Last month, California State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco left office after accusations of associating with numerous criminals, accepting bribes, and promising undercover agents deals with rebel Islamic groups in the Philippines.
Yee, a veteran Democrat, has served the city since 1988 and worked as a psychologist, school board director, and district supervisor. Although he has had close encounters with law including soliciting prostitutes and shoplifting in the past, many San Francisco residents were confused and in shock that a politicians who has started anti-gun-violence laws in San Francisco is now accused of trafficking illegal weapons and public corruption.
The majority of accusations about Senator Yee came from his conversations with numerous undercover FBI officers. The FBI alleges in a 137-page affidavit that Yee repeatedly suggested to the officer that he would authorize unlawful transactions of firearms for his political campaigns.Yee pleaded not guilty in a court appearance on April 8.
Many San Francisco residents were outraged and have voiced their anger and concern.
“It’s always disheartening to see politicians being busted by the law,” said San Francisco State University sophomore Derrick Yun. “Even though he hasn’t been officially convicted, I don’t know how could trust him again with such allegations.”
One long time San Francisco resident, Henry Shua, was also concerned that Yee’s actions will reflect poorly on Asian communities.
“Asian Americans have the misfortune of not being properly recognized or acknowledged by mainstream media. I’m worried that what Senator Yee might have done could cast more ignorance towards Asians,” said Shua.
Yee has retained the services of lawyer J. Tony Serra, who describes the allegations as “outrageous government misconduct” and racial prejudice against Asians in San Francisco. Yee’s defense team has accused the FBI of entrapment.