In October 2015, three gutter punks—youth who roam up and down the West Coast colonizing the sidewalks and panhandling—robbed and shot to death a 23-year-old Canadian woman in Golden Gate Park and killed a 67-year-old man a few days later after stealing his car. They were high on meth. The incident appears to have produced no perturbations in San Francisco’s thinking or policy. In August 2019, a 25-year-old homeless addict viciously attacked a woman entering her Embarcadero apartment, after demanding that she let him inside so that he could kill the “robot”—a female concierge—at the reception desk. The presiding judge initially refused repeated requests to hold the suspect in pretrial detention. The San Francisco supervisors may be unwilling to back policies that would help prevent such violence, but they have found time to ban city agencies from stigmatizing the perpetrators of such violence by using words like “felon” or “offender.” Under language guidelines passed in August 2019, criminals and ex-cons will henceforth be known as “justice-involved” persons or “returning residents.”
Read the rest of Heather Mac Donald's City Journal article.
[Photo by James Besser at Unsplash]