tristor 9 days ago

This is fantastic news for the residents of San Francisco. Now the police can watch in real time from afar, so they aren't at risk of spilling their donuts and coffee in the car while watching close by as residents packages are stolen, car windows broken, and petty theft runs rampant through no enforcement of the law.

We should all be proud of what technology has achieved for society, further reducing the risk of being a police officer. What great benefit to the residents of San Francisco. Many more officers will make it to retirement age to make use of their oversized pensions since they won't even need to worry about possibly being cajoled into action and having to foot chase a thief when they can simply watch crime occur unabated from the comfort of their offices and homes.

  • tomschlick 9 days ago

    > Now the police can watch in real time from afar, so they aren't at risk of spilling their donuts and coffee in the car while watching close by as residents packages are stolen, car windows broken, and petty theft runs rampant through no enforcement of the law.

    This is a direct result of the politicians that the residents elected. When you have a DA that doesn't prosecute offenders and releases them after police go through the work of arresting, gathering evidence, writing reports, booking, etc over and over again you'll start to get police that wont do those things because its simply a waste of their time.

    • AlexandrB 9 days ago

      Garbage men pick up the trash every week. Yet, every week there's more trash. I fix bugs even though more bugs will inevitably be found.

      If what you say is true, what police officers are refusing to do is their job. And it's not that different than many other jobs out there. They're not elected officials, it's not their job to legislate or choose who to prosecute.

      • hunterb123 9 days ago

        Neat analogy, but you didn't finish it. It would be like if the garbage men took the trash out and at the end of the month and the person in charge of the dump released it all back out on the streets. Certainly you would have a garbage strike, which is what happened, and the dump manager (DA) was recalled.

        When you arrest the same person over and over again and they are just let out by the DA, you may just not arrest that person again.

        You aren't refusing to do your job, you're listening to an elected official that has more power than you do.

        Do you have any criticisms to direct at the DA, or do you agree with their actions?

        • sophacles 9 days ago

          Most of the sanitation workers I know would love it because of job security.

          Maybe if we treated cops like people with jobs, we'd be able to hire some that work.

        • 8note 9 days ago

          Which part is "predicting the DA's decision" in a police officer's job description? Why hasn't it been replaced by ML?

          For a different analogy, at a startup, the pm changes the requirements every so often, therefore the engineers are fine to play foosball all day?

          • hunterb123 9 days ago

            It's not about predicting the DA's decision, it's about enforcing the current laws that were decided upon by the people.

            The problem was the DA was letting people off even though they were breaking said laws.

            • anigbrowl 7 days ago

              You're presuming the outcome of the charge. DAs often don't prosecute because the arrest or paperwork is deficient and the case won't stand up in court.

        • slg 9 days ago

          >When you arrest the same person over and over again and they are just let out by the DA, you may just not arrest that person again.

          Great, so everyone agrees the current approach doesn't work. Now we need to come up with a better solution.

          Option 1 is to throw these repeat offenders in jail and consider the situation fixed.

          Option 2 is to take the money that we are paying the cop that now refuses to arrest anyone and instead pay someone who is willing to work with this repeat offender and help get them a home, job, treatment, or whatever else they need to stop living life like this.

          • tgsovlerkhgsel 9 days ago

            The problem is that lack of enforcement leads to criminals that act not out of desperation, but because they analyzed the rules of the game and realized that the reward for a criminal career is better than the reward for a legitimate career, with few downsides.

            Why work 20 days a month and make a modest living when you can steal and rob 3 days a month, fence on the 4th, and live in relative luxury?

            Throwing people in jail doesn't help with crimes of despair, but it does help with such calculated crime, because it suddenly is no longer worth it.

            • slg 9 days ago

              > they analyzed the rules of the game and realized that the reward for a criminal career is better than the reward for a legitimate career, with few downsides.

              I don't think you realize that you are agreeing with me.

              There are benefits to committing crime.

              There are benefits to not committing crime.

              There are downsides to committing crime.

              There are downsides to not committing crime.

              These all come together to help influence a person's decision. We can impact that decision by tweaking any one of these 4 results. Yes, increasing the penalties for crime is one way to address it, but we can have the same influence be decreasing the benefit of committing crime or increasing the benefit of not committing crime. I happen to think that is the morally superior choice because the result is fewer people in jail and the US already jails more people per capita than any other country.

              • tgsovlerkhgsel 8 days ago

                How do you want to decrease the benefit of committing crime or increase the benefit of not committing crime?

                Without punishment, the benefit of stealing $1000 is roughly $1000.

                Again, I'm not talking about crimes of desperation, I'm talking about "I want $shiny_expensive_thing and stealing it/stealing for it is going to be an easier way to get that than working for it".

                • slg 7 days ago

                  As you said:

                  >Why work 20 days a month and make a modest living when you can steal and rob 3 days a month, fence on the 4th, and live in relative luxury?

                  What if that modest living takes 10 days of work instead of 20. Do you think that will impact the number of people who turn to crime?

                  • tgsovlerkhgsel 6 days ago

                    1) Sure, an utopia of abundance where everyone has everything they want would solve most crime. It's not realistic though.

                    2) If the modest living takes 10 instead of 20 days, it will reduce the number of crimes, but not to a level where it would be ok to just ignore without enforcement. And once your 10 days (or many times 10 days) of honest work disappear in one criminal act, and you see that crimes pay and aren't punished, you'll also be tempted to go the easy way.

                    • slg 6 days ago

                      I'm not talking about a utopia. I am talking about basic measures of inequality that is unique to this area. A family in San Francisco with two people earning minimum wage can't afford to rent a 2-bedroom apartment. They would each need to be working 70+ hour weeks for that to even be feasible. A city is broken if the people who work in the city can't afford to live there. That inequality is likely a bigger contributor to crime than whoever is elected DA. Very few people pay attention to local politics. I doubt most San Franciscans can name the DA, but everyone knows when they can't afford diapers.

                      It also doesn't matter what the punishment is or isn't, most people aren't going to steal a bike off the street. Most people have morals. Most people don't want to view themselves as a bad person. Most people require some sort of personal justification before they steal something. Desperation is a strong justification. Societal unfairness is a strong justification. The lack of punishment can't be used justify the crime from a moral perspective so it won't impact the way most people behave. It will only impact the people at the margins who were already open to committing crime.

          • bakugo 9 days ago

            Ah yes, the classic "all criminals are just misunderstood and will stop committing crime if you give them money" argument.

            • slg 9 days ago

              What is the counterargument? "All criminals are just evil people and will never stop committing crime unless they are thrown in jail"?

              The original line of argument was that crime went up because punishments went don't. This implicitly is built on the belief that criminals are rational actors responding to a changing incentive structure. We can therefore reduce crime by changing the incentives again so that crime is a less attractive option. There is no reason why that change needs to be the reintroduction of harsh punishments. We can also change incentives by reducing the positive benefit of crime by making sure people's basic needs are satisfied.

              • bakugo 9 days ago

                You assume people need external incentives to commit crime, which is completely wrong. People need external incentives to NOT commit crime, because most crimes already include inherent incentives. For example, stealing comes with the inherent reward of gaining whatever it is you stole. You don't need to be homeless and starving to want more money or physical goods.

                I am living a comfortable life, all of my basic needs are satisfied, and I have never stolen anything. But if I could just walk into a store, grab things and walk out with the knowledge that I was not going to be punished for it in any way, I absolutely would. Why wouldn't I? Because it's "wrong"? I'm sorry but the world doesn't work that way. If I didn't, someone else would.

                • kelnos 9 days ago

                  > People need external incentives to NOT commit crime, because most crimes already include inherent incentives.

                  That's a pretty cynical view of human nature that I don't share.

                  > But if I could just walk into a store, grab things and walk out with the knowledge that I was not going to be punished for it in any way, I absolutely would.

