San Francisco Somehow Finds A Way To Make Catching Criminals Even Harder

San Francisco panorama at sunset.

The San Francisco Police Commission passed new restrictions Wednesday that prohibit police officers from pulling over motorists for certain violations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Commission voted 4-3 on the policy, which prohibits officers from stopping cars for a variety of low-level offenses, the Chronicle reported. Under the new general order, officers would not be able use nine minor violations, including broken taillights or an air freshener hanging from a rear-view mirror, as sole reasons to pull over a vehicle in order to check for a more serious offense.

“While this Department General Order (DGO) deprioritizes stops for nine categories of low-level offenses … it still leaves open multiple avenues for enforcement. For example, members may still issue citations to parked cars for any applicable offense,” the order reads.

Supporters of the policy claim that it will reduce racial profiling, citing data from the state attorney general showing that black motorists were pulled over more frequently in 2020, the Chronicle reported. Opponents of the measure raised concerns about traffic safety.

“Focusing resources on violent crime and not on pretextual stops is a commonsense approach,” Commissioner Jesus Yáñez claimed during the meeting, according to the Chronicle.

“We have a body of self-anointed experts who know nothing about police work, yet they author policy after policy preventing our officers from doing their jobs in a manner that will protect public safety,” San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tracy McCray said in a Feb. 9 statement. “It’s shameful.”

Multiple retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, Nordstrom and T-Mobile, shuttered locations in 2023, citing increasing crime in the city.

Harold Hutchison on February 22, 2024

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