Democratic Mayor London Breed launched an emergency police intervention on Tuesday targeting San Francisco’s rising crime and drug problem, particularly in the city’s Tenderloin district, and called “bullshit” on left-wing policies such as defunding the police.
“It is time that the reign of criminals who are destroying our city … to come to an end. It comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerant of all the bullshit that has destroyed our city. We are going to turn this around,” Breed said at a press conference.
SF Mayor @LondonBreed has literally just called bullshit on progressive criminal justice reformers
“It is time for the reign of criminals to end. It comes to an end when are more aggressive with law enforcement & less tolerant of all the BULLSHIT that has destroyed our city” pic.twitter.com/ewqheftUun
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 14, 2021
Breed lauded San Francisco as a city that prided itself on compassion and rehabilitation but noted that its compassion should not be mistaken for weakness or indifference. “We are not a city where anything goes,” she said, according to CBS San Francisco.
Breed’s “tough love” initiative includes an emergency intervention plan for the Tenderloin district, securing emergency police funding, amending surveillance ordinances so law enforcement can prevent and interrupt crime in real-time and disrupting the illegal street sales of stolen goods. The latter, she noted, was not just a public safety issue, but also something that has been contributing to retail theft.
In recent months, retailers such as Walgreens and Safeway have closed multiple stores in San Francisco as a result of rampant and brazen shoplifting.
Under Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative passed in 2014, theft of less than $950 in goods is treated as a nonviolent misdemeanor and rarely prosecuted. Stores often tell employees and security guards not to intervene when they witness a crime, citing a fear of lawsuits and personal safety, according to the Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Authorities Announce 14 Arrests For Smash-And-Grab Robberies. All Are Out Of Custody)
There were 3,375 reports of larceny theft citywide in November — the overwhelming majority of which were car break-ins. Tourist hotspots like Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown have seen 876 reports of smash-and-grabs in November, up from 442 last year, CBS San Francisco reported.
Last week, drug enforcement in the TL:
-seized over 950 grams of drugs (more than 600 grams fentanyl)
-seized over $3,400 in drug money
-seized 3 knives and 1 taser
-arrested 17 dealers (14 had previous SF arrests, 5 violating stay away orders, 6 outstanding arrest warrants)
— SFPD Tenderloin (@SFPDTenderloin) December 14, 2021
San Francisco is hardly alone in fighting rising crime. Cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia have seen a dramatic rise in violence and crime since the push from Democratic lawmakers to defund the police following the George Floyd protests.
While Breed is hoping to rein in crime all over San Francisco, the Tenderloin district has “obvious problems” she noted.
“Just imagine if you had to walk your kids down the streets of the Tenderloin every single day with people shooting up (on drugs), selling drugs and because the sidewalks were so packed with people, you had to walk out into the streets in incoming traffic on a regular basis,” she reportedly said.
“At the end of the day, the safety of the people of San Francisco is the most important thing to me. We are past the point where what we see is even remotely acceptable,” Breed concluded.