Reporter Triggers Domestic Violence Survivor at Survivor’s Event, Demanding Interview of SF DA Boudin

by David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

San Francisco, CA – It was supposed to be a presentation about domestic violence with panel discussions featuring survivors of domestic violence, most appearing over Zoom at an event held at Manny’s in San Francisco by District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Reporter Bigad Shaban of NBC Bay Area was pursuing an unrelated interview with the DA and caused a commotion in front of the restroom.  Shaban, a Senior Investigative Reporter with the news station, is also an Emmy Winner.

However, his aggressive tactics “triggered”—in her words—one woman, herself a survivor of domestic violence.

“I came for the support and to share my story and concerns, what I did not expect was witnessing an attack on the DA himself by a very menacing journalist,” the woman said in a statement acquired by the Vanguard.  “I stood there in utter disgust as I watched this journalist from NBC news erratically make his way to the front where it was very evident the DA was having a private conversation with his aide.”

She said, “I became even more triggered as I saw Boudin having to escape this assault, in-your-face approach.”

The San Francisco DA’s office and staff have declined further comment on this incident that occurred at Manny’s, at an event being covered by the Vanguard.

During the event, DA Boudin in his opening comments noted that the discussion, “gives us an opportunity to talk in more detail and more depth about the work that my office is doing every single day, but that all too often gets ignored in mainstream conversations.”

Shaban had attempted an interview with Boudin at the start of this event, with Boudin eventually telling the newsman that they are here to talk about domestic violence.  He then attempted to get move to the front of the room to start the discussion but was blocked by Shaban, who asked Boudin if he was shoving him; Boudin responded that he was attempting to walk by him and that Shaban was blocking his path.

After the event, Boudin explained that he had been up in front of an audience for a few hours and needed to use the restroom, as Shaban continued to ask him questions.

“Can you please allow me to use the restroom?” Boudin finally said, attempting to maneuver around the news team.

They then followed him to the restroom, camera and phone cameras rolling.

“Are you running into the restroom?” the reporter asked.

“I have been on stage for a couple of hours, I’m a human being and I did drink some water,” he explained.

“You are the city’s top prosecutor, what is it that you are trying to avoid?” Shaban continued.

People could be heard saying, “back off” and “back up.”

Shaban explained, “We were invited to be here.”

They then stood in front of the restroom with cameras rolling a few minutes.

Shaban asked when an interview would be scheduled, and a staffer responded, “We have declined the interview.”

“You actually just ignored it,” Shaban responded.

“We have declined the interview.”

Personnel from Manny’s asked them to leave.

“We registered for the event.  We were invited to be here.  Are you now kicking out credentialed press?”

A staffer pointed out, “This is an event about domestic violence.  This event is about the victims.  That’s what we are focusing on here today.”

“We would love to talk to him about the topic,” Shaban responded—but since the beginning of the day, the reporter’s question centered on ‘why won’t you give me an interview’ rather than on any substantive issue.

At that point the domestic violence victim stepped forward.

“I’m a victim.  We were in the middle of a conversation and he specifically told you that,” the woman said.  “What I witnessed as a prior victim before is a harassment of our DA, who was willing to speak to you but you were evidently getting in his face…”

She then said, “You were very violent…:”

Shaban explained, “We were actually waiting to talk to the DA for over 100 days.”

She responded, “I understand that.  But there’s a more graceful way of doing this.”

The woman in her statement later explained, “I had to make this journalist recognize what he was doing was not right and most especially that I would not remain silent about it, so I voiced out and spoke my truth.


About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    Some observations and questions.

    Some would call this good in your face reporting. Maybe the Vanguard can take some tips.

    What does triggered mean and why did the lady feel that way?

    Is Boudin still hiding in the bathroom?

    1. David Greenwald

      Good investigative reporting is shoving a camera in someone’s face and ask over and over when you’re going to interview with them? That doesn’t seem very effective to me. I have talked to a lot of journalists today, none of them were defending the reporter here even those not particularly fond of Boudin.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Almost seems like when of them “press/protestors”.

        If you were there, I’m guessing that you would have gotten between them with a child in your arms.  (Reference to another incident reported on here.)

        But yeah, don’t get between a man and his restroom. First rule of journalism (and basic decency).

        What was he trying to ask him about, anyway?

        But no – it doesn’t rise to the level of a “trigger”. The woman in that video seemed pretty able to take care of herself, in regard to the subsequent confrontation that she initiated with the reporter.

        Chesa Boudin handled it well.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I gathered that, but perhaps the more important issue is the questions that were to be asked, and whether or not that has anything to do with Boudin’s alleged avoidance of this Emmy-winning reporter.

          If one were to ask this, perhaps this minor incident with the reporter is not the issue(s) that would matter most to the citizens of San Francisco.

          One might even conclude that making a big deal out of this is intended to deflect from the issues. At least – for anyone who isn’t a die-hard Boudin supporter, already.


          1. David Greenwald

            His conduct yesterday is kind of his modus, and that’s why they declined the interview to begin with. Boudin has done lots of interviews with lots of media, he is pretty accessible from what I can tell.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I haven’t seen enough of his interviews to determine if he’s actually willing to address questions that he doesn’t like, coming from sources he doesn’t like.

          But one would think that he’d better do-so, if he wants to hold onto his job as district attorney.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Now, that wasn’t very nice.  (Maybe I’m reading something into that, partly as a result of my sense of humor.)

          In any case, I hope that Boudin doesn’t tell people of San Francisco anything like that.


        4. Ron Oertel

          That was meant to be innocuous… suggesting you could look it up on Google.

          Again – just my sense of humor.

          But, I’m not sure that suggesting to “look it up on Google” in regard to something that someone else claims is entirely innocuous, either.  Especially on here. 🙂

          In any case, there is no real “story”, here.  Other than perhaps what the reporter would ask, if given a chance. And, what the response from Boudin might be to those questions.

          Who knows, it might make Boudin look better.

  2. Keith Olsen

    I think the only reason David is upset with this is because it was a lefty DA.  If it was Reisig I think we pretty much know it would’ve been a totally different article.

    1. David Greenwald

      I think the only reason that Keith is applauding the reporter is he did it to a progressive, had he done it to a Republican politician and it was reported on one of the right wing sites that Keith copy and pastes from, we would have been treated to a copy and paste about how bad journalists are and how much they are biased.

        1. David Greenwald

          I am. I have never once grabbed a camera and gotten in DA Reisig’s face demanding answers despite him denying me access for 12 years (not just 100 days like this guy). That ought to tell you that I don’t approve of those tactics because I don’t practice them myself.

  3. Keith Olsen

    Come on, if it was Reisig the title of this article would’ve been something like:

    “Reisig hides in restroom in order to dodge reporter’s questions”


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