ACLU shreds S.F. Mayor law and order plea for more cops and surveillance

Lee Heidhues 12.15.2021

San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s law and order siren song is a thinly veiled shot at District Attorney Chesa Boudin as she continues to work for his recall from office. Make no mistake the Mayor wants the DA recalled so she can name an ally to the position.

Wrapping herself in the mantle of being a crime fighter the Mayor is really doing the domestic political chores for the San Francisco Police Officers Association and their reactionary allies.

Time for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to show some “Progressive” chops and speak up and speak out against this blatant law and order pandering to the uptight, fearful and paranoid minority in San Francisco 

Mayor London Breed’s proposal is  nothing more than a politician rebranding herself as as a law and order convert tossing raw meat to the Chesa Boudin Recall reactionary mob and their right wing money bags

Excerpted from Mission Local 12.15.2021

Mayor London Breed’s announcement yesterday that she wants to give law enforcement more access to surveillance technology left privacy experts and political figures baffled –  the 2019 surveillance technology law she wants to amend already permits law enforcement to access such data, they said.

Mayor Breed VII 12.15.2021.jpg
Mayor Breed meets the Press to sing her law and order surveillance song.

A spokesperson for the ACLU of Northern California told Mission Local in a statement that it opposes attempts to undermine the surveillance technology ordinance, adding that “a diverse community coalition supported the ordinance” when it passed in 2019, “putting needed guardrails on police surveillance.” 

“The SFPD has a long record of racial discrimination and abuse and gutting the ordinance to give police unchecked access to real-time surveillance will endanger the people of San Francisco, particularly immigrants, the unhoused, people of color, and religious minorities,” said the statement. “Weakening the ordinance will undermine police accountability and harm people’s rights and safety for years to come.”

law and order Time 12.14.2021
Mayor Breed’s San Francisco

Brian Hofer, who co-authored the 2019 legislation which aims to limit access to surveillance technology, agreed: “They’ve either never read the ordinance or they’re being deliberately misleading.”

Lee Hepner, a legislative aide to Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who sponsored the 2019 law, said the law does not prevent the Police Department from using real-time monitoring. He wondered whether the mayor was getting “bad advice.”

Current law also already allows for police to access this type of footage – live feeds of an ongoing looting incident, for example – without Board approval whenever there is “danger of death or serious physical injury. ”

Instances of mass retail theft, like the ones Breed is using as examples of the law’s deficiency, already allow police to bypass the approval process due to “exigent circumstances,” said Hofer. “During a smash-and-grab … there’s obviously a risk to somebody.”

And after any crime event, police routinely pick up street video footage.

Surveillance State X12.15.2021


Experts say mayor’s drive to override surveillance law misstates law’s restrictions