Recognizing Samba Guisse: "My Job is Just to Help"

This fundraiser has been organized by the staff of the farmers' market in San Francisco's Civic Center to recognize Samba Guisse, a security guard in the United Nations Plaza and local hero, for his actions to protect victims of assault on March 17, 2021, and for his ongoing efforts to keep our neighborhood safe. All funds raised will go directly to Samba Guisse and he is the only one who will benefit from this fundraiser.

Samba was interviewed by Betty Yu of KPIX Channel 5 News for the story "San Francisco Security Guard Who Stopped Market Street Assault: 'My Job Is Just to Help,'" which shares recently-released surveillance footage of the incident and Sambas actions to intervene

The San Francisco security guard who took down the suspect in the attack against an elderly Asian woman on Market Street last month on Friday told KPIX in an exclusive interview how the incident went down.

Samba Guisse works as a security guard in the Civic Center area. He was on the scene when assault suspect Steven Jenkins hit 76-year-old Chinese grandmother Xiao Zhen Xie out of nowhere."

Video taken at the scene by KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell that showed the aftermath of the attack went viral. To date, his original video post on Twitter has been viewed over 3.4 million times. "

The city and the SFPD have since showed their gratitude to Guisse for his bravery.


“Sometimes people need help; people need help,” said Guisse. “I don’t know exactly what I can say, but it doesn’t matter you Asian, you Black, you White; whatever you are, my job is just to help. If I can help, I do.”

Guisse did just that on March 17 when he chased and brought Jenkins to the ground as seen in newly released surveillance video provided by the public defender’s office.

Seconds earlier, Jenkins — who is homeless — is seen hitting Xie, who was standing by a post.

Guisse was already in pursuit of Jenkins. He first saw the man get beat up at U.N. Plaza nearby. Video shows Jenkins taking hits from multiple assailants.

KPIX reported Thursday night that San Francisco deputy public defender Eric McBurney — who is representing Jenkins — said his office is investigating whether Jenkins’ actions were intentional, volitional or if he mistook Xie and Pham for his assailants.

"One lady and one guy jump him in the corner outside the farmers market, but when they see me coming in my uniform, they run,” explained Guisse. “I been in that area almost twelve years. They really know me – and they run. They’re not trying to mess with him, the guy coming to me, bleeding”

That was when Guisse first made contact with Jenkins.

“I ask him, ‘Do you need help? What happened?’ But he not trying to talk to me,” said Guisse. “But he just cussing like, ‘Oh they jumped me!’ And he just walking in the market.”

Police say that moments later, Jenkins attacked 83-year-old Ngoc Pham, sending him to the hospital.

Witnesses pointed Guisse in the right direction as he went after Jenkins. Minutes later, the suspect punched Xie.

“It’s just, she’s an old woman. I’m just trying to help,” said Guisse.

A week after the March 17 incident, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott was accompanied by a police captain and sergeant when he paid Samba a surprise visit. SFPD and the Civic Center presented him him certificates to salute his outstanding service at great personal risk.

“I really appreciate for the Chief, and thank you so much for everything we’re doing at the Civic Center, and farmers market and all the team,” said Guisse.

Guisse works 7 days a week full time as a patrol officer for the Department of Public Works and part time as a guard watching over the Civic Center farmers’ market area, a job he says he loves.

He is originally from Senegal and has lived in the bay area for 18 years. While Guisse hasn’t spoken with the Xie’s family, he said he’s glad she is on the mend."

The story above from KPIX Channel 5 News is posted here.

A message from the farmers' market:

Our staff team and the farmers who run our independent, farmer-operated nonprofit farmers' market are grateful every day for Samba and for his tireless hard work to keep our market and the Civic Center community safe.  Samba has worked as a security guard to protect the United Nations Plaza and our farmers' market for twelve years and is an extremely important part of our nonprofit's success as a critical source of healthy food for a vulnerable community.  Due to the extreme poverty in the Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods we serve, we operate the largest food access program in the nation and provide over $1.5 million in free food vouchers to low-income families every year, which then goes to support struggling small farmers as healthy fruit and vegetable purchases. 

Samba chooses to work 12-hour shifts during our two weekly, extended-hour farmers' market days to keep our farmers and this important food access program safe and secure for over 7,000 low-income families who rely on it.  This is especially important now because the COVID-19 pandemic's impacts have stranded local residents in an urban food desert which lacks a supermarket, has few healthy food options, and had most of its bus lines cut even though the majority of residents do not own a car.  Getting to the closest supermarket is a big challenge, making this market critical for food security.

During the pandemic, the heightened security challenges and mental health issues in San Francisco's Civic Center have been one of the greatest struggles of our nonprofit's 40-year history.  Samba has done everything in his power to keep us stable to continue to support our community. 

He is respectful, brave, a true friend, and one of the hardest working people we know.  Not only does he work long, exhausting shifts on foot for us each week, he also works every other day of the week for the City and County of San Francisco to keep this area safe and to send money back to his family.  Samba deserves to be recognized as a local hero.  Thank you for helping us call attention to his ongoing heroic efforts and for supporting him in any way we can.

These donations will go directly to Samba and he is the only one who will benefit from this fundraiser.

  • Trang Pham 
    • $25 
    • 13 d
  • Cheryl Chow 
    • $20 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 1 mo
  • Sumee Oh 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
  • Les Chui 
    • $20 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kate Creps 
San Francisco, CA
Samba Guisse 
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