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San Francisco Reopens, Criminals Rejoice

July 1, 2021
Tony Montoya - SFPOA President

We hope the reopening of our city leads to the resurgence of our local businesses, the return of tourists, and the beginning of normalcy since the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down last year. The one thing we know for sure is that San Francisco criminals wasted zero time getting back to work, ripping off residents, workers, and tourists alike.

Our Public Defender-turned-prosecutor, Chesa Boudin, spent the pandemic and much of this year quoting 2020 crime stats to counter any claim that he was not doing enough to hold criminals accountable. He typically would blame police officers and then state that “crime is down compared to last year.”

Technically, he was accurate. Crime was down, driven by larceny, the most prevalent crime committed in San Francisco. In simple terms, one act of larceny is equal to one murder when calculating the total crime rate.  Total crime was down 23.2% in 2020 compared to 2019, with larceny plummeting 39.1%. In 2019, larceny made up 72.7% of all crimes committed. In 2020, that dropped to 57.7% of total crimes committed.

Abracadabra! Magically, we have serious reduction in crime. It’s a feat of misdirection that would make David Copperfield blush. Never mind that shooting’s skyrocketed, murders were up, as were burglaries and arson.

As happens with every magician, the audience eventually figures out the magic is actually an illusion. The curtain on Boudin’s parlor trick is quickly rising.  Total crime is rising and it is rising quickly.  When we look at the time- period last year comparing the date when the shelter-in-place order was issued, 3/17/2020 and compare it to the same period this year (3/17/21 to 6/13/21), we see that total crime rose by 16.4% over last year (larceny up 37.9%).

However, Boudin and his disciples do not want to look at trends as it doesn’t fit their narrative. They state that crime for the year is still down 8%.  In fact, the exceptionally biased Police Commissioner John Hamasaki recently tweeted out the -8% statistic citing the SFPD Weekly Crime Trends report. However, he cut the bottom half of the report off which showed a 123% increase in gun violence. In our effort to be helpful, we provided that chart for his Twitter page (use tweet graphic).

The significance of all this is that over the course of the pandemic, as fewer people on the street led to fewer crimes, Boudin and his reformers made zero progress on longer-term solutions to make our city safer once it returned to normal. Now that we’re here, we are less capable than before 2020 to address the crime- wave we’re experiencing right now. We’re still under-staffed and we lack the prosecutorial support to carry out our mission of reducing crime.

At the time of writing this article, a 94-year-old woman was stabbed multiple times by a long-time repeat offender. Not only was the suspect arrested a month prior to the attack, he was arrested five times in November on burglary-related charges. Five times.

The fact that this guy was allowed to walk around freely after being arrested five times in one year for burglary speaks to the absurdity of our system. And the fact that Boudin can at once advocate for crooks like this to go free, and then blame a judge when they do go free but commit a crime big enough to get on the media’s radar screen shows the hypocrisy of that politician. Some things never change.