                  I absolutely wouldn't. I mean, zero-consequence thefts seem to be a true state of affairs for many places like pharmacies in SF, and yet I don't feel any desire to walk into a Walgreens and start walking out with stuff without paying. Sure, I'm pretty comfortable financially, and that's a factor. But I would have to be pretty hard-up financially, like "I'm going to be out on the streets if I don't steal" levels of hard-up, to consider stealing at all, let alone habitually (and I'd still feel guilty about it). And I frankly can't blame people in that position; in many cases society has failed them, so I can't fault them for ignoring society's rules.

                  > Why wouldn't I? Because it's "wrong"?

                  Yes! Laws only work because people agree that they're a good idea in general, even if we may not agree with every individual law. I agree with laws around theft because I think it's shitty to deprive someone else of something that's theirs. Maybe it's a little muddier in the "personalization" aspect when we're talking about goods for sale owned by a huge corporation, but massive, ongoing, consequence-free theft from a particular store means that store is eventually going to shut down, and deprive regular people from jobs and their livelihoods. I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

                  > I'm sorry but the world doesn't work that way. If I didn't, someone else would.

                  Ah, yes, the "if I'm not an asshole, someone else will be, so I might as well just be an asshole and reap undeserved rewards" anti-morality play. That's reprehensible; I strongly suggest you re-evaluate your approach to being a human.

                  • bakugo 9 days ago

                    >And I frankly can't blame people in that position; in many cases society has failed them, so I can't fault them for ignoring society's rules.

                    You remind me of the dude who made that one bike comic. If someone stole something you own, you'd be happy because "society failed them"? I assume you've never actually been victim of or even witnessed any kind of crime, because you'd probably change your mind if you did.

                    >Laws only work because people agree that they're a good idea in general

                    No, laws are created because most people think they're a good idea, they work because they are enforced. A law that is not enforced is a law that effectively does not exist.

                    >Ah, yes, the "if I'm not an asshole, someone else will be, so I might as well just be an asshole and reap undeserved rewards" anti-morality play. That's reprehensible; I strongly suggest you re-evaluate your approach to being a human.

                    The only reason you don't agree with this is because you're not surrounded by other people reaping undeserved rewards. It's very easy to say "I would never do that!" in an environment where nobody else does it. Have you ever heard of "looting"? Because that's literally what I described in action. If people know for a fact they can get away from stealing from a store, there will be no shortage of people willing to do it. If you'd stand there and watch while everyone else gets their free stuff, knowing the store will be cleaned out by the end of the day regardless, good for you, but your own morality does not change the facts.

                  • rayiner 9 days ago

                    > And I frankly can't blame people in that position; in many cases society has failed them, so I can't fault them for ignoring society's rules.

                    Society doesn’t owe you anything; you owe society.

                    • random314 2 days ago

                      How is this asymmetry justified? By how pithy and strong the statement sounds?

                • slg 9 days ago

                  >You assume people need external incentives to commit crime, which is completely wrong. People need external incentives to NOT commit crime,

                  These are the same thing. There is one decision, either commit crime or don't. There are positive and negative incentives on each side.

                  >For example, stealing comes with the inherent reward of gaining whatever it is you stole. You don't need to be homeless and starving to want more money or physical goods.

                  Sure, but if you are homeless and starting your motivation to steal go up because that money represents a greater marginal improvement to your life. Would you disagree with that?

                  >But if I could just walk into a store, grab things and walk out with the knowledge that I was not going to be punished for it in any way, I absolutely would. Why wouldn't I? Because it's "wrong"? I'm sorry but the world doesn't work that way. If I didn't, someone else would.

                  It is always funny to me when someone admits they have no morals and think that means no one else has morals. There have been studies that show most people don't operate this way. For example, a majority of people will try to return a lost wallet and that percentage goes up when the amount of cash in the wallet increases[1]. How do you explain that?

                  [1] - https://www.npr.org/2019/06/20/734141432/what-dropping-17-00...

                  • hackerlight 9 days ago

                      "How do you explain that?"
                    
                    That can also be a selfish act. The feeling of happiness and pride from being gratuitously thanked exceeds the feeling of happiness from getting extra cash. Social validation and feeling wanted is a powerful driver of happiness, because being popular in your tribe leads to reproductive success. Clear selfish motive there.

                    So that doesn't map onto anonymously stealing from a store which many people, if not most people, would do if there were guaranteed to be no criminal or social consequences. Empirically the correlation between income and shoplifting wasn't that high, last I checked. And studies of people cheating show it is more common than not, last I checked. Almost everyone eats meat, despite the knowledge it's morally reprehensible, simply because it's still within the Overton Window for now. Eating meat is more morally reprehensible than shoplifting, the only reason people do the former and not the latter is social acceptability.

                    By design, people are intrinsically selfish creatures. Any motivations that present as altruistic are either cultural mind viruses, disingenuous virtue signalling, or strategies (such as popularity and recognition seeking) we unconsciously selfishly employ to improve happiness (proximate reason) and genetic fitness (underlying reason).

                  • bakugo 9 days ago

                    >Sure, but if you are homeless and starting your motivation to steal go up because that money represents a greater marginal improvement to your life. Would you disagree with that?

                    No. I never claimed that nobody has ever committed a crime due to being poor or homeless. All I'm saying is that the claim that solving homelessness and poverty would also solve crime is objectively wrong.

                    • slg 9 days ago

                      No one said this is a solution to "solve crime" just like throwing all criminals in jail doesn't "solve crime". There will always be murderers, rapists, and just generally evil and deranged people. The goal isn't for San Francisco to have zero crime. That is impossible. The goal is to reduce crime. Reducing homeless and poverty would lead to a reduction in crime. Do you agree with that?

              • Georgelemental 9 days ago

                Some criminals just need opportunity and support to see the light. Some are just horrible people who can't realistically be saved and should just be thrown in jail forever. Most are somewhere between the two.

                I think what we need to do is to reintroduce short-term but painful punishments (a day in the stocks, public caning, etc) for moderately severe offenses. Some people need more than just a slap on the wrist to change, but don't deserve to have their life ruined forever by a 30-year jail sentence. Physical pain and public shaming have worked well for millions of years (literally) they still work today in many countries, and they are far more compassionate than a long jail sentence. Humans are just another animal species, sometimes animal incentives are what we need.

                • hackerlight 9 days ago

                  That's a good idea. At least give convicted criminals the option. Will save taxpayers a lot too. This could apply to non-violent offences where the person doesn't need to be confined to protect other people from high probability reoffense.

              • atdrummond 9 days ago

                I agree. Let ICE round up the (mainly Honduran) migrants dealing drugs to pay off the cartel for their transit into the country. Note: that doesn’t mean cooperating with ICE on raids on the rest/majority of the migrants who are actively contributing positively to the city. The current policy is to simply hand these people “no go” orders, which are essentially a polite request to not go back to Civic Center/the Tenderloin.

                It’s an absolute joke and it is typical black and white American policy making that’s causing this situation to be far worse than it needs to be.

            • kelnos 9 days ago

              I don't think that's what the person you're replying to said, but yes, that is true in some cases, especially when crimes are perpetrated out of need, drug addiction, or because of feeling disenfranchised and excluded from society.

              That's certainly not everyone, but I suspect if we were to deal with the subset that is "misunderstood" in a more productive way, SF crime would be a lot more tractable.

            • actually_a_dog 9 days ago

              Ugh. No, that's just another strawman. The argument, which is supported by research, is that actually helping people to reintegrate into society, helping them find homes, get jobs, and get mental health treatment stops them committing crimes. That's because putting people in a place of stability reduces the need to commit crime.

          • Georgelemental 9 days ago

            "Throw them in jail to rot there forever" vs "slap on the wrist, coddle them and give them money" is a false dichotomy. We used to have a third option; it worked; many countries still do and it still works.

            We should reintroduce short-term but painful punishments (a day in the stocks, public caning, etc) for moderately severe offenses. Some people need more than just a slap on the wrist to change, but don't deserve to have their life ruined forever by a 30-year jail sentence. Physical pain and public shaming have worked well for millions of years (literally) they still work today in many countries, and they are far more compassionate than a long jail sentence. Humans are just another animal species, sometimes animal incentives are what we need.

          • eternalban 9 days ago

            Soon we will have colonies on other planets and there will be an option 3.

