The July 2023 death of 63-year-old Yanfang Wu is back in the headlines, and now more politically charged, as Mayor London Breed is demanding that SFPD release the video of the shoving incident that killed Wu.

It was back in July 2023 when 63-year-old Yanfang Wu was shoved to the ground in Bayview, and died from her injuries. While this came during a period when SF saw four Asian seniors attacked in a span of a few days, the SFPD ruled Wu's death an accident at the time. But about a week ago, the SFPD reopened the investigation into Wu’s death after pressure from a group called Asian Justice Movement. And perhaps sensing where the political winds are shifting on this one, KGO reports that SF Mayor London Breed is demanding video of Wu’s death be released, as rumors swirl that this may have been the work of a serial attacker.


As seen in the Facebook post above, Breed attended a Saturday event hosted by the organization Stand With Asian Americans.

“As soon as possible, I want the video released,” Breed posted after the event. “Being victim-centered means the surviving family members should absolutely first get notification so there’s no surprise and we don’t retraumatize them. Right now law enforcement is investigating and we can’t compromise that criminal investigation or prosecution in any way. Once it’s determined releasing the video won’t do that, it should be released.”


SFPD Chief Bill Scott obliged Breed by posting a few hours later that the department would release the video — just not right away.

“Our investigators are working diligently on the case... which is an open and active investigation, “ Scott tweeted. “In all cases, we look for evidence of motivation — including possible hate crimes. 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.”

KGO reports that the case is being reopened because of “new evidence,” though police are not disclosing what that evidence is. But KGO also notes that a 43-year-old woman named Thea Hopkins was recently arrested for a March 4 assault on a 71-year-old Asian woman in the Bayview (not far from where Wu was fatally shoved), and not surprisingly, the rumor mill is connecting the two incidents.

And all of this comes amidst media reports that Breed is losing support in the Asian community broadly, and she’s also not polling well with Asian voters. So Breed my see rallying people around Yanfang Wu’s death as a way to make some inroads, and maybe we’ll even see some results in terms of arrests or prosecutions.

But Wu’s death has clearly become a political issue, as Breed’s mayoral race rival Daniel Lurie was also at the Saturday rally trying to lock up support for his campaign (or against Breed's campaign).

Related: 86- And 88-Year-Old Asian Women Hospitalized; SF's Unprovoked Attacks On Elderly AAPI Citizens Continue [SFNews]

Image: London Breed via Facebook