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In San Francisco, Democrats Are at War With Themselves Over Crime

“The nature of this job is we are always looking backwards and hindsight is 20-20,” Mr. Boudin stated. “We know as a matter of material fact that some people will be released and commit bad crimes. There’s always going to be cases where if we look back we would make different decisions.”

Unlike in different components of the nation, homicides should not driving the anger and passions of recall advocates. The annual variety of folks killed within the metropolis has stayed inside a spread of 41 to 56 over the previous seven years.

Instead, recall advocates describe a pervasive feeling that high quality of life in San Francisco has deteriorated. Burglaries, particularly in wealthier neighborhoods, have soared in the course of the pandemic. The metropolis recorded 7,575 burglaries in 2020 and seven,217 final year, a pointy enhance of greater than 45 p.c from 2019. Car break-ins, lengthy a festering downside, have been much less frequent in the course of the pandemic, however thieves shifted their targets from vacationer areas to extra residential neighborhoods, a change that gave the difficulty extra immediacy and urgency amongst voters.

Another downside is that Mr. Boudin and the Police Department, whose rate of arrests for reported crimes is among the many lowest of main cities, have a poisonous relationship. In the 2019 marketing campaign, the San Francisco Police Officers Association attacked Mr. Boudin by calling him the “#1 choice of criminals and gang members.” Supporters of Mr. Boudin responded at his victory social gathering with chants of epithets towards the union.

Officers have been heard on physique digital camera footage telling residents that the district lawyer is unwilling to prosecute crimes. And whereas Mr. Boudin has been criticized for no more aggressively prosecuting drug dealing, he stated the police make, on common, solely two drug-dealing arrests a day.

“The perception is right,” Mr. Boudin stated. “Low-level drug dealers can reasonably expect in San Francisco that nothing will happen to them. Because they’re not getting arrested. Incidentally, the same thing is true with auto burglaries, where 1 percent of reported auto burglaries result in an arrest. So the focus on my office or on me or my policies is really misplaced.”

The chief of police, Bill Scott, declined to answer questions on the division’s rate of fixing crimes. A spokesman stated in an announcement that it was “not appropriate for him to get into the type of political discussion that could influence the will of the voters of San Francisco.”

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