokesperson for him said: Link to podcastIn the article, published early Friday morning, he and Karakanis defended previous assessments that dangerous conditions in San Francisco were responsible for Lee’s death. Sachs said in the recording that his bet that Lee was murdered by an uncontained person was “logical.”
Some tech workers and venture capitalists refuted their statements after the arrest and the blunt judgment of others who claimed to be involved in New York City.
“The same people who bought the recall based on racist lies lied about how Bob died, all pushing their political agenda.” Anil, tech entrepreneur・Dash I have writtenreferring to the expulsion of Mr. Boudin.
In an interview Friday, Dash called himself an acquaintance of Lee and well aware of the murdered man’s enthusiasm for San Francisco. “He didn’t want to see San Francisco demonized,” Dash said. “It is the height of irony to go against a man’s values and use it for political gain for something he disagrees with.”
Brett Ashton, 56, a black man who has worked for Bay Area tech companies for more than 30 years, said he wasn’t surprised by Mr. Musk’s comments. Given what the Tesla CEO and Twitter owner has said in the past. But he said he feels Karakanis has stepped into new territory by blaming the community.
“Their comments are about blacks and browns and people who don’t look like them,” he said in an interview. We are just pushing forward.”
San Francisco prosecutors said in court documents Friday that Momeni, 38, stabbed Lee, 43, in the early hours of April 4 on a remote San Francisco street and then sped off in a sports car.
Prosecutors said the two men argued earlier in the evening about whether there was anything “inappropriate” between Lee and Momeni’s sister. Momeni’s attorney, Paula Canney, said there was no “romance” involved.
Some in the tech industry declined to make a political statement after Lee’s death, mourning what he did for San Francisco. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Block, developer of the Square payment system, said in an internal email seen by The New York Times last week that Mr. Lee had left garbage around the company’s offices off Market Street. I remember helping pick it up.
Dorsey wrote that it was one of those cleanups that gave him and Lee the idea for Cashapp, the company’s popular peer-to-peer mobile payment app.Lee sent me First Cash App transaction to Mr. Dorsey in August 2013
Oliver Lee said Thursday that his family is still grieving and the politicization of his brother’s death has added to the emotional burden.
“We’re focused on therapy and Bob’s legacy, making sure people remember who he was,” he said. And all this crazy attention.It was hard.”
Sean Hubler, Thomas Fuller and Curry Huang contributed to the report.