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SFPD Seeks Person of Interest in Racist Threats Against Alamo Square Man

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A screencap of a surveillance video.
A video from May 5, 2024, shows a person wearing a black hood, black coat and black pants walking down a sidewalk and carrying a paper bag.  (Courtesy San Francisco Police Department)

San Francisco police on Friday released surveillance images of a person of interest in connection with racist threats against Terry Williams, an Alamo Square resident whose home was destroyed in a fire after he had received two menacing packages.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person, who “may have information about the case,” officials said in a news release.

Video released by the San Francisco Police Department shows a person wearing a black hood, black coat and black pants walking down a sidewalk and carrying what appears to be a brown paper bag. It is timestamped at 2:21 a.m. on May 5, the date that Williams found the second package.

Police are asking for the public’s help identifying the person shown in the May 5 video. (Courtesy of San Francisco Police Department)

The SFPD did not immediately respond to a request for further information about the person and their potential connection to the case.

The package that Williams, 49, found outside his Grove Street home on May 5 contained a doll painted in blackface with the words “Get out of the Alamo Square district” on the front, as well as a small plastic grenade and Ku Klux Klan imagery. It came after he found a similar package on April 26 containing another doll with a noose around its neck, racist slurs written on the doll and printouts of racist imagery.

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“They said they’re going to exterminate me, eradicate me, that I don’t belong in this neighborhood,” Williams told KQED after the second incident. The essence of the message, he said, was, “It’s not a Black neighborhood no more — get out of here, you don’t belong here.”

Weeks later, the home where Williams lived with his parents was destroyed in a fire. The cause of the May 21 blaze has not been determined, and it remains under investigation by the San Francisco police and fire departments.

Lt. Mariano Elias, an SFFD spokesperson, said fire officials expect the investigative report to be completed within three weeks.

The SFPD, meanwhile, is investigating the racist packages as a hate crime. Anyone with information should call 415-575-4444 or text TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.”


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