SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- How was a convicted robber who was on parole allowed to stay on the streets after committing even more crimes?
That's the question KPIX 5 put to San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin in an extended live interview Sunday night following the deaths of two women in a hit-and-run crash.
Troy McAlister, 45, is now behind bars after police say the stolen car he was driving smashed into the two women on New Year's Eve. Hana Abe, 27, and Elizabeth Platt, 60, were both walking in the crosswalk when they were killed.
"There are missed opportunities here, and you're right that every single law enforcement agency involved in supervising Mr. McAllister or dealing with his arrests is taking a hard look at what happened and what might have happened," Boudin said.
Authorities have said McAlister committed two crimes in San Francisco after his parole was granted earlier in 2020, one in November, the other in December. The district attorney has not released formal details on the crimes, but said they were "non violent."
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McAlister was on parole for robbery, which meant any subsequent crimes he committed were grounds for immediate revocation of parole. But his parole was not revoked.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday that McAlister was accused of yet another recent crime: stealing a vehicle from a woman during a date with her.
Boudin told KPIX 5 that Daly City police should have more aggressively pursued an arrest and called for his parole officer to immediately deal with the situation.
"The Daly City Police Department were aware that Mr. McAllister had stolen the vehicle used in this fatal, tragic hit-and-run, and that he had a firearm," Boudin said. "They were aware he was on parole. They were aware of his address and his phone number as of December 29th. And instead of taking steps to arrest him and get him off the streets to get the gun out of his possession and return the car to its rightful owner, they wrote in their report apparently that they were going to wait until January 3rd."
Why didn't the parole officer revoke McAlister's parole and put him in jail? In a statement Saturday, the CDCR said the District Attorney's office did not follow through with charges.
"None of the parolee's arrests following his 2020 release have yet to result in filings of criminal charges by the District Attorney. Our parole office followed all procedures after these incidents, including conducting investigations and making appropriate referrals for the individual," the CDCR statement said.
Boudin said there was more to the story. He said police failed to notify the parole officer after the second and third arrests.
"I can tell you that the normal procedure is for the San Francisco Police Department to notify them all after every single arrest of a parolee," Boudin said. "And on December 20th, when Mr. McAllister was arrested, the San Francisco Police Department in violation of General Order 6.12 failed to notify those who had been working with Mr. McAllister on the prior arrests. They had been taking important steps to intervene and supervise him, but they cannot do their job if the police department does not notify them."
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott did not directly address Boudin's explanation. Scott tweeted Friday that he was proud of his officers for a quick arrest and said every law enforcement agency should take responsibility.
"I commend the work San Francisco police officers have done to arrest and hold this individual accountable for his criminal conduct, and for the heroic work our members do every day on hundreds of cases like it," Scott tweeted. "I'm also proud to lead a department that is unflinching in embracing accountability. At the San Francisco Police Department, we take responsibility whenever we fall short of expectations. That's an approach every element of our criminal justice system needs to embrace."
On Monday, the San Francisco Police Officers Association called for the creation of an Independent Oversight Panel to review Boudin's criminal charging decisions.
A press release issued by the SFPOA said the association is additionally requesting that the District Attorney's Office go under a thorough independent review of potential conflicts of interests in criminal cases, noting that Boudin may have represented McAlister as a public defender in a 2015-armed robbery case.
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