Within 48 hours of being sworn in on Jan. 8, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin fired seven veteran attorneys, including several who were responsible for managing critical criminal units such as homicide, gang, and general felony.
The institutional knowledge possessed by someone like Ana Gonzalez, who headed the city’s gang unit, is irreplaceable. Criminal organizations and their operations are often very complex, especially in a metropolitan area such as San Francisco. Without prosecutors who have a deep understanding of the various syndicates and the players within them, lawful prosecution of crimes becomes tremendously more difficult, allowing real criminals to walk free.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Swart, who was also among those fired, was recently honored by the Commission on the Status of Women of the City & County of San Francisco for successfully bringing to justice the killer of Pearla Ann Louis, who was violently murdered and stuffed into a suitcase.
Some have pointed to Boudin’s lack of experience as an excuse for his reckless actions — he has never actually prosecuted a case. The truth, though, is far more sinister.
On top of quickly dismantling the violent crime division of his office, Boudin seeks to end the prosecution of what he deems “quality of life crimes,” including public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, and blocking a sidewalk. Instead of handcuffing criminals, Boudin is handcuffing the prosecutorial process and Lady Justice herself.
These firings weren’t based on any incompetency within the department; they were just a transparent effort to cripple the department’s prosecutorial ability. Boudin is advancing a radical ideology that’s focused on completely redesigning the city’s — and the nation’s — criminal justice system.
While the conditions of its street has drawn criticism, a new survey has found that San Francisco is actually the healthiest city in the United States when it comes to access to quality health care, parks to relax in, nutritional food to eat and the desire to stay fit.
Unfortunately there are at least two different kind of homeless
Panhandling in NYC can earn a bum up to $500 a day or more (nah I’m not kidding) living off the generosity or gullibility of others.
A mere acquaintance of mine was bragging to earn 150€ a day panhandling in the Marseille train station years ago whereas he actually had an appartment his begging all day long could easily pay.
And then I also remember about some poor young man, scouring the trash bin of another Euro city looking for mere crumbs the everyday people would have thrown until a random young woman handed him her sammich.
Giving them money is up to anyone - keep in mind however they are more likely spending it on booze, drugs or hookers than food, if that’s what you do not want to encourage. Giving a bottle of Gatorade or water is far more compassionate.
Basically, California passed Prop 47 that said that theft below $950 is only a misdemeanor meaning that cops won't respond because the thief will simply be let go at the station since the AG doesn't want to prosecute misdemeanor crimes.
Also that $950 figure is PER DAY, so one thief can cost a business $6,600 a week.
Organized Retail Theft On The Rise; Cops Blame Prop 47, Safe Neighborhoods Law
VACAVILLE (CBS13) — You’ve likely seen the videos on social media or the local news: groups of people rushing into a store, grabbing armfuls of merchandise. The brazen crimes are on the rise and CBS13 has learned, in most cases, the crooks get away from authorities.
After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”
THE ANATOMY OF THE CRIME
“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.
He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.
California’s great wealth only masks its increasing dysfunction. Nothing highlights this quite like the explosion of homelessness in the Golden State.
By any measure, California’s homelessness crisis is reaching epic proportions.
There are now nearly 60,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County, a 12% increase from the previous year, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Los Angeles is hardly an outlier.
“Other localities in California saw substantial increases compared with 2017, when they last conducted a count,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “In San Francisco, the number rose 17% while Alameda County, which includes Oakland, saw a 43% increase. Homelessness grew 42% in San Jose over the past two years and 31% in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley.”
San Francisco, for all of its radical politics, is a beautiful city by the bay. Yet it’s evolving into a dysfunctional, filthy mess.
“Even in the good old days there was a Skid Row. Now the beggars, drug addicts, and lost souls are all over the city,” wrote San Francisco columnist Carl Nolte.
LAPD Officer Joins Wife In Suing City Over Typhus Diagnosis
LOS ANGELES, CA — A Los Angeles police officer who works in an area populated by many homeless people is joining his wife in suing the city after he contracted typhus on the job in 2019 and later infected his wife.
Like his wife, Barbara Wong, Officer Franklin Chen filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging negligence and that a dangerous condition existed on public property. He seeks unspecified damages.
The complaint criticizes Mayor Eric Garcetti, Police Chief Michel Moore and others for allegedly failing to take corrective action.
