San Francisco Gets a New District Attorney
Category: Op/EdVia: vic-eldred • one month ago • 1 comments
By: The Editorial Board (WSJ)
Even San Francisco has had it with the lawlessness, and last month voters recalled progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin. On Thursday Mayor London Breed appointed as his replacement Brooke Jenkins, who has called for a tougher response to crime. Wish her luck.
On Thursday Ms. Jenkins told the local NBC affiliate that she wants to "set a new tone where people understand, no, we are not indifferent to crime, that there is accountability in San Francisco . . . and if you commit crime here, there are consequences."
Ms. Jenkins had worked under Mr. Boudin as an assistant D.A. but quit last fall. She told the San Francisco Chronicle that under his leadership the office had become “a sinking ship. It’s like the Titanic, and it’s taking public safety along with it.”
No kidding. Last year 222 people were wounded or killed by gunfire in San Francisco. Compared to 2019, homicides rose 17% in 2020 and 36% in 2021. The victims included the 18-year-old cousin of Ms. Jenkins’s husband, whom the new D.A. has said was an innocent bystander fatally shot in a gang dispute.
Property crime also spiked on Mr. Boudin’s watch. Walgreens said last year that it spends 46 times the chain average on security in San Francisco. Retail theft drove five of its locations out of business last October, the same month Ms. Jenkins resigned.
Official police data have larcenies up 20% last year compared to 2019. The real numbers are likely higher as businesses have given up calling the cops because they know thieves rarely face prosecution. Arson, burglaries and motor vehicle thefts are also up since Mr. Boudin took office, and prolific homelessness and drug use have contributed to an atmosphere of disorder.
Ms. Jenkins says she will no longer tolerate open-air drug markets and plans to hold San Francisco’s repeat offenders accountable. She also wants prosecutorial discretion to seek cash bail, which Mr. Boudin eliminated as one of his first acts in office.
As for Mayor Breed, Ms. Jenkins’s appointment marks the latest step in her law-and-order conversion. The mayor wanted to slash the police budget in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. But in December she called for more police funding, a crackdown on open-air drug dealing, and a felony warrant sweep. Miracles still happen, though this one essentially occurred at gunpoint.
Voters will decide in November whether to keep Ms. Jenkins in the district attorney’s office, but it will take more than a few months to address the damage Mr. Boudin and his progressive allies wrought on San Francisco.