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How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

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How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

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Last month, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she had made an emergency request to the city’s Board of Supervisors for more money to help support a police crackdown on crime, including including outdoor drug dealing, car break-ins and retail theft.

“I’m proud that this city believes in giving people a second chance,” Breed said. “Nevertheless, we also need there to be accountability when someone breaks the law. . . I was raised by my grandmother to believe in ‘tough love’, keeping your house tidy, and we need that, now more than ever.

But days later, progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin denounced his plan as “reflex” and “myopic”, thus throwing a wrench in his plans. Boudin called on San Francisco to “redirect our attention to . . . tackling the root causes of crime. Without Boudin’s participation, Breed will struggle to achieve his goal of ending drug use and trafficking in outdoors and an increase in property crime.

San Fran Mayor London Breed (right) works to clean up the town, but DA Boudin stands in his way.
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Granted, there’s still plenty Breed can do without Boudin. On Christmas Eve, after a 12-hour meeting, the city’s board of supervisors voted to declare a state of emergency in the Tenderloin neighborhood, where outdoor drug use is widespread. This tasks the city’s Emergency Management Department with responding to the drug overdose crisis, which kills around two people a day, and will allow the city to open a “liaison center” capable of referring drug addicts to housing and drug treatment.

But Boudin’s opposition, along with that of progressives on the oversight board, was enough for Breed to backtrack on his promise to increase police funding and arrest people for public drug use. And without Boudin’s active participation, the arrests that are are unlikely to result in prosecution – so dealers and other criminals are likely to simply return to the streets.

How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

 | News Today
On Christmas Eve, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the mayor’s declaration of a state of emergency in the Tenderloin neighborhood.
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Why is Boudin so opposed to Breed’s actions? According to the DA, “affordable housing, quality education, access to health care and addiction services can provide the stability that empirical evidence has shown does in fact deter criminal activity.” But the “empirical evidence” that Boudin pointed to simply found that, in 12 cities where more than 10% of the population received social benefits, “more crime occurs when more time has passed since social benefits have been paid”. He did not explore the role of the factors he cited.

Like other progressive prosecutors in the United States, Boudin is a former public defender, and in office he acted as such, undermining the natural checks and balances that our fundamentally adversarial criminal justice system creates between public defenders and prosecutors. . Unlike other ADs, Boudin grew up with his parents in prison, which he made a central selling point of his campaign.

Boudin regularly expresses animosity towards the police. On his election night, a supporter led the crowd in a chant against the Police Officers Association: “F–k the POA! F–k the POA! Today, the San Francisco Police Department is short of 400 officers and demoralized.

How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

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DA Boudin’s parents, Katherine Boudin and David Gilbert, both went to jail for their roles in the 1981 Brink’s robbery.
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When he ran for office in 2018, Boudin announced, “We will not prosecute cases involving quality of life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted.

Boudin explicitly asserted that certain laws should not be enforced because it supposedly increases victimization. “Prisons do nothing to address the root cause of crime,” he said. Boudin called “the consumption and sale of drugs in the open air. . . technically victimless crimes. When Boudin announced that he was not going to prosecute street dealers, he said it is because they are “themselves victims of human trafficking”.

In fact, there is little evidence to support Boudin’s claim that fentanyl dealers in San Francisco are selling the drug against their will. Tom Wolf, a member of the San Francisco Drug Trafficking Task Force, who himself was addicted to homeless fentanyl for several months, knows several dealers. “These guys were showing me pictures of the houses they were building back home in Honduras,” Wolf told me.

How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

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Today, the San Francisco Police Department is short of 400 officers and demoralized, leaving the city to descend further into chaos.
ZUMAPRESS.com

Boudin and other progressive criminal justice reformers, like new Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, oppose law enforcement when drug addicts and mentally ill people break them because they think our system is fundamentally unfair and racist. This explains why Boudin and his ilk focus narrowly on emptying jails and prisons.

“The challenge ahead,” Boudin said in 2019, “is how do you close a prison?”

The results speak for themselves. In 2019, Boudin reduced San Francisco’s prison population by 73%, to 766 from 2,850 in 2019, despite the fact that more than half of all offenders and three-quarters of the most violent who are released from prison before trial , commit new crimes. The charge rate for theft by Boudin’s office fell from 62% in 2019 to 46% in 2021 and for petty theft fell from 58% to 35%.

Car burglaries were 75% higher in May 2021 than in 2019, before the pandemic, and reached an astonishing 3,000 last month. Meanwhile, many business owners and residents tell me that they long ago stopped caring about reporting a crime.

How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

 | News Today
Boudin has made emptying San Francisco prisons a cornerstone of his time as a prosecutor, reducing the city’s prison population by 73% in 2019.
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As Breed seeks support for his crackdown, Boudin fights for his political life. A recall election is slated for June, and many believe progressive voters in San Francisco will choose to remove him from office, removing an obstacle to the mayor’s efforts.

Boudin’s recall — and Breed’s success — could signal a rebalancing of American attitudes toward drugs and crime. The United States went too far in the 1980s and 1990s in terms of incarceration, but then too far the other way in the last 20 years. Breed knows that many so-called “victimless” crimes have real victims, including his sister, who died of an overdose, and his brother, who is in jail for pushing an accomplice, who later died, out of a car. flight.

Breed’s grandmother was right about “tough love.” Hopefully, in the face of rising crime, San Franciscans and progressives across the country will finally start delivering some.

Michael Shellenberger is the author of “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Are Ruining Cities.”



How DA Chesa Boudin’s soft policies are destroying San Francisco

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