            Police that refuse to do their job because the DA's office is politically indoctrinated are not helping anything. It's almost immature. Police have unions and associations, political connections (even today), connections with the press (even today), so we're not talking about some powerless sector of society.

            The mature response is for SF police to do its job (because if we do the math, it is also wasting the time of criminals), and have its organizational arms make a stink about it in the public space. Publish statistics and weekly 'wtf DA?' blog posts. I mean it's the 21st century.

          • ummonk 9 days ago

            I prefer Option 3 - executions - but I'll settle for Option 1.

            • Georgelemental 9 days ago

              Some people are too far gone for Option 2, but don't deserve 1 or 3. Like serial shoplifters, first-time drunk drivers, non-violent drug dealers…

              We used to know how to deal with these people, and many countries still do. Corporal punishment and public shaming have been the go-to solutions for millions of years. We should bring them back. You can make a criminal deeply and viscerally regret their crime, without destroying their life.

              • LawTalkingGuy 9 days ago

                > Corporal punishment and public shaming have been the go-to solutions for millions of years. We should bring them back. You can make a criminal deeply and viscerally regret their crime, without destroying their life.

                People have a hard time with the idea that caning or standing on the street with a sandwich board detailing your crime can be the empathic answer. Better than letting you hurt others, and letting the crime harden you until you need harsher responses.

                > Like serial shoplifters, first-time drunk drivers, non-violent drug dealers…

                Then non-violent drug dealer has to mean someone selling something that can't kill or seriously injure you. Fentanyl dealers might as well be selling arsenic and should be treated accordingly.

                • Georgelemental 8 days ago

                  Drunk driving kills too. The intent here is that small-time drug dealing, like drunk driving, is something easy to slip into—especially if you are an addict yourself and in debt. Of course the bigger dealers should get worse.

      • taskforcegemini 8 days ago

        you'd not be fixing bugs, you'd make pull requests that never get merged.

      • pyuser583 9 days ago

        It’s the job of police officers to arrest people that won’t be charged?

    • usednet 9 days ago

      As an actual SF resident, this is categorically wrong. The SFPD, pre and post Chesa has been utterly useless, which is supported by historical crime and arrest statistics. In fact, when Chesa was still DA he had to assemble his own team to act on the fencing ring after the SFPD refused to shut it down.

      • subsubzero 9 days ago

        yeah but pre-chesa it was George Gascon, who by all intents is exactly the same ideologically as Chesa. You need to go back before George Gascon(who is now DA of LA and was also under a recall). And honestly SF knew who they were getting in both of them so they deserve the out of control crime that is plaguing the city now.

      • nradov 9 days ago

        If that's an accurate description of the situation then why are you still an SF resident?

        • kelnos 9 days ago

          Not the person you're replying to, but in the same boat.

          Personally, "effectiveness of police" isn't a make-or-break criterion for me for where to live. I agree that petty property crime is out of control in this city, but I never feel physically unsafe. And regarding property crime itself, my car is garaged, and when it's out and about I never leave anything in it visible from the windows. As for my home, I live on the 4th floor and have two big heavy doors, one with a deadbolt, between me and the street. Home break-ins are pretty rare in my neighborhood anyway, but even if someone did want to break into a home around here, my home is not the low-hanging fruit that a burglar would zero in on first.

          • hunterb123 9 days ago

            Effectively poor local policies hurts lower income people the worst.

            The ones without garages, without strong security systems, in worse off neighborhoods, etc.

            Unfortunately higher income people only act when it reaches their doorstep, which happens more gradually.

        • cgy1 9 days ago

          San Francisco, believe it or not, is still a great place to live, despite all of our issues.

    • boulos 9 days ago

      Now that there's been a new DA for a couple months who appears to be tougher on crime, it doesn't seem like anything has happened yet. Chesa was in office for ~30 months. How long do you believe before we should expect a change in behavior?

      • braingenious 9 days ago

        The SFPD superfans will likely continue blaming Chesa Boudin for every past, present and future instance of crime, spilled milk, and bad weather for generations. He’s an incredibly useful boogeyman for people that want a complete and sovereign police state installed in that city.

    • oivey 9 days ago

      If that’s a waste of their time (setting aside that they don’t get to decide that), what are they doing instead?

      • TuringNYC 9 days ago

        >> what are they doing instead?

        Watching crimes happen via security cameras.

      • hunterb123 9 days ago

        Monitoring, that's what the TFA is about. They just don't take action because the DA won't take action.

        Why open yourself up to liability, danger, just to have the DA let the person off and back out.

        Fix the issue from the top. It's specific DA's in specific areas that are the problem.

        • oivey 9 days ago

          You really don’t need many cops for monitoring, especially when they won’t investigate or arrest people for crimes. Why spend money on employing them?

          The police don’t get to decide whether people are guilty or can be convicted in court. Whether the DA prosecutes people adequately is a political problem. Whether the city spends millions employing cops that don’t do anything is also a political problem.

          • hunterb123 9 days ago

            Yes, it seems certain areas have two conflicting political problems.

            The DA is either letting too many people go or the mayor is keeping too many police.

            Personally I believe certain DAs are completely out of line and don't reflect the will of the people, but the will of certain donors.

        • dragonwriter 9 days ago

          > They just don't take action because the DA won't take action.

          But they were already successful in their “get paid while on strike” protest to overthrow the D. A. in favor of their favored alternative, so shouldn’t their defenders at least come up with a new excuse for their continued nonfeasance?

          • hunterb123 9 days ago

            I guess we'll see how the new DA performs.

            I'm curious, do you think the previous DA did a good job or did you support the recall?

            -- EDIT @dragonwriter --

              > I think that debate is about as relevant to the law enforcement problems in San Francisco as a debate over the china pattern in the first class dining room is to the problems with the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic.
            
            Okay... so you don't want to answer the question if you supported the DA or not.

            It's very much relevant as we were talking about the performance of the DA and you brought up the recall itself.

            You could have easily voiced your opinion of the DA instead of spouting off a silly analogy.

            -- EDIT2 @dragonwriter ---

              > since apparently you’re doing upthread edits in lieu of responding
            
            Yes unfortunately I hit a post limit so I opted to respond in an edit because this conversation is interesting, thank you for adapting.

              > No, its not relevant to the point that SFPD apologists 
             blaming the past DAs prosecutorial approach for why SFPD won't arrest people now after they succesfully got that past DA thrown out and replaced based on that argument makes no sense.
            
              > It doesn’t really matter if they were right about Boudin when he was in office, that’s moot when it comes to their current (in)action when he isn’t.
            
            You act like it's been awhile since the DA was recalled for not doing his job, it's only been a couple months and old cases are still being reviewed. We'll see if the crime in SF lowers, or how the new DA handles cases in the very near future.

            I find it very interesting that you have no problem trying to put blame on the SFPD, who have little control in policies other than striking for change, which they did, while not even wanting to comment on the previous DA which generated the problems which led to the recent recall.

              > It doesn’t really matter if they were right about Boudin when he was in office, that’s moot when it comes to their current (in)action when he isn’t.
            
            It certainly does matter as these things take time to progress, they aren't instant. The problems of SF today are the problems because of the last two DAs, not the one that just got in, depending on their actions.

            It will take time for the negative incentives to influence the criminals. This is why it's important to always enforce the law and not just let people out.

            • dragonwriter 9 days ago

              > do you think the previous DA did a good job or did you support the recall?

              I think that debate is about as relevant to the law enforcement problems in San Francisco as a debate over the china pattern in the first class dining room is to the problems with the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic.

              EDIT:

              since apparently you’re doing upthread edits in lieu of responding:

              > It's very much relevant as we were talking about the performance of the DA and you brought up the recall itself

              No, its not relevant to the point that SFPD apologists blaming the past DAs prosecutorial approach for why SFPD won't arrest people now after they succesfully got that past DA thrown out and replaced based on that argument makes no sense.

              It doesn’t really matter if they were right about Boudin when he was in office, that’s moot when it comes to their current (in)action when he isn’t.

