A potentially poor choice of words following a heinous murder sparked a protest by the San Francisco District Attorney on Thursday.
The family of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who was killed outside his San Francisco home in January, said the district attorney’s comments in a recent interview indicated he was trying to protect the killer.
Monthanus Ratanapakdee, Vicha’s daughter, saw the defendant – 19-year-old Antoine Watson – ahead of a court hearing in the San Francisco Justice Hall on Thursday.
“I want to ask him, ‘Why did you do this to my father?'” Said Monthanus.
A rally for Vicha Ratanapakdee in front of the justice hall. The family are outraged after the prosecutor told @nytimes that the defendant had a “tantrum” while allegedly fatally assaulting the 84-year-old Thai man. @chesaboudin tweeted his words had been taken out of context. pic.twitter.com/o5XgWW5jrm
– LiLi Tan (@lilitan) March 4, 2021
Monthanus and her husband Eric Lawson also have questions for District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who was recently quoted in a New York Times article describing Watson’s actions prior to Vicha’s death as “some sort of tantrum.”
“On a personal level, I believe his sympathies are with us, but we don’t know about his policies and whether or not his policies resulted in our father’s death,” Lawson said.
Boudin’s office said the district attorney’s words were taken out of context and described Watson’s behavior prior to the murder and “in no way apologized for Mr. Watson’s behavior – so he charged this case with murder.”
It is daunting for Vicha’s family to use these words in any context.
“I am disappointed when the prosecutor said it was a tantrum,” said Monthanus. “He’s a murderer. He’s not a victim. My father is a victim. It hurt my feelings.”
Watson, who pleaded not guilty, is due in court on March 22nd.