SF district attorney’s father received clemency this week — for deadly Brink’s robbery 40 years ago

Members of the Rockland County PBA are at the Brinks Robbery Memorial during a press conference about Governor Cuomo commuting the prison sentence of David Gilbert, and making him eligible for early release by a parole board, Aug. 24, 2021. Photo by Peter Carr/The Journal News via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

Chesa Boudin was elected two years ago as San Francisco’s district attorney, riding a wave of support for progressive prosecutors. He promised to eliminate cash bail and reexamine wrongful convictions. His campaign centered on how the criminal justice system shaped nearly his entire life.

His parents, Katherine Boudin and David Gilbert, were involved in the robbery of an armored car belonging to the security company Brink’s — in 1981 in New York. Their botched ambush left one guard and two policemen dead. They were both convicted of murder.

Chesa Boudin was raised then by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, members of the radical left-wing group Weather Underground.

Katherine Boudin was paroled in 2003. Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo granted clemency to David Gilbert, making him eligible for parole.

KCRW looks back on that crime, how it affected New York communities, and how residents now feel about Cuomo’s decision.



  • Mike Barlow - former reporter for the Rockland Journal-News