After it became known that a driver accused of fatally killing two pedestrians on New Year’s Eve was on parole, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said he pledged to make systematic changes to his office on Monday to prevent future tragedies.
According to police, 45-year-old Troy McAlister gave a red light on Thursday night near Mission Street and Second Street and hit another vehicle and pedestrians Elizabeth Platt, 60 and Hanako Abe, 27, both of whom were women were killed.
After the collision, McAlister, believed to be under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol, dropped the Honda and fled on foot, but officers eventually arrested and arrested him.
Daly City police claimed McAlister stole the Honda at gunpoint from Westlake Shopping Center two days before the attack.
McAlister is now facing a range of charges including manslaughter, driving under the influence, driving a stolen vehicle and felon in possession of a firearm. He has yet to be brought to justice.
Boudin, who served as public defense attorney prior to his election to the district attorney, once represented McAlister on a 2015 armed robbery conviction. Earlier this year, Boudin’s office reportedly agreed to a plea for the 2015 case that enabled McAlister to to go free on parole.
In a statement on Monday, Boudin expressed condolences to the Abe and Platt families and also admitted a certain degree of fault.
“While no one predicted this tragedy, it is true that the Daly City Police, San Francisco Police, Parole and my office could have done things differently, which could have avoided this horrific outcome,” he said. “I have to start with what we could have done differently in the house and we are carefully examining what happened and how the prosecution can work to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.
“I am making specific changes to our longstanding practice in relation to referrals to other agencies. We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners – including law enforcement and probation officers – to ensure that systematic changes take effect immediately. “
Boudin has called for a review of the events that led to the success and said that in the future, his office will require prosecutors to communicate directly with probation officers when referring cases of parole violations.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association has alleged that McAlister has been arrested multiple times since then following the objection from the 2015 case, but no criminal charges have ever been filed as a result of those arrests.
“Two people were killed on New Year’s Eve because Chesa Boudin refused to do his job of holding criminals and victims accountable,” SFPOA president Tony Montoya said in a statement Monday.
The SFPOA also calls for the publication of all records related to the 2015 McAlister case and the plea agreement. In addition, the SFPOA is calling for an independent oversight body to be set up to review potential conflicts of interest in Boudins’ criminal decisions.
“The public deserves transparency and accountability from their district attorney,” said Montoya. “It is time for a public, independent review of the district attorney’s actions and a full conflict of interest account in his office before anyone else is killed by another professional criminal.”
Boudin said his office is meeting with the victims’ families this week.