    • throwsf123 9 days ago

      Do you work for the police department?

      • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

        I come from a law enforcement and fire service family and I can say I've heard similar things from family and friends in uniform service. The two biggest problems are letting the bad ones walk and the drain of talent & experience as a result of terrible government policy nuking morale.

        • jamroom 9 days ago

          I think there is more to this as well - it seems like policing is seen more as a source of revenue for cities than it is about protecting or serving the citizens of the city. I used to live in Lynnwood, WA and they added ~20 new officers in 2015 or so - by far the bulk were on "traffic". They had just spent 25+ million on a new rec center and updated library and needed to get that money from somewhere. Around that time my house was broken in to and the police saw it 100% as an insurance issue. I think A LOT of people don't see local police as anything other than another form of tax on the local citizens, and I believe it has changed the TYPE of person that wants to BECOME a police officer - from someone that is interested in helping their fellow citizen to someone that likes the feeling of power they get over others.

      • tomschlick 9 days ago

        Nope. Just have been following the /r/ProtectAndServe subreddit the past few years to get a better understanding about their profession and the reasoning behind their decisions and tactics.

        What I described above is a very common recurring trend from verified officers that work in major cities like SF that have gone soft on crime over the past few years.

        • whatshisface 9 days ago

          Why are the only two packages on political offer "don't prosecute" and "beat up innocent people?"

          • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

            This is a mischaracterization of what occurs in the real world.

            • dragonwriter 9 days ago

              That’s true, police will still beat up innocent people even when they won’t arrest the clearly guilty to protest prosecutors not charging the exact way police would prefer.

              • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

                Again, a mischaracterization. There are somewhere north of 3,000,000 police-citizen interactions per day. An overwhelming majority of them end without event. Rarely are 'innocent' people even restrained. What's most likely is a person will resist arrest after they were suspected of a crime, and will be injured in the forceful arrest.

                • dragonwriter 9 days ago

                  “Lots of innocent people don’t get beat up by police” is true, but not actually a rebuttal of “police beat up innocent people”.

                  • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

                    Re-read what I wrote. In the eyes of the court, a person is innocent until proven guilty, but the overwhelming majority of times, a person gets tuned up by police because they are violent and resisting arrest. Suppose we could argue about the meaning of innocent in the context of someone who led police on a chase, committed an assault against another citizen or police or has an active warrant and didn't want to go back to jail. Police are reactive and generally not proactive. They are dispatched to an incident and absolutely do not drive around looking for people to tune up. That's just simply false and is only true in the political theater that put us in this situation in the first place.

                  • bakugo 9 days ago

                    Because "police beat up innocent people" is a non-argument. You could replace "police" in that statement with just about any group of people and it would still hold true.

                    • mindslight 9 days ago

                      Sure, but when anyone not from this specific group beats up someone, the criminal justice system generally prosecutes them. And if the criminal justice system fails to do that, we all still generally agree that the attacker was in the wrong.

                      Meanwhile, when a police officer beats up or even murders someone, often an entire city has to protest for that violent criminal to even be charged. And their coworkers, purported employees of the public trust, purported believers in law and order, go on and on justifying the assailant's actions as if they should be normalized.

        • Judgmentality 9 days ago

          If the police are too apathetic to do their jobs, they shouldn't be getting paid at all. If they don't want to do their jobs then why don't they quit? Actions speak louder than words - they just want the paycheck without the work.

          The police are the problem with police, regardless of whatever distractions they say are to blame.

          • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

            It is easy to say that while sitting under the umbrella of their service, having never done even the smallest aspect of the job. The hostility towards uniform services in 2020 are paying dividends today. This is what was ordered and you get exactly what you paid for.

            Not wanting to do the job. On the contrary, they want to do the job, that's why they become LEO in the first place. The problem is that leadership won't let them do the job, tying their hands and undoing the work they do (by releasing known violent criminals and other predators)

            Add in the talent-drain and it gets even worse. Why would a 20 year man stay on for 5 more years to train the new guard when it is just easier to retire now and not deal with activist leadership, people spitting on you, and DAs who let your collars (the one that almost got you stabbed) walk in a few hours?

            • AlexandrB 9 days ago

              > The hostility towards uniform services in 2020 are paying dividends today. This is what was ordered and you get exactly what you paid for.

              This applies in reverse to the lack of accountability and closing of ranks when police do something that's out of line. Why would police departments expect citizens to treat them with respect when enforcement of the law within their own ranks is so poor?

          • ignoramceisblis 9 days ago

            That's a nice lie you have there.

            The problem is that crime is not being prosecuted as it should. The fault lies with the DA's office. Any other "solution" you offer will not actually resolve the effects of the problem until that problem is solved.

            Once that problem is solved, I can guarantee you will see arrests increase. Maybe you're one of the ones who don't want that?

          • tomschlick 9 days ago

            If the person they are arresting isn't being prosecuted because the DA releases them for petty crime/breaking into cars/stealing/etc, then there is zero point to actually arresting them if the cop is going to see them on the street again in 4 hours doing the same shit again. This is a political problem, not a police problem.

            • wpietri 9 days ago

              If you're talking about the brief 2-year period where Boudin was DA, a) SF cop indifference long precedes that, and b) it's over, he's gone. So maybe you can drop this talking point and get a new one.

              I also want to challenge the notion that putting even more people in prison is going to solve these problems. The US has the world's highest incarceration rate. And not just by a little; we're ~5x the UK, ~10x Scandinavia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarcera...

              We've tried mass incarceration to reduce crime. It does not work. Trying it a bit harder after decades of it not working is not going to suddenly and magically produce a different result.

            • autoexec 9 days ago

              > then there is zero point to actually arresting them if the cop is going to see them on the street again in 4 hours doing the same shit again.

              the "point" would be in part:

              1. Actually doing their job. No one can blame police if the DA or a lawyer or a judge fucks up and a "bad guy" walks. We can/will blame them if they refuse to do the job they are paid for.

              2. It gets a "bad guy" off the street for 4+ hours. That's 4+ hours where the people police are supposed to be protecting don't have to worry about the criminal.

              3. Keeping the record. Even assuming a terrible DA is letting everyone police arrest go free, someday a non-terrible DA is going to come into office and when a case file hits their desk they're going to want to know if the person arrested has been arrested one time or 20 times over the last x number of years. They're going to want to review reports and evidence from those incidents as well.

            • Judgmentality 9 days ago

              If the police honestly believe that, they should quit and stop wasting taxpayer money. Again, actions speak louder than words. You're just buying their bullshit excuses for why they're incompetent.

              • bombcar 9 days ago

                Many have. Police forces are having issues recruiting and retaining.

              • soulofmischief 9 days ago

                And then who will be left, but the dangerous idiots?

  • s1artibartfast 9 days ago

    To be fair, most of this work load doesn't exist in a well functioning Society. Police serve to plug holes and fix cracks in the damn that is Civil Society.

    Their tools and tactics simply can't hold back a catastrophic failure anymore than an engineer with a shovel.

    In a functioning Society, 99% of the crime prevention is done by citizens. This takes the forms of community support, cohesion, self-respect, and having something to lose.

    • atomicnumber3 9 days ago

      Btw the thing that blocks water is a dam. Damn is short for damnation which is what happens to anyone downstream of a damned dam.

  • systemvoltage 9 days ago

    Non-sense. Why is this anger channeled to individual police officers? The people of SF voted for the policies that they're now suffering from.

    • googlryas 9 days ago

      Yeah, at a certain point, if you see everyone(or every cop) doing or not doing something, you need to ask what the incentives are or what is wrong with the system which they are working in.

      I'm not familiar with SF, but in my little liberal-city-overrun-with-homeless-drug-addicts, the cops want to arrest more criminals, but the people they arrest get released immediately back out to the public again, so it's sort of like, why even bother?

      • systemvoltage 9 days ago

        No, complete misdirection. Scapegoating and loathing over cops is barking at the wrong tree. It also takes crucial attention that’s much needed to correct terrible progressive policies and further perpetuates them.

