After the San Francisco Police Department played a cat-and-mouse game with the organizers of that Patriot Prayer rally in August, the city of San Francisco is left holding a hefty bill of $775,000 for their troubles, as the Chronicle reports.
98% of that $775,000 is going towards paying for the SFPD officers' overtime pay. According to police spokesperson Sgt. Michael Andraychak, all available SFPD officers were working that day. "No one was allowed discretionary time off," he said. The remainder of the bill covers various operating and logistical costs, like food, water, and van rentals.
This $775,000 bill comes only from the SFPD; other agencies, such as Public Works (who put chain-link fences at Alamo Square), the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, and the U.S. Park Police have not revealed their estimated costs for working on that day. Andraychak also pointed out that the SFPD has a fund dedicated to covering the costs of such activity (called "First Amendment activity"), and they're still within budget.
Organized by Joey Gibson, the Patriot Prayer rally was originally scheduled to be held in Crissy Field, with Gibson filing for permits with the city. After much controversy and despite much local outcry, the National Park Service chose to grant Gibson a permit, and began to work on containment plans and safety infrastructure for the rally with the SFPD. Many of their preparations turned out to be for naught, as Gibson announced that Patriot Prayer was pulling out, cancelling the rally only 23 hours before it was scheduled to begin. Much of the infrastructure that was set up for the rally was then taken down, only to be redirected to Alamo Square, where Gibson said he would hold a "press conference," despite not having the proper permits for an assembly there.
Counter-demonstrators turned out in droves first thing Saturday morning as marches, protests, and sit-ins took place all across the city, some centered around the fenced-off Alamo Square. Gibson did end up popping up, though, appearing in Pacifica and in a few places around the city (including Crissy Field) in an attempt to garner some attention before ultimately being drowned out by protesters.
The East Bay's got its own troubles brewing too, as UC Berkeley's forthcoming "Free Speech Week" will also surely rack up a hefty bill for the city and the college, as protests and demonstrations are planned to take place all throughout. We already learned on Friday that the comparatively peaceful and small protests around last Thursday's Ben Shapiro event cost the university $600,000.
Related: Mayor Ed Lee May 'Send A Bill' To Feds For Saturday Protests