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Petition demanding SFPD investigation of 2020 death of gay Asian American man reaches 40,000 signatures

  • Over 40,000 people, including Senator Scott Wiener (D-Calif.), have signed a petition demanding the San Francisco Police Department and the Medical Examiner’s Office reopen the case of Jaxon Sales, the 20-year-old gay man who died from an alleged drug overdose.

  • Sales went to a high-rise apartment on a blind date in San Francisco on March 1, 2020 and never returned home after telling his parents through text that he would come home that night.

  • He was reportedly found dead and naked in the bed of a 41-year-old man whom he had never met before the following morning, his family claimed in a petition. The medical examiner’s report declared Sales died from an accidental drug overdose. Cocaine, methamphetamine and Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB), also known as a date rape drug, were found in his system.

  • The SFPD said in a statement they did not launch an investigation because there was no evidence of foul play involved in Sales' death.

  • Sales’ parents, Jim and Angie-Aquino Sales, argued the authorities failed to question the man their son was with at the night of the incident, as well as the “mutual acquaintance” who brought Sales to the apartment.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-Calif.) has asked the San Francisco Police Department to investigate the death of a gay Asian American man who supposedly died from a drug overdose during a blind date in 2020.

Wiener joined 40,000 other people who signed a Change.org petition demanding the SFPD reopen the case and investigate the death of Jaxon Sales, 20, according to ABC7 News.

In a tweet on Saturday, Wiener shared a screenshot of the letter he sent to the Chief of Police William Scott and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Liverman about Sales’ case, in which he called out the department’s alleged comments that “no investigation is needed as ‘the gay community uses GHB’”  as “highly offensive and inappropriate.”

Sales reportedly left his family’s home to meet an acquaintance and a friend of the acquaintance at a high-rise apartment in San Francisco on March 1, 2020, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

He never returned home even after telling his parents through a text sent at 11 p.m. that he would come home that night. According to the petition set up by his parents, the police report the family received months later revealed that Sales was found dead and naked in the bed of a 41-year-old white male, whom Sales’ parents Jim and Angie Aquino-Sales claimed their son had never met before.

The unnamed man allegedly heard Sales snoring while in bed at 6:30 a.m., according to the Bay Area Reporter. He then called the authorities after Sales was unresponsive an hour later. The 20-year-old man was pronounced dead at 7:52 a.m.

The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office declared Sales died from an accidental Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) — sometimes used illegally as a date rape drug — overdose after conducting an autopsy “without any substantive investigation,” according to Sales’ parents. The medical examiner’s report also stated that cocaine and methamphetamine were also found in his system.

The Assistant Medical Examiner justified the lack of investigation by saying only, ‘the gay community uses GHB.’ Yet the SFPD report, such as it is, raises only more questions,” the petition reads.

In a statement to the Bay Area Reporter, Officer Adam Lobsinger said the investigation did not find any foul play in the death of Sales.

Officers arrived on scene and met with medics who were on scene and declared an adult male deceased inside a residence,” Lobsinger, a public information officer with the SFPD, said. “Officers conducted an investigation and did not find evidence of foul play. The medical examiner arrived on scene and conducted an investigation.”

The family raised several questions in the petition over conflicting reports detailing the number of guests in attendance as well as the lack of investigation of the unnamed 41-year-old white male and a “mutual acquaintance” who brought Sales to his home on March 1, 2020. They also claim that another (non-fatal) overdose incident that allegedly occurred in the same apartment weeks before, which Sales’ uncle learned of after picking up his belongings on March 3, raised more red flags.

Robert Rueca, another public information officer for the SFPD, reiterated that authorities would only launch an investigation if investigators found foul play was involved in the death, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

David Serrano Sewell, the chief operating officer at the medical examiner’s office, said in a statement that the ME’s office conducted “a thorough forensic investigation to certify the cause and manner of death in this case with the highest degree of competence, professionalism, compassion, and consistent with state law.”

A decedent’s sexual orientation, race, religion, or other factors do not influence our death investigations or conclusions. Details of our analysis are in the business records that we provided to you, and we have no further information to share,” Sewell added.

Our goal is a proper and thorough investigation,” Angie Aquino-Sales said. “We want to know what happened to our son, period, but we also want an investigation, because it’s what’s right for Jaxon, when someone dies.”

Featured Image via Change.org

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