Freshly elected San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, after taking office in January, plans to stop the criminal prosecution of consenting sex workers, public campers ... and people peeing on the street.
Boudin rode his (welcomingly) progressive platform all the way to the finish line, winning SF’s knife-sharp DA race by just a few thousand votes last weekend. And as SF's newest DA, he hopes to help the city’s more disenfranchised populations by not pursuing the prosecution of “quality-of-life crimes.” Such injustices also include acts like unlicensed street vending, panhandling, and more.
"We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes,” Boudin said to the Chronicle before his ticket win. “Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted."
A little sifting also revealed that George "See Ya" Gascón, per The Bay City Beacon – SF’s previous DA before his sudden departure earlier in October – had prior put into place some safety nets regarding the prosecution of sex workers, as well. Below is an excerpt of the former DA’s protocol on "prioritizing the safety for sex workers" in San Francisco:
The District Attorney’s Office will not prosecute persons for involvement in sex work or other forms of sex trade when they are victims or witnesses of sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crimes. For purposes of this policy, persons will not be prosecuted for uncharged offenses including Penal code §§ 647(a), 647(b), 653.22, 372, and misdemeanor drug offenses, when reporting sexual assault, human trafficking, stalking, robbery, assault, kidnapping, threats, blackmail, extortion, burglary or other violent crime. Information gathered from a victim or witness of a violent crime who is engaged
*Gascón's full agreement can be read here and is still acting as a touchpoint for the DA's office in regards to prosecuting sex workers.
Suzy Loftus – who’s still acting as SF’s interim-DA – will hold the office until January, so it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more months to see what Boudin plans on doing, via perhaps a slew of policy and judicial changes, to cease prosecuting these quality-of-life crimes on all fronts. But based on his election-win tweet, it’s glaringly clear it’ll be a top priority of his once sworn into office.
Boudin won SF’s DA election race by around 9,000 votes, according to the San Francisco Department of Elections, which was a stark, quasi-middle-finger to Breed’s hasty appointment of Loftus, her office-backed candidate for the position.
Image: Twitter via @markdfabela