Leor Bergland Case Update: MAGArai Pleads “Not Guilty,” Attorney Blames San Franciscans’ Intolerance
Last week we introduced the case of Leor Bergland, a man arrested for allegedly slicing his attacker’s hand with a sword in self defense. On Tuesday 9 April, he was arraigned and formally issued his plea of “not guilty” indicating his intent to fight the charges filed against him by San Francisco county. These charges include attempted murder, mayhem, as well as weapons and assault charges.
Aside from the unusual nature of the weapon involved, two things about the case drew our attention.
One is the fact the altercation reportedly started over a dispute regarding Bergland’s hat – the iconic red Make America Great Again hat popularized in the 2016 election. The hat is indicative of a type of political view which not only singles Bergland out as a minority among San Franciscans, but one which is openly targeted for violence, abuse, and other forms of bigotry by many of the local population.
The other curious fact about the altercation is Bergland’s attacker, who remains unidentified, was not arrested or charged despite initiating the physical confrontation in the first place. This is a glaring failure of law enforcement and a sign of politically-motivated favoritism on the part of the county District Attorney’s office. It raises the specter of unequal treatment before the law.
Note: According to California law, “A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” And may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If preceded by threats of violence against the person attacked, then assault is also added to the charge.
We do not yet know the full story behind the confrontation but expect to learn more as the case unfolds and investigations continue.
Steve Olmo, court-appointed attorney for the defense, alleged the 30 year-old Bergland was targeted because of his views.
He also expressed exasperation over the climate normalizing politically-motivated violence. “I’m tried of this so-called liberal, political area having acts of violence against people who have different views,” he said. “This was all triggered because he was wearing a hat?”
Olmo, who is no fan of President Donald Trump, has become the Atticus Finch of San Francisco appealing to rule of law over mob justice while also reminding the city of its once-heralded virtues of openness and tolerance.
“You have a right to be walking down the street with your views … It’s outrageous and I’m just tired of it in this area. I’m tired of people not allowing the expression of other people.”
Little is known of Leor Bergland. At this juncture, eye witness accounts regarding the events of the evening do not paint a flattering picture. He is accused of engaging in retaliatory verbal abuse with those who accosted him, and he allegedly flashed his blade, drawing it partway from its scabbard, at least once.
He may be a deranged loner, or he may be an idealist with an overpowering sense of right and wrong. None of this changes the sequence of events as reported by the police to the local media.
To quote Thomas More from The Man For All Seasons, “The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.”
The Berkeley man took the hat from Bergland’s head, attacked him with it, and, even after he was cut in the hand with the sword, he chased after Bergland. He comes across just as if not more unhinged and unstable. By the facts of the case and by the law, he should be called upon to justify his actions. Yet he faces no threat of fines or jail while his victim Bergland remains incarcerated for the “crime” of self-defense.
Beyond the cast of characters, this case has far-reaching implications for all Americans:
1) The constitutional angle. People have a right to express themselves – whether it is through something as innocuous as wearing a hat, or yelling bad words, all Americans are protected from suppression of speech by the first amendment. In addition, people have a right to defend themselves. The same second amendment which allows for the bearing of modern firearms should also apply to weapons predating the Revolutionary War-era musket.
2) Mob rule vs. rule of law. There is no doubt Bergland is not a sympathetic character according to Baizuo bourgeoisie sensibilities. Numerous local and national outlets have tried to paint him as a homophobic bigot on mere hearsay. There is a concerted effort to deny him the benefit of a doubt based on his suspected political allegiance. As anyone who has read To Kill a Mockingbird could tell you, popular sentiment has a powerful influence on the law and how it is enforced whereas mob justice is the deliberate jettisoning of the virtues of civilized legal proceedings.
3) Democratic Immunity. Leftists constantly bemoan disparities – be it class, the pay gap, or bathrooms, no issue is too complex or too petty to level charges of unfairness and bias against their demons. Yet it is increasingly apparent that, under law, one’s political affiliation affects prosecution and punishment. This case is emblematic of that disparity but so too are cases involving terroristic violence and threats such as anti-conservative riots on universities, Eric Clanton, Jussie Smollett, and Democrat politicians who have sold out our country like California Senator Dianne Feinstein, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Republican President Donald Trump is investigated for two years based on absurd and patently false politically motivated allegations. This status quo cannot stand. Broadly, the establishment is hungry for an opportunity to reframe conservatives as violent racists especially now the Muh Russia conspiracy failed to yield politically actionable fruit. To those seeking such narrative drivers, Bergland is a very useful tool.
We have reached out to other parties involved in this case as well as the media and research is ongoing.