Newsom, who released countless criminals, speaks out amid “smash and grab” robberies, says mayors need to “step up”

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SACRAMENTO, CA- On Monday, November 22nd, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he has “no sympathy or empathy” for those involved in the recent organized retail thefts that have been dubbed “smash-and-grab” robberies in the San Francisco Bat Area. 

He said that he plans to include an “exponential level of support” in his upcoming budget to help cities address these retail theft rings and other qualify of life issues. Newsom said:

“I’m not the mayor of California, but I was a mayor and I know when things like this happen, mayors have to step up.”

However, he did not detail what he planned to propose and a spokesperson for the governor stated that the office does not have numbers to “share yet.” While at a vaccine clinic in the Bay Area promoting COVID-19 booster shots, the governor told reporters:

“We want people prosecuted and we want people to feel safe. They must be held to account. We are going to be more aggressive still in this space to help support cities and the prosecution of folks.”

Reportedly, Newsom said he understands how difficult these thefts are for the affected stores and said his own businesses have been broken into three times this year. Newsom founded a hospitality company called PlumpJack that includes wineries, restaurants and retail stores.

He stated that his office said PlumpJack Wine & Spirits in San Francisco’s Marina District has been broken into four times since the start of the pandemic and its sister store in the city’s Noe Valley neighborhood was broken into over the weekend.

When he unveils his 2022-23 budget proposal in January, Newsom said it will “substantially” increase funding for cities to address organized retail crime, which he said keeps people from feeling safe in their communities. 

He stated that in 2021, the state has already been spending millions to address the problem, including through a California Highway Patrol task force that works to partner state and local police to crack down on retail crimes.

Newsom said that effort has launched more than 700 investigations, made hundreds of arrests and returned $20 million in stolen items.

Through the task force, Newsom said state police have already dispatched more officers to patrol Interstate 680 and that California shoppers can expect to see more police presence at popular Black Friday destinations and malls. Newsom said:

“We need to break up these crime rings and we need to make an example out of these folks. We cannot allow this to continue.”

Retailers in the Bay Area are on edge after a series of large mobs of people stormed stores over the weekend and robbed them of their merchandise. Newsom said in a statement:

“I have no sympathy, no empathy whatsoever for people smashing and grabbing, stealing people’s items, creating havoc and terror in our streets. None. Period. Full stop. We want real accountability. We want people prosecuted and we want people to feel safe this holiday season.”

After his comments, the state Republican Party argued that the Democrats’ embracing of policies that reduce criminal punishment for some theft crimes have set the stage for the burglaries the governor is now pledging to combat. The party said in a statement:

“Gavin Newsom and California Democrats have made our state a more dangerous place to live, work and raise a family. Their failed policies have very real consequences for hard-working Californians.”

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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More and more San Francisco prosecutors quitting, joining effort to recall far-left DA Chesa Boudin

October 27th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- According to reports, more and more prosecutors in San Francisco are willingly walking away from their jobs, joining the effort to recall the progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin, a radical leftist backed by billionaire George Soros.

Prosecutors Brooke Jenkins and Don Du Bain resigned from their positions, citing Boudin’s lack of commitment to prosecuting crimes. Since Boudin took office in January 2020, at least 50 other lawyers from his office have quit or been fired.

Fox News reported that those numbers represent nearly a third of the department’s attorneys. In an interview, Jenkins said:

“Chesa has a radical approach that involves not charging crime in the first place and simply releasing individuals with no rehabilitation and putting them in positions where they are simply more likely to re-offend.”

She added:

“Being an African American and Latino woman, I would wholeheartedly agree that the criminal justice system needs a lot of work, but when you are a district attorney, your job is to have balance.”

Du Bain added:

“Boudin disregards the laws that he doesn’t like and he disregards the court decisions that he doesn’t like to impose his own version of what he believes is just – and that’s not the job of the district attorney.”

He stated:

“The office was headed in such the wrong direction that the best thing I could do was join the effort to recall Chesa Boudin as district attorney.”