        This is a time for introspection of the type of government structures and leadership, not knee-jerk reaction. Probably feels satisfying to call cops pigs and donut munchers but that’s the lowest blow you can strike.

        It is time for progressives to start looking inwards and resist the urge to scape goat Capitalism, Cops, Inequality, etc. Study from how good governing cities look like and learn from it. Educate the public. Purge administrative class that delivers nothing for the taxes people pay.

    • tristor 9 days ago

      Most of my ire (as a non-resident) is because I am forced to sometimes spend time in San Francisco, and it is a worse experience than nearly any other city I've visited in the world, which are many, most of them in vastly poorer and more generally corrupt societies, that somehow manage to be more functional and cleaner than SF.

      • s1artibartfast 9 days ago

        At some point it begs the question if it is a problem with the police or with the people. I have spent time in some incredibly poor countries where police are essentially non-existent. Theft is low because people individually believe that it is unacceptable Behavior. They are raised this way and a critical mass of parents, friends, and acquaintances perpetuate this value. Individuals themselves reject thievery as a solution to their problems.

        I don't know how to get back to that from where we are today

        • tristor 9 days ago

          I concur with your assessment, and I'll add one additional thing to that assessment, most of these incredibly poor countries are religious and use the church as a community third-space. I believe San Francisco has replaced it's reverence for God with reverence for meaningless politics, and there is no third-place for the community. These may not be the causative factors, but certainly they speak to some differences that may affect the outcomes.

          • s1artibartfast 9 days ago

            I don't think that religion is the only source of self respect, but do agree that the loss of community 3rd spaces with community values is a big part part of it. This shift is not confined to religion, but can be seen in almost every non-digital community that exists.

            They left a vacuum which was filled by anger, jealousy, narcissism, entitlement, and even more consumerism than before.

    • sha256sum 9 days ago

      I recall once, I believe it would have been around 2014, watching approximately 50 SFPD officers, in full riot gear, patrolling a socialist worker's march--of less than 100 people--peacefully walking down Mission St.

      I have no idea from what perspective your argument comes from. Frankly, I don't think you do, either. But I think in speaking to any resident of San Francisco you will hear many trends like this relating to lopsided (mis)use of police resources, and it comes in many flavors.

soulofmischief 9 days ago

“Our residents and small businesses want us focused on keeping San Francisco safe for everyone who lives and works in the City,” Breed said in a statement. “This is a sensible policy that balances the need to give our police officers another tool to address significant public safety challenges and to hold those who break the law accountable.”

Oh my god, the mental gymnastics here are mind-numbing.

Why not just fix the plethora of existing fundamental crises plaguing the city which are directly to blame for rising crime?

Fraud is at an all-time high too, do I get a live feed of the private offices of high-ranking financial executives?

I know the playbook, I know this is Police State 101, but are we really so lazy and pathetic that we still accept this answer as citizens?

When will we finally remember that police and lawmakers are our public servants and not the other way around? This should be cause for protest across the entire tech industry. We can afford to take off work.

What are we going to do about this?

  • aeternum 9 days ago

    Suggest a better alternative so it takes the wind out of the 'we need this to stop crime' sails.

    I'd suggest SF instead create a website where citizens can upload their own private videos of crimes being committed and actually expect a police follow-up.

    There are thousands of SF citizens that have the exact GPS location of their stolen phone, bike, etc. You know where there's one stolen item there are likely many more, why not use the evidence we have that citizens are pleading with SFPD to take action upon (to no avail).

    • rabuse 9 days ago

      The first step, is to actually have consequences to the commission of crimes again. How is it so surprising that when you get lax on penalties, there will be more crime?

      • lamontcg 9 days ago

        You could prevent crime from ever happening in the first place. The more mentally ill, drug addicted and homelessness you've got in a city, without any kind of support for them, the worse the crime is going to get. Punishment doesn't fix anything, just keeps them with nothing to lose.

    • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

      Therein lies the problem. You have many thousands of pieces of evidence but limited manpower and resources. Even more so when politicians and residents are pushing to shrink your budgets. Couple that with a DA that is letting some pretty spicy characters walk on serious charges, and you have a recipe for todays conditions. If only someone saw this coming...

      • aeternum 9 days ago

        I'm not convinced budget is the issue. Many police still perform patrols around the city, and the data does not support the efficacy of that.

        Data shows that crime occurs in highly concentrated areas, and those are typically the undesirable areas of the city where police rarely patrol. I also question the efficacy of city-wide patrols now that every citizen is carrying a phone and can easily call in an issue.

        How would crime change if we committed just 2% of the 2000+ SF police force on permanent patrol in tenderloin? That's something like 20 officers walking around tenderloin at all times, it would make the open-air drug market significantly more difficult. You could commit 10% or 200 officers to tracking down citizen-sourced live-GPS crime. Car breakins where a GPS device was taken (airtag is present, or cellphone/airpods was taken).

        I'd wager that those 12% of officers would make more total arrests than the 88% doing patrols throughout the rest of the city.

        • autoexec 9 days ago

          > Many police still perform patrols around the city, and the data does not support the efficacy of that.

          There's a lot of value in having patrols even in low crime areas. It means that when something does go horribly wrong, or even when residents just need help, that help isn't terribly far away. It also prevents "police free zones" which criminals would quickly discover and be happy to exploit. That said, police certainly should be patrolling areas where crime is more prevalent more frequently.

      • rrradical 9 days ago

        > Even more so when politicians and residents are pushing to shrink your budgets.

        Besides the public discussion which we all heard, do you have any evidence that policing budgets actually shrank? My understanding is that they largely did not (and mostly grew). So you really don't seem to be arguing in good faith.

        • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

          So what you're saying is that all the municipalities and cities that cut budgets is not evidence of budgets getting cut? Seems to me that you're not arguing in good faith when all of this is public record, and could be discovered as such with a 10 minute stroll through google results.

    • soulofmischief 9 days ago

      Interestingly, I think a more effective approach would be to invert, reporting crimes without the expectation for police follow-up, shining a spotlight on the disgustingly lazy SFPD and their handlers.

      The only problem with either of these approaches is that it exposes the accused to vigilante action without due process.

  • abeppu 9 days ago

    > Fraud is at an all-time high too, do I get a live feed of the private offices of high-ranking financial executives?

    Given the corruption revelations / charges that have come out of City Hall, SF residents should get live feeds (with audio) of all offices of city officials.

    • soulofmischief 9 days ago

      I wholeheartedly agree. I'm trying more and more to live stream my own dev process, they can do the same.

      • WalterBright 9 days ago

        I was thinking of live streaming my own coding, but I can't think of anything more boring to watch.

        • autoexec 9 days ago

          You can always add an exciting techno soundtrack or just get a mic, a mechanical keyboard, and a loud mouse and you can pull in the ASMR fans.

        • soulofmischief 9 days ago

          What kind of projects are you thinking of streaming? You might have your first viewer right here :)

  • autoexec 9 days ago

    > I know the playbook, I know this is Police State 101, but are we really so lazy and pathetic that we still accept this answer as citizens?

    The number of Amazon ring cameras sold suggests that we'll not only accept it, we'll pay for the privilege of bringing the police state right into our own homes!

    • soulofmischief 7 days ago

      Surveillance capitalism just makes you all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it.

  • throwsf123 9 days ago

    > What are we going to do about this?

    Maybe elect somebody different, or run yourself if you feel so strongly about it.

Vt71fcAqt7 9 days ago

My understanding of the situation in SF is that many things simply are not illegal and/or not enforced (for example, stealing bellow $950 in value). If that is the case why would police need surveilance cameras if they don't enforce basic laws in the first place? Can anyone from SF or who understands the situation explain?

  • m-ee 9 days ago

    It is absolutely illegal to steal less than $950. The were a CA law that reclassified some crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies, a misdemeanor is still a crime you can and will be arrested for. SFPD is famously reticent to do any work so the fiction that “we can’t arrest people for small crimes because of the government” has been peddled as an excuse for them not doing their jobs.