Chen joined the LAPD in 2013 and was assigned to the Central Community Police Station in the 200 block of East Sixth Street two years later. Numerous calls for service to the station are related to the homeless population that lives on nearby streets and parks, the suit states.
"The encampments of the homeless population within the Central Division are unsanitary ... rat-infested and flea-infested," the suit says. "There are no toilets or bathing facilities and the homeless population routinely use city property to relieve themselves."
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, which protects California workers from health and safety hazards on the job, has deemed the Central Community Police Station to be unsafe for many of the same unsanitary reasons and ordered the city to abate the conditions, according to the suit. However, the city has failed to take the actions ordered by Cal/OSHA, the suit alleges.
As peaceful protests continue, LAPD to slash budget by up to $150 million to reinvest in communities of color
As protests over police brutality and the death of George Floyd stretched into a sixth day, Los Angeles officials said Wednesday that they will look to cut $100 million to $150 million from the city’s police budget as part of a broader effort to reinvest more dollars into the black community.
In all, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged that the city would “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing,” especially in the city’s black community “as well as communities of color and women and people who have been left behind.”
Those cuts, he said, would be “to every department, including the Police Department, because we all have to be part of this solution together. We all have to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?’”
Eileen Decker, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, said that effort includes identifying $100 million to $150 million in cuts from the Police Department — something City Council President Nury Martinez and other council members had called for earlier in the day
Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, was trying to think of something bad to say about the Democratic candidate for vice president. “Kamala Harris,” he said, “wants to turn the entire United States into San Francisco.” Wow, I thought, things must be pretty terrible when a politico from Bakersfield can talk that way about my hometown. I’d better take a look.
I imagine McCarthy was talking about politics, but I don’t know any more about city politics than he does. All I know about the city is what I get from walking around. So that’s what I did.
There were two long walks through the city; not all of San Francisco, but through the heart of things. I skipped the Tenderloin and the homeless encampments on the theory everyone knows that side of the San Francisco story.
We’re all working at home these virtual days so I began and ended at home in Bernal Heights, so it was all downhill to start.
I decided to head downtown by way of the Mission District by a street less taken — Shotwell Street from Cesar Chavez to about 14th. Shotwell was a bit of a surprise. In my younger days, Shotwell and Capp, the next street west, had a tough edge. Now Shotwell has street trees and the houses, many of them over a hundred years old, have been fixed up. At 24th and Shotwell, there is a Jewish deli on one corner and a beautiful new mural about life in the Mission on the other.
Maybe this is gentrification, which is bad. Or it is urban renewal, which often is good. Take a walk on Shotwell yourself and decide.
I cut over to South Van Ness Avenue, which turns into Howard Street, through South of Market. Howard would never win any prizes for beauty. It could be anywhere, even Bakersfield.
At Fifth Street, I turned left. Fifth Street runs past The Chronicle world headquarters at the corner of Mission Street. I’ve walked that block on Fifth to Market for years and years and never seen it so empty as it was last week.
I crossed Market, headed up Powell Street, past the famous corner where the cable cars turn. No cable cars, no lines. Nobody. The same thing up Powell and in Union Square. It looked as if the city had been abandoned.
Only last month, the Jos. H. Bank men’s store at Sutter and Stockton streets was open for business. But now there was a padlock on the door, the store was empty except for two naked male mannequins in the window, their bare butts facing Sutter Street. The economics of the pandemic got them.
On through the Stockton Tunnel into Chinatown. It was a shopping day. About half the usual crowds were there, all locals. But that was too many people for me in these social distancing times, so I walked quickly to North Beach.
Not that long ago, North Beach looked pretty grim, especially on a foggy, gray day. Business was terrible, everybody said. A lot of places were closed, boarded up.
But last week, along Columbus Avenue, on Green Street and at Original Joe’s on Washington Square, outdoor tables and heaters had been set up, the sun had come out and people were having lunch. It looked pleasant, a bit like Europe. I would have asked a European tourist if that were so, but there weren’t any tourists. We have the city all to ourselves.
A few days later, I got a ride to the Ferry Building and decided to walk home, south along the Embarcadero and stopped at Red’s Java House, a ramshackle joint that is one of the last survivors of the old waterfront. It was late morning so I had a traditional dockworker’s breakfast — a cheeseburger and a beer.
I saw two things: a sea lion in the murky bay waters next to Red’s and a line of cars in the pier next door with people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus.