A second recall effort has been launched against Boudin, which demonstrates how residents are “fed up” with his progressive policies. Boudin has pushed to reduce jail funding and has refused to prosecute repeat offenders, single-handedly ensuring the streets remain filled with open-air drug dealing and violent crime that is now stretching into the suburbs. 

San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya said in a statement:

“Police are the bad guys and the bad guys are the good guys in the mind of a progressive. Chesa’s good at the blame game. We’re going to call him Mr. Deflector because he’s always pointing the finger left of right and never at the man in the mirror.”

Montoya said that open-air drug markets and homelessness, coupled with upticks in blatant daylight shoplifting, residential and commercial burglaries, shootings and other violent crimes, have left citizens alarmed.

He added that citizens are “starting to wake up to the reality that’s now become their nightmare as far as public safety and crime goes.” The police union was not involved in organizing the first unsuccessful recall effort, which ultimately failed.

Boudin drew criticism earlier in the year when a parolee back on the streets due to his office’s actions, killed two pedestrians after running a red light in a stolen car.

Police stated that 45-year-old Troy McAlister was intoxicated when he ran a red light in a stolen car, killing 60-year-old Elizabeth Platt and 27-year-old Hanako Abe. The union stated that a plea agreement for a robbery set McAlister free on parole in April and that Boudin’s office failed to prosecute McAlister’s multiple arrests in the aftermath, including one for car theft.

Boudin continues to defend his office’s choices, saying that charging McAlister with a new, nonviolent crime would not have necessarily put the chronic offender behind bars. He proceeded to blame law enforcement agencies instead. 

Du Bain said that in one specific case, he was ordered by Boudin to request a more lenient sentence for a man convicted of shooting his girlfriend. Du Bain believed that was a violation of a state statute and withdrew from the case in protest. He said in a statement:

“I’ve done 136 jury trials in my career – never, never withdrawn from a case before. I’ve seen decisions made in this office in the last year plus, since Chesa took over, that shocked my conscience and I’ve been a prosecutor for 30 years.”

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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San Francisco’s plan to stop murders? Pay criminals up to $500 per month to avoid shooting incidents.

September 2nd, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- According to reports, a new crime-prevention program in San Francisco will pay people who are considered “at risk of shooting someone” $300 a month if they keep their hands off guns and don’t get shot themselves. 

To counter the rising crime rate, the City is launching a new initiative dubbed “Dream Keeper Fellowship” in October and will pay 10 individuals a monthly allowance for not engaging in shootings. 

During an interview on Tuesday, August 31st, Sheryl Davis, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, described the program as not “transactional,” but instead an important “investment” in violence plagued communities.

Reportedly, the Fellowship participants will be paired with life coaches from the city’s Street Violence Intervention Program (SVIP) and will be called “community ambassadors,” whose work will be “to prevent violence,” seemingly by not committing it.

The participants will be required to work on improving their professional, personal, and community traits, and will be considered “partners” in engaging members of their respectful communities in decreasing violent activities. 

Davis further explained that the program aims at eradicating the “root causes” of violence, which she said “in many ways are economic.” In addition to $300, participants may earn as much as an additional $200 per month for working on “improving their community.” 

Improving their community includes working, attending school, or being a mediator in situations that could lead to violence.

Davis is hopeful the program will attract interest and make the future partakers more “civil-minded”, allowing them to “be part of the solution,” which in turn, would create safer communities in the long run.

The San Francisco Examiner stated that at its worst the program could be called “cash for criminals,” like its predecessors in cities around the Bay Area and that at its best, it could save lives and tax dollars otherwise spent on incarceration. 

The theory is that the up to $500 stipend will serve as an incentive to participate and stay engaged. Davis said:

“We know that $500 in San Francisco is not a significant amount of money. But, if it’s enough to get you in to talk to folks and be able to make a plan for your life, then that’s huge.”

This is not the first time a city in California has tried to reduce gun violence by offering cash.

A similar anti-violence program in Oakland offers young adults up to $300 for achieving milestones. The different in San Francisco is that it would start people off with a baseline of $300 a month without having to meet any marks.

