Far-left San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin ripped Democratic Mayor London Breed’s call for increased law enforcement as a way to battle brazen drug dealing in one of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Instead, Boudin is urging Breed to put more funds into the so-called ‘root causes’ of crime that include free or subsidized housing and drug treatment.
Boudin, who has been under fire from fellow prosecutors, police, and a growing number of city residents for his soft-on-crime policies, was joined by Mano Raju, a public defender, along with addiction specialists for a news conference on Monday. The press conference comes on the heels of Breed’s call for more policing last week in the troubled Tenderloin district as she declared a state of emergency due to rampant open drug-dealing and shootings that “have made children and seniors afraid to go outside,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The leftist DA, whose 2019 candidacy wasn’t backed by Breed, is facing a recall election in June over his criminal justice policies, which critics say have led to increases in criminal activity. His office, however, has pushed back on the accusations by claiming some success in retail theft crackdowns and other criminal enterprises.
However, his Monday remarks laid bare his views on going after people who have mental health or substance abuse issues.
“If arrests and prosecutions alone could solve the drug crisis in this country or in this city, it would have been solved long ago,” he said. “We’ve invested over a trillion dollars in fighting the so-called war on drugs, and where has it gotten us?”
The DA went on to say that the “raw human suffering” he has seen in some neighborhoods is an outrage to him, but that to employ ‘outdated’ methods isn’t going to make city residents any safer, and besides, he claimed, there are other options.
The Chronicle said that a mayoral spokesperson said Monday Breed’s administration has already spent historically high amounts of money for housing and treatment while remaining committed to opening a safe drug consumption location as well as a center to treat addiction — both of which were supported by speakers at the press conference. The spokesperson said that Breed is also working on opening a temporary site in the Tenderloin as an emergency measure, so people can be hooked up with city services.
“The reality is that our outreach teams are out there every day, and while many people accept services to get themselves indoors and to get the help they need, others don’t,” spokesman Jeff Cretan said.
Cretan added that Breed will continue putting tax money into the programs, “but people will not be allowed to reject these services and continue to break the law.”
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