New updates today on Mayor Lee's controversial pet project, Actually, the only update is that, outside of the Mayor's office, no one seems to think exploring a stop-and-frisk policy is a good idea at all.
During yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Bayview/Hunters Point supe Malia Cohen introduced a nonbinding (or superficial, depending on how you look at it) resolution calling for the Mayor to back off and pursue some more tried-and-true methods of policing neighborhoods where gun violence is a problem. Joining Cohen in shooting down the Mayor's idea were supes John Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu, Eric Mar and Lee's own hand-picked District 5 supervisor Christina Olague. Meaning a majority of the board is already against even the idea of San Francisco working on our own Stop-and-Frisk policy.
Likewise, the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco sent the Mayor a strongly worded letter on Tuesday demanding Lee abandon the proposed policy because of the potential for racial profiling. Even Police Chief Greg Suhr — also one of Lee's appointees — expressed reservations about the policy, believing there are other options his department can put in place to keep problematic neighborhoods safe.
The frequently quoted statistics from the New York Civil Liberties Union — showing 88 percent of people stopped under New York's policy had done nothing wrong — have been the biggest banner waved by those who oppose the policy here in San Francisco. Supervisor Cohen trotted out those numbers again in an Op/Ed for the Chronicle last week, which she borrowed from heavily in the introduction to her resolution yesterday. Aside from denouncing Stop-and-Frisk, Cohen offered solutions like additional police academy classes, community policing and additional community or youth programs. The Mayor's office, on the other hand, has done little to nothing to rebut those stats or propose an alternate solution.
By way of reassuring the populace that the Mayor does not intend to start patting down everyone with dark skin and baggy pants, his spokeswoman Christine Falvey told the press that Lee "is not looking to implement a cookie-cutter copy of a program in New York City" and that he "certainly won't support a program that includes racial profiling or violating anyone's constitutional rights." Rather, he only brought up the subject to "spur conversation."
Now that the Mayor has spurred an overwhelmingly negative conversation about something no one wants, what solutions is he offering as an alternative? Well, none yet apparently. SFist asked Falvey to clarify today what the Mayor proposed instead of Stop-and-Frisk, or whether his office actually had anyone working on the issue — but we have yet to receive a response. In the meantime, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out who Mayor Lee has neglected to include in this conversation he started: the regular people.
As much as the Mayor would like to tout his Facebook or Twitter presence, you won't see him asking for your input on stop-and-frisk through either of those media. (Or his Pinterest or Instagram for that matter, but neither one of those have ever been accused of helping to democratize anything other than latte art photographs or interior decorating suggestions, so whatever.) Instead, the Mayor first expressed his interest in the controversial policy during a Chronicle Editorial meeting. For Mayor Lee's constituent-facing, carefully curated, Chamber of Commerce-friendly Twitter and Facebook accounts, the only thing his office seems to feel like sharing is your excitement over a perfect game: