Here we go. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is considering a rather controversial (for San Francisco) tactic in order to reduce crime. It's the stop-and-frisk method already used by police in other cities like Los Angeles and New York City. And it works like this: police stop anyone they deem suspect and search them for illegal weaponry. It would also be used as a(n ineffective) tool in the war on drugs. The random selecting would be at the discretion of law enforcement. This is where it gets racist-y.
The Chronicle reports [emphasis ours]:
"Civil rights groups and others have denounced stop-and-frisk policies in various cities as a racist approach that disproportionately affects Latino and African American residents. Several thousand demonstrators marched through New York's streets this month to protest the policy.
"A recent report by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that the vast majority of people stopped by police there were black or Latino, and that of 686,000 people stopped in 2011, 88 percent of them had done nothing wrong."
Those who supports stop-and-frisk, however, say that it will help to get guns off the streets and thus stop killings/shootings. It's a preventative measure, see. Ideally. "This is under consideration as a way to make sure that we keep homicides and some of these other violent crime(s) down," Mayor Lee a former civil rights attorney, told The Chronicle's editorial board. "I think we have to get to the guns. I know we have to find a different way to get to these weapons, and I'm very willing to consider what other cities are doing."
Lee even went so far as to meet with Rev. Amos Brown, the president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, who is onboard with the idea provided that "police officers will enforce it without using racial profiling and in a calm, compassionate way." Which: what?! That's really rich. Perhaps the fuzz can frisk unwitting suspects on soft pink clouds of lollipops and warm fuzzies while they're at it.
Meanwhile, controversial Chronicle columnist opined C.W. Nevius opines, "Stopping and frisking parolees and subjects on probation makes much more sense than randomly searching people walking down the street."
But how does Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents District 10, the most crime-ridden parts of San Francisco, feel about it? She's not pleased. "Wow...That's shocking and alarming," she exclaims to the Chronicle.
What say you? Take our poll below and let your voice be heard.