    EDIT- To answer your question, SFPD works when they feel like it. When they do they want it to be easy. Local politics means there’s no real accountability that an increase is their power would come with increased expectations, so why wouldn’t they take as much as they can get

    • ballenf 9 days ago

      If every PR a dev submitted got reverted the next day, they'd probably lose a bit of passion and start phoning it in or leave for another job.

      • vkou 9 days ago

        In this case the better analogy is a dev that gets up in a huff because his code has to pass code review before it's submitted, so he spends the next year hanging around the water-cooler. It's a common police union response to any expectation of accountability or oversight.

        Seattle recently elected a hard-Republican city attorney, who ran on a platform of zero tolerance for misdemeanors. Despite this, SPD continues to be both unaccountable and largely useless. Go figure...

      • m-ee 9 days ago

        The more apt comparison is that you hate doing code reviews because you think the process is too onerous so you simply stop submitting PRs. There's a few SFPD officers on /r/sanfrancisco. They didn't talk about Chesa all that much, but they have repeatedly and specifically cited the amount of paperwork involved in an arrest as a reason they don't do them.

        Maybe the process is too onerous, but if you stopped writing code altogether because of paperwork would you expect to keep your job?

        There's a recent video where the police catch someone in the act of stealing a catalytic converter and let him go. In addition to the video there are multiple eye witnesses. Chesa's gone, they have allies in Breed and the new DA. What's the excuse now?

    • PM_me_your_math 9 days ago

      But consider that if you have 10 people steal 900 from you each month, you've lost almost 10k, which is not small potatoes

      • m-ee 9 days ago

        I'm not arguing that its small potatoes. It's a real issue and I agree it should be dealt with. My point is that despite what police union reps may say there is no law or policy, state or city, that prevents police for arresting someone who steals $900. They choose not to.

  • aaroninsf 9 days ago

    This was my reaction as well.

    The justification of this is pretty obvioulsy, police love [d-cking around with] Police State surveillance tools, which have as much allure as their military cosplay as well as providing a rich vein of feeding off public funding and associated grift payback and political donation.

    The actual use case which translates into public safety, especially with respect to property crime and the cluster of adjacent unenforced lifestyle-degrading failures of SF policing, seem to in no way justify the expenditure.

    And that is 100x as true because plain old community policing consistently proves infinitely better return on value.

    Not that actual proven return on value ever provokes investment in plain old community and social welfare, in our current dystopia...

  • aerostable_slug 9 days ago

    Cameras help make up for a lack of police officers & detectives patrolling the streets, in theory.

    Community policing requires cops, and lots of them. SFPD is hemorrhaging talent, and why wouldn't it? Who would want to work somewhere with a sky-high cost of living, a populace who largely despises you, and an mostly-hostile City Hall? The best officers are lateraling out to better climes and recruitment numbers are falling.

    Also, it's very true that they don't go after many crimes, but they do spend resources on things like attempted murder, rape, etc. Too bad about your car, though...

  • throwsf123 9 days ago

    > Can anyone from SF or who understands the situation explain?

    London Breed ran a representative survey by a sophisticated polling group whose objective is to identify "actions that maximize increase in votes." It's Shorism - https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/style/david-shor-democrat... - not specifically his group but in a Darwinian way this is how lots of local elected officials operate now.

    So now we understand your question is really, "Why does this particular action affect voting?" We can only speculate. Too few people are victims of property crime for that to be the explanatory variable. I think the kind of people who are never victims of property crime (the majority) react very strongly to the presence of cameras. They also believe that Ring makes them more secure. It's all kind of stupid. But that kind of person votes.

abeppu 9 days ago

We should all get real-time access to police body cams. After all they have nothing to fear if they're not doing anything wrong, right?

  • raldi 9 days ago

    In all seriousness, the most surveilled room in the city should be the surveillance center. Perhaps on a delay, everything that happens there should be reviewable by any citizen.

    If something happens there that needs to be struck from the public audit record, they should be required to get sign-off from a judge or have a watchdog official summarize the incident with the minimum possible redaction.

  • peter422 9 days ago

    Fyi I've requested body Camara footage in SF and the process was quite easy, the video was delivered quickly and I used it to win my case against the city.

    I know you are making a facetious point but the footage is quite available.

    • rabuse 9 days ago

      Until it's not, due to "lack of funds", or "COVID-19 issues".

      • autoexec 9 days ago

        or "we lost it" or "camera malfunction"

  • AnimalMuppet 9 days ago

    It's not quite that symmetric.

    The public having real-time access to police body cams mean that criminals also have that, which means they can see where the police are, which means they can be where the police aren't. Whereas police having real-time data means that (at least in principle) they can be where the criminals are. One of those is a sensible outcome; the other is not.

    Mind you, I'm not saying this police access is a good idea. Just that this rebuttal fails.

    • abeppu 9 days ago

      > Whereas police having real-time data means that (at least in principle) they can be where the criminals are.

      From the article:

      > The SFPD will also be able to access private camera footage during large-scale public events such as protests, even if there is no suspicion that a crime has taken place.

      They explicitly want access in cases where there hasn't been a crime. The EFF posts on this legislation also points out that this is likely to not be particularly effective in addressing crime, if the rules laid out are followed. And members of the police commission even asked for this vote to be delayed. This is not actually about stopping crime.

      > One of those is a sensible outcome

      No, the outcome which involves all the non-criminals going about their daily lives inside a panopticon is not sensible.

    • babyshake 9 days ago

      So a real-time feed of police body cams with a one week delay should mitigate the effects of criminals watching the feeds.

      • ejb999 9 days ago

        A 'real-time feed' with a one week delay? I don't think you know what the word means.

        • Schroedingersat 9 days ago

          Yes, GP does. That sentence clearly and unambiguously means unedited, continuous, and with a 1 week latency.

        • mikestew 9 days ago

          "Real-time" doesn't mean "live", which might be what you're shooting for in your definition policing.

  • googlryas 9 days ago

    So when I'm detailing to a cop how my ex partner broke into my house and raped me, you think you have a right to that information?

    Cool man.

kodah 9 days ago

> The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will not have continuous access to the cameras but will be able to tap into the network under certain conditions, such as during the investigation of crimes including misdemeanors and property crimes. The SFPD will also be able to access private camera footage during large-scale public events such as protests, even if there is no suspicion that a crime has taken place

So, they basically have real-time access all the time, specifically during protests.

Keep in mind the board of supervisors is voted in by the citizens of San Francisco. This is what the citizens here want.

I used to be angry at the police for wanting such things. Then I realized that at my job I like things being efficient. Someone else has to keep the police at bay.

I also used to get mad at committees, like the board of supervisors, because they have the power to dole out power. But, like the police, what motivates them is what voters want.

That last leaves the voters. A persons position on crime really depends on how they interpret the data this dashboard: https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/stay-safe/crime-data/crim... The citizens of San Francisco chose, based on their perception of this data, that giving more power to police surveillance was a tool they needed.

I have no solutions. Everyone will see that dashboard in a different light. Rather, the only solution I can provide is a boundary: the job of the police should be hard. If it is not, there is a hack in both your enumerated and perceived rights.

  • rahimnathwani 9 days ago

    > A persons position on crime really depends on how they interpret this dashboard

    Imagine asking SF residents to tell you:

    In the past 24 months, I have:

    A) seen the SFPD Crime Dashboard.

    B) been the victim of at least one property or violent crime and/or have witnessed a crime being committed in broad daylight.

    C) read a frightening account of a nearby crime on NextDoor, Twitter or Facebook.

    I think (A) would get the fewest votes. People form opinions based on their personal experience (what they see on the streets) and the narratives of others (what friends and neighbours write). Some folks look at stats. Fewer understand them. Even fewer use them to inform their opinion (rather than to support their existing opinion).

    • kodah 9 days ago

      I've updated that sentence to read, "A persons position on crime really depends on how they interpret the data on this dashboard."

      Thanks for pointing out the poor phrasing.

      • rahimnathwani 9 days ago

        My point still applies: people don't usually base their opinions on data. They base them on what they perceive directly (e.g. seeing a crime) or indirectly (e.g. hearing about a scary crime).

