Lee Heidhues 12.14.2021
San Francisco Mayor London Breed is coming down four square as the law and order Queen and spokesperson for the Police Officers Association with her controversial call to flood the Tenderloin with cops and providing them with more surveillance tools.
The Mayor, who was born and raised in the nearby Western Addition housing projects, is well aware of drugs, crime and their impact on society.
The Mayor must know that arresting street level drug dealers and users is not going to solve the crime problem.
The Mayor is taking this action to score political points with a fearful, uptight and paranoid electorate. The reality is that the crime level has not increased. In fact, the rate of crime in several areas is actually down.
That is not stopping the Mayor from plowing full speed ahead with her lock ’em all up talking points. The kind of law and order rhetoric which was perfected by politicians such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Excerpted from San Francisco Standard 12.14.2021
Mayor London Breed dove head first into some of the biggest debates over policing Tuesday when she seized on the perception that San Francisco is becoming less safe to call for more police and more police surveillance.
Critics, like John Hamasaki, a criminal defense attorney and member of San Francisco’s Police Commission, called the proposals a “backlash to Black Lives Matter” and an example of the “police union seizing power.” He said he does not support officers gaining live access to cameras and questioned the efficacy of putting more police on the street.
“We have been arresting and incarcerating dealers both at the state and the federal level,” he said. “And it hasn’t changed the circumstances on the ground in the Tenderloin.”
During a fiery press conference at City Hall, the mayor announced a series of crime-fighting initiatives that included more overtime funding for police to crack down on drug dealing in the Tenderloin and giving police access to public security cameras in real time during emergency situations.
While Breed acknowledged that her proposals would make people uncomfortable, she also made it clear that she wasn’t going to get hung up on such criticism. Spurred by viral videos of thieves breaking into cars and ransacking stores in Union Square, Breed said it was time to turn the tide on a public safety problem that has persisted in San Francisco for years and has only gotten worse.