Onward again, past the baseball park, over the drawbridge, into Mission Bay, the heart of the new San Francisco. Past Chase Center, past Thrive City, right on 16th Street, through new San Francisco into the older one.
At 16th and Bryant, people sat outside at sidewalk tables for an early lunch at the famous old Double Play Bar and Grill. Back through the Mission, where there are few other outdoor coffee places. At about 20th and Shotwell, I saw a young woman sitting in a swing someone had rigged in a tree. She was reading a book to a little girl.
We are in the middle of a pandemic and tougher times are ahead, but though it has changed, San Francisco is still San Francisco. That’s not so bad.
No, it has actually always been bad in the trendy neighborhoods. The issue at hand is rapid gentrification and modern means of commute and remote work, so its pretty bad everywhere. Although, I've changed residences several times during the last quarter century and also lived in Berkeley, but I resided within one area code. Now we have homelessness and crime in my god forsaken "land's end" neighborhood.
I'm surprised, but not yet. Not even close. One has to carefully watch the November election, most notably whether the "progressive challenger" Jackie Fielder, who makes AOC and the "squad" looks normal by comparison will be able to unseat the incumbent State Senator, Scott Wiener. A Democratic battle in SF’s 11th Senate District
That being said like I've mentioned many times, my politics is far to the left compared to the members of this forum.
San Francisco has worked as hard as it's board of supervisors could to make sure that property prices remain sky high and to prevent affordable houses from being built. All the while stating the opposite.
Nope. Every conservative who really wanted to move out of urbanized California counties has already done so. Most likely you are getting "progressive" crowd which wants to bring "civilization" to the "natives".
While 28% of California adults overall are very concerned that they will be hospitalized because of the coronavirus, that number rises to 34% among those in households making less than $40,000 a year, 48% among African Americans and 39% among Latinos, the institute’s poll found.
By contrast, only 17% of people in households making $80,000 or more are very concerned, along with 19% of white respondents. In the Bay Area, only 20% of all adults are very concerned, the lowest percentage of any part of the state.
The personal concerns are mirrored in people’s opinions about restrictions on public activity to control the virus. While only 34% of all California adults want tougher rules than the state or local governments now require, that number is 40% or higher among Latino, Black and Asian American respondents and people from households making less than $40,000, compared with 26% both among white respondents and those in the highest income level.
“We continue to see very large income, racial and ethnic disparities, as well as economic impacts,” Baldassare said. “The differences are stark. It’s evident that the desire to keep restrictions, despite the economic impacts, is because of the concern of those who have experienced the greatest impact” from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis, the fires raging through the state and other concerns haven’t dampened the essential optimism of Californians. A 51% majority of adults believes the state is headed in the right direction, down from 58% in May. It’s communities of color that are most upbeat about the future, with 64% of Latinos, 57% of African Americans and 56% of Asian Americans pleased with the state’s progress.
That number drops to 14% among Republicans, 40% with independent voters and 41% among white residents.
Californians see a very different situation in the United States as a whole, however. Among likely voters, 60% of those surveyed see bad financial times ahead for the country in the next year. But that’s down from 70% in the May survey.
Republicans, at 54%, are the most likely to see improving times ahead, while Democrats (17%) and independents (36%) are much less optimistic about the future. The Bay Area, where only 32% see good times ahead, is the most pessimistic region of the state.
That contrast between the future prospects of the state and the nation shows up in the way Californians look at their political leaders, Baldassare said.
The numbers “are a reflection of state leadership versus federal leadership,” he said. “Voters have confidence in the leadership of their state.”
Less than a third of likely voters approve of the job President Trump is doing, and just 21% are pleased with what Congress has accomplished. The president’s approval ratings are underwater in every region of the state, ranging from a 56% disapproval rating in the Central Valley to a 75% unfavorable mark in the Bay Area.
Those numbers are echoed in the presidential polling, where 60% of likely voters back Democrat Joe Biden and 31% support Trump. Biden’s lead is narrowest in the Central Valley, where he holds just a one-point edge over the president. In the Bay Area, it’s 71%-18%.
But despite California’s widespread problems, likely voters approve of the job Gov. Gavin Newsom is doing by a 60%-37% margin and back the Legislature’s actions, 45% to 43%. Asked about the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 62% like what he’s done.
Newsom’s numbers are impressive, especially during troubled times when people are often looking for someone to blame, Baldassare said.
“Newsom has faced a series of crises and his approval rating is staying high,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the fact that he’s been out there every day and people have seen him doing his job.”
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