It is also not San Francisco’s first guaranteed-income program. The City recently rolled out similar efforts for pregnant mothers from marginalized communities and artists struggling during the pandemic.

The plan is to kick off the Fellowship program with 10 participants before expanding the stipends to another 30 high-risk individuals by the end of the year. They have already hired two life coaches to work with participants at SVIP and are looking to hire two more. Davis said:

“What we are actually doing is trying to address the root cause of some of what’s happened. Six thousand dollars per person, when you look at it annually, is nothing if it helps deter criminal activity compared to the amount of money it costs to incarcerate someone, let alone the impact of the activity itself.”

The effort comes as shootings are soaring in San Francisco, after years of declines. It is a pattern being seen around the nation during the pandemic, even in cities like Oakland that already have cash incentive programs.

About twice as many people have been shot in San Francisco as of late July compared to either of the prior two years.

During the same time period, police data show there were 21 gun homicides in 2021 compared to 15 in 2020 and 14 in 2019. The number of non-fatal shooting victims also rose to 108 from 51 and 50 in the previous two years.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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Target stores in police-defunded San Francisco to reduce hours due to constant looting of their stores

July 5th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Law Enforcement Today (LET) recently reported on the impact of the crime wave in San Francisco as brazen thieves continue to loot stores in the Bay Area.

Now, stores and properties, including Target, are announcing that they are cutting store hours to reduce their losses. According to ABC7, Target stores normally stay open until 10 p.m. in most cities around the country, but the stores in San Francisco will now be closing at 6 p.m.

The company confirmed that for more than a month their stores have experienced an alarming rise in theft and security incidents, similar to reports from other retail stores in the area.

A Target spokesperson said in a statement:

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores, similar to reports from other retailers in the area. Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns.

“With the safety of our guests, team members, and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

Target is not the only store in San Francisco that has made changes to its hours or operations because of the continuous shoplifting. After 10 p.m. the 7-Eleven on Drumm St. in the Financial District only does business through a metal door. 

Before a customer can even get inside, they must ring a bell to let them know you are outside. Manager Bobby Singh said in a statement:

“This window was installed like two or three months ago because it was not safe. Sometimes they would break that glass of the door.”

Walgreens recently announced it is also closing stores because of the inability to keep people from continuously stealing from its stores.

Reportedly, the ongoing thefts have been dubbed “organized retail theft,” but it appears to be more like looting since several people invade a store at once and grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing. 

According to Walgreens, theft in their San Francisco stores is four times more than the average in stores across the country. The company also stated that they spend 35 times more on hiring security personnel for its stores in San Francisco. In the past five years, Walgreens has closed 17 stores in the Bay Area. 

The Public Policy Institute of California’s research shows San Francisco has the lowest arrest rate of any police department in California.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a statement:

“That answer does speak to staffing. I mean it’s direct and this is not an excuse, this is a reality. In order for us to be at these locations when these things happen, the officers have to have time to be there.”

Reportedly, in 1994 voters passed Proposition D, which mandated that there be 1,971 fully duty officers. However, San Francisco has never reached that goal. In 2020, amid calls to defund the police, the board of supervisors changed the police department’s budget.

Now, Mayor London Breed is proposing an increase to the police department’s budget and has urged supervisors to support the move. In response to Target cutting their hours, Breed says that is not the answer.

The mayor said:

“We need to make sure when these crimes occur that there is an accountability component. When police make an arrest which they have, which you saw on the news with the guy on the bike an arrest had been made. Will they be held accountable for what they did?”

https://twitter.com/TampaBayAJ/status/1411444972512022529

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai has also stepped in. He has asked both the police department and the District Attorney’s office to come up with a coordinated plan to reduce the organized retail crime and find out why San Francisco is apparently targeted more than anywhere else.

Safai said:

“These are people who are recruited, organized and are reselling these goods and San Francisco is hurting for it.”

Safai has given the police and DA’s office a week to come up with an answer. 

