DA Brooke Jenkins tried to send a strong message to drug dealers, but got her message mixed with Supervisor Matt Dorsey, with him saying it’s “not the War on Drugs,” and her saying “it is a war on fentanyl.”
Mayor London Breed’s interim appointments to elected offices do not have the best track record when it comes to being elected by actual San Francisco voters. It is perhaps with this in mind that two days before mail-in ballots start going out for the November election, Breed flanked herself at a Wednesday press conference with her two unelected appointees who are up for reelection next month; District Attorney Brooke Jenkins and District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey. And the message of the press conference was (yet again) that we’re cracking down on drug dealers and this time we mean it, according to the Chronicle.
Supervisor @mattdorsey: We're not doing the war on drugs and it's intellectually lazy to describe it as such.@BrookeJenkinsSF: We're absolutely doing the war on drugs. https://t.co/MDRL8IWEJ3 pic.twitter.com/Wu96ZpmeG4— DylanY (@Dylan_Why_) October 5, 2022
You can watch the full press conference here. But the enduring sound bites from this conference may be Jenkins’s and Dorsey’s completely contradictory claims about whether this was a reboot of a Ronald Reagan-style War on Drugs.
“What’s happening in San Francisco is not the War on Drugs,” Dorsey said Wednesday. “I think it’s intellectually lazy to just criticize solutions as a return to the Drug War when it’s not.”
But only minutes later at the same press conference, Jenkins declared “People want to talk about ‘the War in Drugs’ this, ‘the War on Drugs’ that. But this is a war on fentanyl. It is.”
Wild, apparently the interim DA is following the right-wing conspiracy theory about dealers marketing expensive drugs to kids (See: Fox News).— John Hamasaki for DA 濱崎 (@HamasakiLaw) October 5, 2022
This is textbook War on Drugs propaganda. https://t.co/0yFpridTFw
Jenkins also trotted out a likely canard about a supposedly looming fentanyl wave in the Halloween candy, and the scare-story that “I’m having to give a lesson to my six-year-old about not eating something that looks like candy because it can kill her.” This seems straight from the same horseshit propaganda factory that gave us the debunked fentanyl in the 4/20 weed hoax and the cops-died-just-by-touching-fentanyl hoax — but she may be referring to the rainbow fentanyl that authorities say they've found, not in candy but in dealers' stashes.
Though there was some real meat and potatoes in the press conference. “The police chief shared data Wednesday that arrests for narcotic sales and possessions from July to September increased compared to the same time period last year, with a total of 266 compared to 163,” according to the Chronicle. “Seizures of drugs in the Tenderloin increased multi-fold.”
And Jenkins lobbed many attacks on Boudin (without naming him directly) in her speech, saying that her predecessor “did nothing.” That may prove an effective political tactic, Boudin was recalled, and her work on that campaign has posed a political setback. But the embrace of “War on Drugs” language, and what appears to be a messaging faux pas, could prove another setback as mail-in voting gets underway.
Related: DA Jenkins Rolls Out New Policy To Clamp Down on Repeat Misdemeanor Drug Offenders [SFist]
Image: Mayor London Breed via Youtube