By Alana Bleimann
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin sat down with CBSN Bay Area to explain and expose the ways in which the city’s police department is falling behind and failing to arrest.
Ever since his first day in office, Boudin has faced backlash, and more recently official recall efforts have been started to push him out of office.
Those who have signed the recall claim that San Francisco “has seen an astronomical increase in violent crime, home invasions, shops looted, car-jackings, rampant and unchecked drug dealing and business property theft, even under Covid-19 restrictions.”
The recall has failed to provide concrete evidence rooted in empirical data for their claims, and in response Boudin states, “I’ve been following through on my campaign promises since day one” and those who are running the effort didn’t want him “to win in the first place.”
With CBSN Bay Area, Boudin discussed his campaign promises and how they have been implemented thus far into his time in office.
Three things stick out to the DA when considering his promises: enforcing the law equally for citizens and businesses as well as police officers, reducing our reliance on incarceration, and lifting up and supporting victims.
The second promise is key to reforming the current criminal justice system as “relying on incarceration as the primary response to the tremendous array of social problems we face, drug addiction, mental illness, has not made us safer,” Boudin claims.
“About 75 percent of people booked into the county jail in San Francisco are either mentally ill, drug addicted, or both” and this is a public health issue that affects each San Francisco resident, he said. He added that, to protect citizens, victim services must be incorporated into the system’s distribution of resources.
In fact, Boudin’s office has already implemented such services such as “housing for domestic violence survivors…victim compensation to people who were harmed at the hands of police…transportation opportunities for survivors of sexual assault.”
The DA then spoke about his relationship with the Police Officers Association (POA).
“Police only clear 10 percent of reported crimes,” Boudin stated, and “they are profoundly disconnected from reality and from San Francisco values” which has an effect on the future of the whole criminal justice system.
Boudin encouraged police to make more arrests because if they did “San Francisco would be the safest city in the country”…prosecutors cannot do their job if police don’t “make an arrest and do a good job investigating it.
“The POA does not like when their members are held accountable, but the public demands it, (and) integrity and justice demand it,” Boudin said, adding that “the POA needs somewhere to point the finger. They want to get away with not doing their job.”
Although Boudin does not have a great standing relationship with the POA, he acknowledged that police do have hard jobs and they do deserve respect.
However, this respect must include “respect for Black lives and civil rights.”
For those experiencing drug addiction and mental health crises, Boudin said he wants to meet these people where they’re at and give them the proper resources they are searching for—resources that will stop them from committing crimes.
“The police don’t really make arrests in the Tenderloin,” he claims, adding arrests alone won’t solve the root of addiction and the DA refuses to give into the War on Drugs and “starving communities” of things they need to be safe.
In fact, explained the DA, all these resource proposals are saving the city, and the whole state of California, a lot of money. Right now California spends about $80,000 a year to send one person to state prison.
“The solutions to our problems are actually less expensive, more humane, and more effective than the status quo,” Boudin explained.
Many residents in the city do not feel safe right now, and ensuring that they do feel safe is the DA’s number one priority at all times, Boudin claims.
The public, the DA maintains, may have been influenced by the media’s over-coverage of small crimes, such as auto theft, and “though it may not feel like it to everyone…overall crime is down double digits” since he took office.
It is important to always keep looking at the numbers, Boudin encouraged listeners.
People need to understand that all crimes have roots, and these roots need to be addressed in order to better our criminal justice system, said Boudin, adding, “By freeing up resources” crimes can be avoided and victims can feel cared for.
To the people who claim they don’t feel safe in the city, the DA insisted, “We are working hard every day to make the city safer…look at the numbers, look at the horrific challenges we face as a city, and to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: