In San Francisco, Democrats Are at War With Themselves Over Crime

 

“The nature of this job is we’re at all times trying backwards and hindsight is 20-20,” Mr. Boudin stated. “We know as a matter of fabric indisputable fact that some individuals shall be launched and commit dangerous crimes. There’s at all times going to be instances the place if we glance again we’d make totally different selections.”

Unlike in different elements of the nation, homicides will not be driving the anger and passions of recall advocates. The annual variety of individuals killed within the metropolis has stayed inside a spread of 41 to 56 over the previous seven years.

Instead, recall advocates describe a pervasive feeling that high quality of life in San Francisco has deteriorated. Burglaries, particularly in wealthier neighborhoods, have soared throughout the pandemic. The metropolis recorded 7,575 burglaries in 2020 and seven,217 final yr, a pointy enhance of greater than 45 p.c from 2019. Car break-ins, lengthy a festering downside, have been much less frequent throughout the pandemic, however thieves shifted their targets from vacationer areas to extra residential neighborhoods, a change that gave the problem extra immediacy and urgency amongst voters.

Another downside is that Mr. Boudin and the Police Department, whose rate of arrests for reported crimes is among the many lowest of main cities, have a poisonous relationship. In the 2019 marketing campaign, the San Francisco Police Officers Association attacked Mr. Boudin by calling him the “#1 alternative of criminals and gang members.” Supporters of Mr. Boudin responded at his victory celebration with chants of epithets towards the union.

Officers have been heard on physique digicam footage telling residents that the district lawyer is unwilling to prosecute crimes. And whereas Mr. Boudin has been criticized for no more aggressively prosecuting drug dealing, he stated the police make, on common, solely two drug-dealing arrests a day.

“The notion is true,” Mr. Boudin stated. “Low-level drug sellers can fairly count on in San Francisco that nothing will occur to them. Because they’re not getting arrested. Incidentally, the identical factor is true with auto burglaries, the place 1 p.c of reported auto burglaries end in an arrest. So the give attention to my workplace or on me or my insurance policies is absolutely misplaced.”

The chief of police, Bill Scott, declined to reply questions on the division’s price of fixing crimes. A spokesman stated in an announcement that it was “not applicable for him to get into the kind of political dialogue that would affect the need of the voters of San Francisco.”


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