        Even if confronted with data, people will interpret it based on their opinion.

        Crime report data is up? That could mean:

        A) law enforcement has been doing a better job, so people feel it's more worthwhile to report crimes, or

        B) law enforcement has been doing a worse job, so people don't bother reporting crimes

        Whether someone interprets the data as meaning A or B depends on their opinion more than it informs their opinion.

        • kodah 9 days ago

          The data, to me, is mostly reality. I rephrased it so that it reflects peoples perceptions on reality. I did that specifically because there's debate on how much crime there actually is.

          I do agree that data is fallable and manipulatable, but I do still think the data is good enough for a baseline.

          • rahimnathwani 9 days ago

            I'm not suggesting the data aren't useful, that they don't reflect reality, or that they don't inform your opinion of what policies we should pursue.

            I'm just disagreeing that the data (trend in # of incidents of crime) are what drives most people's opinions about what policies we should pursue.

      • dragonwriter 9 days ago

        You still have the subject and object of “depends on” reversed, at best.

        • kodah 9 days ago

          I think reversing it treads heavy into opinion territory, which has no data - just people's feelings.

          If the roles were reversed, eg: were this not SF, people would be die hard about the data and what it shows - which is part of my point.

          We can't have our cake and eat it too. At some point you just have to set clear boundaries, like what I mentioned at the end.

StanislavPetrov 9 days ago

>Civil liberties groups such as the EFF and ACLU were strongly critical of the new measure, which they argue will increase the surveillance of already marginalized groups within the city.

Why can't this measure just be opposed because it is oppressive and authoritarian? Why the need to emphasize "marginalized groups"? It very much reminds me of the "stop and frisk" debate that happened years ago here in New York. "Stop and frisk" was clearly an unconstitutional practice that violated 4th Amendment protections against search and seizure. Instead of opposing it on those clear grounds, "civil liberties" groups and courts focused only on the racial aspect. It was ultimately stopped not because it was unconstitutional, authoritarian overreach, but because the "impact was disparate". Why must every issue in our society be somehow shoehorned into a matter of race?

  • autoexec 9 days ago

    > Instead of opposing it on those clear grounds, "civil liberties" groups and courts focused only on the racial aspect. It was ultimately stopped not because it was unconstitutional, authoritarian overreach, but because the "impact was disparate".

    This is just plain wrong. People went after new york's stop and frisk laws for being unconstitutional. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_v._City_of_New_York)

    It's not surprising that civil rights groups will focus on civil rights violations. That's not "shoehorning something into a matter of race"

    When our rights are violated it's often "marginalized groups" that are disproportionately impacted because people who want to weaken our freedoms often start by attacking marginalized groups specifically because fewer people care about what happens to them and those groups often have fewer means to fight for their rights and tend to experience poorer outcomes within the legal system.

    One reason why civil rights groups keep such a close eye on "marginalized groups" is that the abuses we allow to happen to them today will be the abuses we all suffer under tomorrow. Keeping an eye on how they are treated will tell us how the rest of us will be treated. Stopping those abuses before they become entrenched and normalized is critical.

    It's not that nobody cares about unconstitutional practices unless they are happening to marginalized groups, but marginalized groups are where unconstitutional practices most often occur and when people fight back against them they absolutely do it because they are oppressive and authoritarian and violate everyone's rights.

    If you care about your own freedoms, you should care deeply about the freedoms of everyone else, especially the most vulnerable. It's really not some conspiracy to "make everything about race".

    All of that being said, the vast majority of society these days does consider it to be pretty uncool to be a huge racist, so pointing out when people are being racist does get some additional media attention to your cause, and can motivate people who don't want to be seen as enabling clearly racist practices to act against them. That does factor into things as well, although I struggle to see how that's a problem either.

    • StanislavPetrov 9 days ago

      >>This is just plain wrong. People went after new york's stop and frisk laws for being unconstitutional. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_v._City_of_New_York)

      Did you read your own citation?

      >alleging that defendants have implemented and sanctioned a policy, practice, and/or custom of unconstitutional stops and frisks by the New York Police Department ("NYPD") on the basis of race and/or national origin

      The whole suit was based on the assertion that the stops and searches were unconstitutional because they were being carried out in a racist way - not because the searches themselves were unconstitutional by their very nature.

      >It's not surprising that civil rights groups will focus on civil rights violations.

      I'm for for equality and equal protection under the law (notice I said equality - not equity), and I fully support groups that push for Civil Rights and equality. But who stands up for Civil Liberties? ACLU stands for American Civil Liberties Union. If they aren't willing to stand up and fight for Civil Liberties (without regard whatsoever to "marginalized" status), then who is?

      >If you care about your own freedoms, you should care deeply about the freedoms of everyone else, especially the most vulnerable. It's really not some conspiracy to "make everything about race".

      It isn't a conspiracy - it is right out in the open. I care about freedom as a principle without regard whatsoever to anyone's standing in society. The freedoms of the "most vulnerable" are neither more or less important than the freedom of everyone else, or the principle of freedom.

      • anigbrowl 7 days ago

        Because in general people don't give a shit about whether something is unconstitutional, so you need to look for angles that describe issues people do care about.

      • autoexec 9 days ago

        Why did you cut off the rest of that sentence? It concludes: "...in violation of Section 1983 of title forty-two of the United States Code, the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Constitution and laws of the State of New York."

        They attacked the practice on multiple grounds including Fourth Amendment grounds which I think you'll agree has nothing to do with race, so no, the whole suit was not based on the assertion that the stops and searches were unconstitutional only because they were being carried out in a racist way. The fact that the stops were racist was only one of several issues put before the courts and each of those issues were addressed by the courts on their own merits.

        > But who stands up for Civil Liberties?

        Many organizations, activists and individuals. It's not as if the ALCU is the only group in the country concerned with standing up for civil rights.

        > If they aren't willing to stand up and fight for Civil Liberties (without regard whatsoever to "marginalized" status), then who is?

        Even limiting ourselves to the ACLU, why should they have zero regard whatsoever for marginalized status? Do you think that there's some bar you have to have to clear where if your rights are violated they won't care if you aren't "marginalized" enough? Do you think that the marginalized status of a person whose rights are being violated could never be relevant as to why their rights were violated? Or that their marginalized status couldn't ever have an impact on their ability to fight against the violation of their rights without outside support? Why shouldn't they consider every factor in a case?

        > I care about freedom as a principle without regard whatsoever to anyone's standing in society.

        I think most members of civil rights orgs would tell you they also care about freedom as a principle which applies to everyone no matter what their standing in society.

        > The freedoms of the "most vulnerable" are neither more or less important than the freedom of everyone else

        I agree, but the freedoms of the "most vulnerable" are more often violated than the freedoms of everyone else, which is why they are often front and center in civil rights legislation.

        Your argument, to me, sounds a bit like someone complaining that doctors and researchers focused on chickenpox put more emphasis on children than adults. "Everyone's health matters without regard whatsoever to anyone's age!" well... that isn't being contested, but it doesn't change the fact that most people who suffer from chickenpox are children and that helping children with chickenpox would also help prevent many adults from catching chickenpox or that it's the natural place for doctors and researchers to focus their efforts.

        Who is going around saying that civil rights violations are acceptable when they aren't committed against someone from a marginalized group? Who is refusing to do anything about civil rights violations when they are committed against people who aren't marginalized enough?

        We all agree that civil rights violations are terrible no matter who is impacted, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight to stop violations when marginalized groups are impacted, or that we shouldn't acknowledge the conditions that make violations against marginalized groups more prevalent or that we shouldn't acknowledge that it's often harder for marginalized groups to fight back against such abuses without lots of external support.

        You seem to be railing against some kind of bias that, generally speaking, doesn't appear to exist.

        • StanislavPetrov 9 days ago

          >Do you think that there's some bar you have to have to clear where if your rights are violated they won't care if you aren't "marginalized" enough?

