San Francisco voters should recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin June 7th.
My disillusion with Chesa’s performance stems from his failure to live up to his progressive promises while at the same time failing to develop reasonable and effective standards for the implementation of his laudable goals.I have personal experience about his failure to prevent unnecessary aggressive prosecution of a Black man.
Chesa’s office would not divert or work with the public defender when one of our church’s gay refugee Guardian Group clients was arrested in a roommate dispute. I was not there as a witness but I understand that our guy froze up when the police arrived because he has PTSD from being beaten by cops in Africa. So the police heard only the roommate’s description of what happened and arrested our guy. Our guy is thin, not muscular, and really not physically threatening. Our guy had no criminal record. It was a “he said, he said” situation. Regardless, Cheasa’s staff would not drop the charges or work with the public defender to come to any resolution. The DA’s office — Chesa’s office — were going for a felony charge and over a period of weeks they would not budge.
Given the facts of the case and the refusal of Chea’s staff to be reasonable, the judge stepped in, ordered our guy to go to anger management, and then completely dismissed the charges and wiped the record.
Now if Chesa was really looking to help Black and other people who have been abused by the system, his people should have never even filed the charge. Society would NOT have been better off if our guy had been convicted of anything.
At the same time as he allowed an unreasonable prosecution Chesa has picked some truly awful and dangerous people to be lenient with. People who have caused death from violence and drug dealing have be set free. It’s not just one or two mistakes, I ran across a page full of video stories of families of victims.
I like what I know about Chesa’s philosophy and his desire to give fairer justice and to prosecute wrong doing wherever it comes from. Divert the poor who got caught stealing food; throw the book at dirty cops.
The problem, and why I support recall, is that Chesa has no apparent consistent, effective standards that guide him or his staff. My mild, scared PTSD refugee was prosecuted while unrepentant crooks have been set free.
As the pro-recall campaign notes, “Almost half of San Francisco’s prosecutors have resigned from the District Attorney’s office in protest over Chesa Boudin’s mismanagement, threats to withhold evidence, decisions to hand down lenient sentences or not press charges, and release violent criminals early. Until we recall Chesa Boudin, more and more prosecutors will continue to leave. He can’t even do the job.”
Unfortunately, those opposing recall are engaging in name calling to divert attention from the issue of Chesa’s performance. They’re saying it’s a “Republican recall.” I am no Republican. I will talk to recall opponents respectfully and we can exchange reasons for our positions. But, let’s talk and not call names.
Moreover, the numbers say that this recall effort is supported mainly by people other than Republicans. From the Yes on Recall campaign: “83% of our donors are Dem or NPP with over 80% of donations coming from local San Franciscans. Lifelong Democrats are leading this effort.”
Opponents of recall also say that I should look at the police statistics for 2019 to 2020 for certain violent crimes that prove Chesa is combatting crime. I am truly glad that the number of recorded rapes, robberies and assaults declined year over year. But, carefully selected specific offense statistics culled from a pandemic year do not counterbalance what I see with my own eyes: car window glass littering streets, abandoned Walgreens, and too frequent news stories of maham caused by individuals Chesa has refused to prosecute and released. Moreover, according to the New York Post other crimes have increased “significantly in the city Boudin works for, with burglaries up 40% from pre-pandemic levels and homicides up almost 37%.” So, no. Crime statistics don’t support Chesa staying in office.
The final argument against recall is that recall itself is extreme and either should not be allowed ever or in Chesa’s case we should just wait for the next election. Well, I think there are times when recall is needed to correct an election outcome that was manipulated by campaign statements that were later found to be untrue. The law already provides for the removal of public officials convicted of a crime, but I believe citizens also need recourse when they vote for someone whose actions in office don’t match what they promised in a campaign or they otherwise endanger the community.
Someone suggested in Facebook comment that Chesa should not be removed mid term because of “buyer’s remorse”. That is not it at all.
I believe Chesa’s actual performance is office does not match the compassionate and equal justice outlook he promised. He has rhetoric but no clear, consistent, predictable path of intelligent action. He has disrupted the criminal justice system in San Francisco but he has not installed an effective, reliable set of alternative procedures. The result of his ideological approach to prosecution has resulted in deaths, stores closing, and a high level of citizen anguish as their cars and other property have been stolen by organized crooks.
Every day Chesa stays in office increases the losses to San Franciscans.
Based on my personal experience of his failure to stop a senseless prosecution of a PTSD victim and my observations of the closing of stores because of unprosecuted theft, the stories of released people causing death, the disbanding of many task forces in the DA’s office, his failure to appropriate charge enhancements, and, and, and…
I am voting YES on H.