Evidence Confirms Fewer Crimes Since SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin Took Office

SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin in San Francisco in February

By Lovepreet Dhinsa

SAN FRANCISCO – Continuing statistical evidence appears to strongly confirm that San Francisco city crime is at an overall low since San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin took office.

DA Boudin tweeted that “there’s been a lot of talk about crime trends in San Francisco since I took office. Here’s what the data shows: overall crime is low. Crime trends are largely determined by things like economic decline and mental health, not criminal justice policy.”

In response to the “Recall Chesa Boudin Petition” started by Richie Greenberg, supporters of the district attorney have joined a national PAC, called the Real Justice PAC, to help support Boudin—created by criminal justice advocates in support of progressive policies and prosecutors, such as DA Chesa Boudin.

The Real Justice PAC comprises two major donors, the Grassroots Law PAC, which focuses on reform policing and criminal justice issues, and Patty Quillin, who is a philanthropist and the wife of Netflix co-founder, Reed Hastings.

The Real Justice PAC also created a committee in response to the Recall Movement, named “San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin,” in which several city officials, supervisors, BART directors, and civil rights organizers have shown their support.

The committee was created immediately after the petition was approved for signatures—the movement began getting financial donations, with about $76,000 raised immediately.

The committee has the support of supervisors Aaron Peskin, Dean Preston, Gordon Mar, Hillary Ronen, Matt Haney, Shamann Walton; BART board directors Bevan Dufty, Janice Li and Lateefah Simon; Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Patrisse Cullors and Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Executive Director Zachary Norris.

Compared to the “Recall Chesa Boudin Petition,” the “San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin” have gathered significant financial contributions. The two largest donors are Real Justice PAC, who donated $100,000, and the Smart Justice California Action Fund, which donated $15,000.

The Real Justice PAC retweeted Chesa Boudin’s prior tweet, saying the following: “With @ChesaBoudin as San Francisco DA, ‘most types of violent crime actually plummeted — and all violent crime rates remain near their lowest levels since 1975.’ We must #StandWithChesa as he fights for real public safety while reducing incarceration.”

Both of these tweets were followed by a San Francisco Chronicle article, which laid out various graphs and figures outlining crime trends and statistics over the recent years.

The recall effort began from the belief that the city was a dangerous place, with crime trends increasing since the district attorney took office. However, this is clearly not the case, suggests the Chronicle statistics.

In the past, recall spokesman Richie Greenberg has stated that “our beloved city has seen an astronomical increase in crime, even under COVID-19 restrictions. In 2020, violent crime, home invasions, rampant and unchecked drug dealing and business property have turned our city upside down.”

According to the StandWithChesa website, the efforts of the recall petition are misguided, arguing “this effort to overturn an election is Republican-led and fueled by fear-mongering and dangerous information. They are pushing this recall at a time when we should be focusing on public health and economic recovery from the pandemic’s devastating toll on our city.”

According to data from San Francisco Police Department’s crime dashboard, which reports crime monthly as per the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Standard, most types of crime in San Francisco have decreased, some at their lowest since 1975. In conjunction with the pandemic, crime has reduced significantly since the beginning of 2019.

Although motor vehicle thefts and burglaries have increased over the course of the pandemic and Boudin’s time in office, violent crimes, termed by the FBI, such as assaults, robberies, larceny thefts, and rapes, have collectively and significantly decreased.

In the words of Chesa Boudin, his supporters “understand that we cannot afford to return to policies that failed so many in the past. I have no doubt we will beat this recall effort, and I’ll continue fighting for all who live in San Francisco every day.”

Lovepreet Dhinsa is a junior undergraduate student at the University of San Francisco, pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. She has a passion for criminal defense law, and strives to go to law school to fight for indigent clients. As such, she is also involved in her university’s mock trial program and student government.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    Although motor vehicle thefts and burglaries have increased over the course of the pandemic and Boudin’s time in office

    and let’s not forget that murders have also increased.

    1. David Greenwald

      Crime is down overall in San Francisco. Violent crime overall is down. Property crime overall is down. Murders are up – but they are up about 33 percent across the entire US, probably driven by the pandemic, and occurring irrespective of local charging policies.

  2. Alan Miller

    I thought crime was supposed to go down over decades as social programs kicked in from defunded police.  The mere presence of more convicted criminals out of jail is fueling the trend of lower crime?  Please connect the dots for me.

    Meanwhile, while anecdotal and in Riverside, here’s one person who would be alive today in this horrific apparently not (?) hate crime, if people committing violent assaults were actually taken off the streets (the perp had just been arrested for another violent assault four days earlier, but was “released  . . .  on a ‘notice to appear’ citation due to the current emergency bail schedule in place in Riverside during the Covid-19 pandemic”):

    An Asian woman was fatally stabbed while walking her dogs in California, but police say they don’t suspect a hate crime

      1. Alan Miller

        If that’s the theory, how has CB affected such a magical  drop in crime (except burglaries, vehicle theft and murders, oh my!) in his short tenure?

        1. David Greenwald

          I don’t think that’s what is being said here. What I see is the claim that crime is rising is false and because of his policies, is false. I would argue that there is not enough time and too unusual of circumstances to really gauge either way. But this is really a claim that crime is not rising in San Francisco as some are claiming.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Well then, the article should be titled something like:

          “Conclusions are Premature Regarding Chesa Boudin’s Tenure”.

          But, that’s not what it says.

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