          There absolutely is. You can start with the deafening silence regarding the treatment the people who have been locked up for the last 2 years for being accused of trespassing in the Capitol on Jan 6th. It doesn't matter how corrupt Trump is, or how stupid his followers are, the abuses by the DOJ in these cases have been absolutely horrific. You could look at the (mostly minority) young men who are being railroaded and destroyed by Kafkaesque Title IX rules at colleges. Where are the principled stands for people who are abhorrent or distasteful, but whose rights are being violated? You think the ACLU of today would take the same, principled stand on a KKK march in Skokie, like they did in 1978? Not a chance. There has been a pronounced shift by everyone from the ACLU to the Sierra Club away from their core missions into "social justice" organizations. It is not only possible, but desirable to plainly and openly call out authoritarian overreach by the government (such as the access of these private cameras in San Fran) without shoehorning in a social justice agenda which is entirely irrelevant to the abuses in question.

          • autoexec 9 days ago

            > You can start with the deafening silence regarding the treatment the people who have been locked up for the last 2 years for being accused of trespassing in the Capitol on Jan 6th.

            You mean this silence? https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/aclu-capitol-rioters...

            From what I've seen their treatment hasn't been much different from what other prisoners experience. Sadly, a certain segment of the population believes that it's preferable for prisons to be inhumane and they've been fighting against efforts to reform the prison system my whole life.

            Additional context:

            https://apnews.com/article/records-rebut-claims-jan-6-rioter...

            https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/10/why-investigatin...

            > You could look at the (mostly minority) young men who are being railroaded and destroyed by Kafkaesque Title IX rules at colleges.

            I agree that Title IX rules are a terrible problem, and that this is an area where I personally disagree with the ALCU's stance, but they haven't been ignored by civil rights groups either.

            https://www.thefire.org/proposed-title-ix-regulations-would-...

            > You think the ACLU of today would take the same, principled stand on a KKK march in Skokie, like they did in 1978?

            I agree that the organization has changed and I personally feel that they are not as reputable as they once were, but then again, the ACLU is not the only civil rights group in the country. It's not really a problem that different groups have different focuses. Nobody complains when the NRA doesn't oppose forced labor in prisons.

            Some of what you'd call "social justice" is civil rights activism. They aren't unrelated things that have to be shoehorned together. There's a lot of overlap between them. it's not an either or problem although it does sometimes provoke some interesting conflicts. The rights of minority men vs the rights of privileged women in title ix kangaroo courts for example. The winner of the Oppression Olympics in a particular case might be judged differently by different civil rights groups but I've never seen a situation where there weren't people fighting the injustices found on both sides. That's the thing to keep in mind really. People who support civil rights are all fighting for the same thing in the end, even when we're coming at the problem from different sides.

shtopointo 9 days ago

I'm not even sure what dystopia to place this in – if they were actually tough on crime, then this would make more sense... but like this, when they don't do anything with ample video footage?

  • autoexec 9 days ago

    Seems like it's going to be used to identify protesters. I certainty wouldn't assume that just because arrests aren't being made nobody will be doing anything with the footage.

  • StanislavPetrov 9 days ago

    It is the same as the recent announcement that NYC was adding cameras on the subways. If criminals aren't going to be arrested and jailed, what good is it filming them while they commit their crimes?

DesiLurker 9 days ago

WTF! All other cities in america can do their f*king jobs without erecting this giant panopticon and monitoring every our moment of any slip-up then why cant they? instead of fixing the fundamental issues with policing they keep lowering the baseline expectations & then ask us to sacrifice more liberties. this is a massive overreach and needs to be stopped in its tracks.

  • throwaway743 9 days ago

    Not all. NYPD pretty much has this and has partnerships with private companies to assist in their surveillance.

    But I share your sentiment

oneplane 9 days ago

Cameras 'for safety' only work as a scare tactic. A camera doesn't stop anything, it only watches.

  • arminiusreturns 9 days ago

    My second amendment rights include auto-turrets w/ cams and other sensors. (and a robot army) Too much time in gmod? Maybe?

  • zo1 9 days ago

    A camera can absolutely stop a whole lot, assuming there is willpower to follow up on what is recorded. If that is the case, the camera will act as a deterrent.

    • autoexec 9 days ago

      In that case it's not the camera that is the deterrent, but the threat of enforcement after the fact. Remove that and the camera does nothing. Remove the camera and the enforcement is still the deterrent, just with one less piece of evidence to aid enforcement efforts.

    • oneplane 9 days ago

      I camera can't stop anything. Just like laws don't stop anything. Keep in mind that with stopping I mean: blocking an action from being taken. So if I want to deliver a bag of meth to your doorstep, even if you have 99999 cameras on the wall, that bag is not going to be prevented from getting dropped off. Same goes with dropping pipe bombs, stealing packages or breaking in to your car which might also be parked in a place a camera can see.

      All it can do (like I wrote, and like you wrote) is act like a deterrent, and, after the fact, when the action has already been taken, be used in follow-up activities.

      Now, granted, some people walk around with a mindset of "If I can get away with it I might do it" and then a camera can be enough of a deterrent, but if we're talking about safety, we're not talking about a subset of potential bad actors.

      People who are not thinking about consequences or are desperate enough to not care will not be deterred at all by a camera, and some of them might realise that if there are 10000 crimes, small crimes might get less attention than big crimes.

      Cameras are mostly useful for when you want to do realtime communication, or when you want to see something after the fact. Oh, and for spying, of course, but that sits nicely under the 'realtime' umbrella.

prpl 9 days ago

Living in the east bay, all I want right now is that people get pulled over for missing/mismatched license plates. They probably should have camera at on and off ramps of the freeways and around the major roads, and at least trigger on missing license plates or vehicle color mismatches. Police should be pulling people over like crazy for violating it.

I'm well aware of broken window fallacy and once upon a time I'd have felt like this was a violation of liberty, but it's utterly trivial to steal or carjack a car, replace or remove the license plate, commit a few other crimes (anywhere in the bay area), then dump the car - it's basically GTA out there.

  • eurleif 9 days ago

    >I'm well aware of broken window fallacy

    You seem to be conflating two different things here. The broken window fallacy, or parable of the broken window (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window), is an idea in economics about how destructive actions don't produce a net benefit. The broken window theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory) is an idea in criminology that small crimes, like broken windows, produce larger crimes. While there is of course debate about how accurate the latter idea is, it's not generally described as a fallacy, and its only connection to the former idea is the similar name.

    • prpl 9 days ago

      err, yeah, broken window theory fallacy :)

WalterBright 9 days ago

I don't know why the police need this, as they don't arrest anyone anyway for crime in SF, even when caught on surveillance video.

anm89 9 days ago

So they can make sure they know about all the crimes that they no longer arrest people for?

2 years from now, after the real estate bubble is 30% off it's highs and all of the big companies have drastically reduced their presence their and it's clear that SF is insolvent, it is going to get apocalyptic there. And I'm not going to lie, I'm going to enjoy watching it unravel.

atdrummond 9 days ago

I was literally left bleeding at the KFC/Taco Bell in the tenderloin by not one but two separate patrol vehicles. Thank god an ambulance had just finished a call and happened to drive by; otherwise I might be far more worse for wear today.

In short: count me skeptical that seeing crime “better” is going to change anything with such a passive police “force”.

kaycebasques 9 days ago

> a one-year pilot program that will allow police to monitor footage from private cameras across the city with the camera owners’ consent. The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) will not have continuous access to the cameras but will be able to tap into the network under certain conditions, such as during the investigation of crimes including misdemeanors and property crimes

Does anyone here know the details of how this consent works and what specific cameras are part of this program?

swiley-gin 9 days ago

The invasion of privacy compared to the degree of crime in SF is incredible. Will people question the principles that led to this or do they still think there's some inconsistency at the top?

Personally I'm glad I gave up on living in an urban place and left for the hills last year.

rizoma_dev 9 days ago

Gotta love a police state aided by unscrupulous technology companies

Animats 9 days ago

Does "with the camera owner's consent" mean "signed up for Amazon Ring"?

justaka 9 days ago

What's the use? California is one of the worst run states with a toothless police and very low conviction rates. We are witnessing the downfall of a society.