hen San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was ousted from office in a recall election last month, his deep-pocketed opponents painted a picture of a weak prosecutor with soft-on-crime policies catering to the social justice set.
Just weeks later, local officials have lurched in a dramatically new direction, advancing a sprawling surveillance program that would tap into private cameras across the city.
Under the latest policy proposed by a newly emboldened police department—and backed by Mayor London Breed and the new DA’s office—cops would be able to watch residents in real time during a “significant event with public safety concerns,” and as part of “investigations” relating to both “active misdemeanors” as well as felonies.
The cameras available for access would include those with a variety of both low- and high-level capabilities. Everything from commercial to private doorbell cameras could ultimately be employed to keep tabs on possible crimes.
It’s not exactly shocking that the new district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, who helped lead the campaign to oust her former boss in Boudin, would push for new ways of helping cops crack down on crime. Critics who powered the recall also honed in on hate crimes against Asian Americans in the city, and the perception that Boudin—who once suggested an alleged murderer had a “temper tantrum”—was not taking them seriously.
Crime-Obsessed San Francisco Flirts With ‘Police State’ CrackdownCrime-Obsessed San Francisco Flirts With ‘Police State’ Crackdown