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Walgreens has closed 17 stores in Nancy Pelosi’s police-defunded San Francisco due to ‘out of control’ shoplifting

May 17th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Thanks to widespread and persistent shoplifting, 17 Walgreens Pharmacy locations have shuttered in San Francisco during the past five years.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, shoplifting did decrease during the coronavirus pandemic, but police also told the news outlet that “incidents are often underreported and have become more violent and brazen.”

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the San Francisco Chronicle that the situation is “out of control,” adding:

“People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly.”

Longtime Walgreens customer Sebastian Luke told the Chronicle regarding closures:

“All of us knew it was coming. Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters.”

Luke also suggested that the employees at Walgreens are helpless to do anything in the face of the thefts, saying:

“I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted.”

He continued:

“The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. 

“They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”

In fact, a shoplifting incident occurred right in front of San Francisco Chronicle writer Phil Matier, as he was working on a story about “rampant shoplifting” and Walgreens closures.

Matier reported:

“No sooner had the clerk spoken than a man wearing a virus mask walked in, emptied two shelves of snacks into a bag, then headed back for the door.

“As he walked past the checkout line, a customer called out, ‘Sure you don’t want a drink with that?’”

In order to address the ongoing problem of shoplifting at retail establishments like Walgreens, Supervisor Ahsha Safaí held a hearing Thursday, May 13, with retailers, police, District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and probation departments.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that retailers at the hearing pointed the finger at “professional thieves instead of opportunistic shoplifters who may be driven by poverty.”

A representative from CVS also termed San Francisco “a hub of organized retail crime.”

Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii, reported at the hearing that theft in San Francisco Walgreens locations is four times higher than in stores elsewhere in the country.  

In addition, Cunningham noted that the pharmacy chain spends 35 times more on security in San Francisco than in other locations.

Brendan Dugan, director of organized retail crime and corporate investigations for CVS Pharmacy, also attended the hearing.  He reported that 42% of CVS’s losses in the Bay Area are from 12 stores in San Francisco, yet those stores only represent 8% of the market share.

Dugan added that it was “professional crime” that accounted for 85% of CVS’s losses.  He called San Francisco “one of the ‘epicenters’ of organized retail crime,” reminding those present of a major retail theft ring bust in October of 2020, in which over $8 million of stolen merchandise was recovered.  

That merchandise came, in part, from Walgreens and CVS.

In another take at the hearing on the origin of the thefts, retail grocery chain Safeway placed blame for “dramatic increases” in shoplifting on the passage of Proposition 47 in 2014.  

California’s Prop. 47 amended the California penal code, Section 490.2, to lower penalties for certain thefts.  It now reads that theft of property valued at less than $950 is punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1000 or six months in jail.

The Washington Examiner reports that many California prosecutors also “have opted to free those charged with the offense under certain conditions rather than holding them in jail for the maximum sentence of six months.” 

In addition, as we reported last year, San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin has refused to prosecute “low level” crimes like shoplifting.

As a result, would-be shoplifters appear to face the prospect of minimal if any consequences — if they are caught at all.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in 2020, only about “31% of shoplifting incidents resulted in arrest,” a number that has decreased over the past two years.

Both CVS and Walgreens train their employees to “be engaged and visible to prevent theft, but not to confront thieves directly when it could turn violent.”

Some stores have hired loss-prevention personnel at significant expense, up to $1000 per day, but according to Dugan, security guards at CVS have been assaulted.

In addition, most shoplifters have fled the area before police have time to arrive, and according to Jay Cheng, public policy director for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, loss prevention personnel will not detain shoplifters for fear of liability.

Liability concerns do not even have to involve physical contact.  According to the Wall Street Journal, several retail establishments in California have been sued by people who were caught shoplifting and claimed they were racially profiled.

In addition to organized criminals, the homeless and the poor comprise another group that has been named as responsible for a lot of the frequent thefts from retail stores such as Walgreens.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Donahue has called the increasing shoplifting indicative of “a lot of the issues we’re facing as a city: homelessness, poverty, drug addiction.”

