Over the past year, San Francisco has gained notoriety for experiencing a shocking crime wave, as seen with various incidents of high-profile shoplifting at pharmacy store chains.
As a result of growing pressure, Mayor London Breed carried out an emergency police intervention in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Under this intervention, she targeted a pipeline of illicit drugs that has contributed to rising gun violence and a deadly string of fentanyl overdoses.
During a news conference on December 14, 2021, Breed was visibly angered by the crime uptick in San Francisco.
“It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,” she stated. “And it comes to an end when we take the steps to more aggressive with law enforcement. More aggressive with the changes in our policies and less tolerate of all the bullshit that has destroyed our city.”
On December 14, the SFPD’s Tenderloin Station Twitter account posted information on police activity that it was engaging in during the last week. This included several police operations that led to the seizure of roughly a kilo of drugs, with over half of which (north of 600 grams) was fentanyl. In addition, this police sweep led to arrests of 17 suspected drug dealers.
Of those suspected dealers, 14 were previously arrested in San Francisco.
The crackdown in the Tenderloin neighborhood was just one of four crime fighting campaigns Breed announced during a news conference in December.
According to CBS Local, the other three initiatives consisted of:
- Securing emergency police funding for needed resources
- Amending our surveillance ordinance so law enforcement can interrupt crime in real time
- Disrupting the illegal street sales of stolen goods.
“In recent months we’ve not only seen a number of high-profile incidents of brazen robberies and car break-ins but also street behavior and criminal activity especially in the Tenderloin that has become far too normal and cannot continue to be tolerated,” Breed stated.
“All of our residents, our workers and everyone who visits our city should feel safe no matter what part of town they are in. I know San Francisco is a compassionate city,” Breed added. “We are a city that prides ourselves on second chances and rehabilitation. But we’re not a city where anything goes. Our compassion should not be mistaken for weakness or indifference.”
According to crime data in San Francisco, there were 3,375 reports of larceny theft that took place in November. The majority of these cases were car break-ins.
In SFPD’s Central District, where Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown are located, witnessed the highest number of smash-and-grabs.
In November, there were 876 incidents compared with 442 last November.
In the Tenderloin, there were six shootings, 20 drug arrests, and 16 assaults and batteries in November.
“We need to be aggressive in countering these problems,” Breed said about the rise in crime in the Tenderloin.
Breed recently met up with a family in the Tenderloin to listen to their plight.
“Hearing their stories was hard,” she stated. “Hearing their stories was heartbreaking. 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.”
“You got these brand new playgrounds where you don’t even feel comfortable walking your kids to play in them because of everything you see around them so you don’t feel safe.”
Breed expects to receive opposition for her crime-fighting initiatives.
“To be clear, what I’m proposing today and what I will be proposing in the future will make a lot of people uncomfortable and I don’t care,” she declared. “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.”
One can speculate that Breed’s decision is likely motivated by Democrats’ plummeting support among the American populace in the polls, which is largely the result of their deleterious lockdown and lax criminal justice policies.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin is currently facing a recall over his negligent performance in prosecuting crime in the Bay Area. This is a familiar scene taking place nationwide where Democrats’ woke policies are creating internal tensions within their base.
Populists can exploit these contradictions and make pragmatic inroads with certain demographics such as Hispanics and Asians by campaigning on law and order.
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