Donahue reported to The Davis Vanguard that some of the people struggling with these issues habitually take only what they need from stores, while others steal more items in hope that they can sell them and raise money for their families.

https://twitter.com/KeithChosen/status/1393213088682307592

The focus of shoplifting investigations, Deputy DA Donahue told The Davis Vanguard in March, will not be on them, but instead “only on stopping serious, repeat offenders, especially violent ones.”

The Davis Vanguard further reports that Donahue and his team have collaborated with a consulting firm to work through over 100 shoplifting incidents and identify and apprehend repeat shoplifters.

As of March, from those 100 plus incidents, four warrants had been issued and two serial shoplifters had been arrested.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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San Francisco to shift $120 million from law enforcement budget to ‘reparations’ to the black community

February 28, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mayor London Breed announced Thursday how the city will spend $120 million removed from law enforcement budgets. Labeled “The Dream Keeper Initiative,” the plan will reinvest the money into the city’s black community.

The Mayor called the initiative “reparations.”

Calling the reinvestment “reparations,” Breed said the transfer of funds from law enforcement to the minority black community was to make up for “decades of disinvestment” in the black community by the city.

The plan calls for the funds to be used for workforce development health campaigns, youth and cultural programs, and housing support with the minority, predominately black communities.

The Mayor said the spending plan includes priorities identified during community meetings and surveys with black residents.

Breed, the city’s first African-American Mayor, said that her motivation for carrying out the initiative was her own life:

“I grew up in poverty. I’ve had to live in poverty over 20 years of my life. And the frustration that came from living like that and then seeing so many of my friends who had been killed or in jail or on drugs — that is my motivation.

Because just imagine if we can change the outcome of African Americans in San Francisco. What an incredible, thriving city we truly will be.”

Funding for the intuitive will come from the budgets of local law enforcement agencies. $80 million will be shed from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) budget over two years, and $40 million is from the Sheriff’s Department.

The cuts were prompted by a summer of protests following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis on Memorial Day and calls by some Democrats to defund police departments across the country.

In June, Breed also ordered the police department to no longer respond to non-criminal complaints.

The actions of the Mayor and city council come at a time when crime has surged in San Francisco. Burglaries have been spiraling out of control, with a rise in property crime of 342.9% in the Richmond District alone. 

As of February 14, there have been 124 burglaries in Richmond this year. Robberies, assaults, and arsons were also rapidly increasing over last year’s numbers.

While the cuts to the law enforcement agencies’ budgets are deep, 6% of SFPD’s budget, the heads of both agencies were supportive when the coming cuts were announced last year. SFPD Chief of Police Bill Scott said in July:

“We knew there would be pain and sacrifice associated with these budget cuts, but we also know they’re necessary to fulfill the promise of Mayor Breed’s and Sup.

Walton’s reinvestment initiative to support racial equality. While the cuts are significant, they are cuts we can absorb, and that will not diminish our ability to provide essential services.”

However, when Mayor Breed asked Chief Scott to try and find places to cut the budget further during a budget meeting, he said doing so was not possible:

“The majority of our budget is personnel staffing, and we’ve cut pretty much everything we can cut.  Which will equate, because we’ve cut everything we can cut, in a reduction and a loss of 210 full-time employees.

“What you see highlighted in red are the stations that will be impacted the most. I am not supportive of these cuts. They will be devastating to the police department.”

The city’s President of the Board of Supervisors said the funds will help improve the black community. Shamann Walton said:

“This initial investment to improve outcomes for the black community and overturn years of disinvestment and inequitable resource distribution is just the first step in righting the wrongs of history.

“We now have to continue to prioritize communities that have never had a chance to build true wealth and this is a first step towards true reparations for the Black community here in San Francisco. We are proud of this work and looking forward to doing more.”

The cuts follow similar measures in Los Angeles, where Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city council voted in July to cut the budget of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by $150 million.

Councilman John Lee voted against the measure, which passed 12-2.

Lee said LAPD was a model other departments look up to, and pointed out that two-thirds of their officers are black:

“I’m not saying LAPD is a perfect organization. There’s always room for improvement, but … other police departments throughout the nation strive to follow them on their community policing, use of force, de-escalation, and implicit bias training.”

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