San Francisco police consider letting robots use ‘deadly force’

The San Francisco Police Department is proposing a new policy that would give robots the license to kill, as reported earlier by Mission Local (via Engadget). The draft policy, which outlines how the SFPD can use military-style weapons, states robots can be “used as a deadly force option when risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option.”

As reported by Mission Local, members of the city’s Board of Supervisors Rules Committee have been reviewing the new equipment policy for several weeks. The original version of the draft didn’t include any language surrounding robots’ use of deadly force until Aaron Peskin, the Dean of the city’s Board of Supervisors, initially added that “robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person.”

However, the SFPD returned the draft with a red line crossing out Peskin’s addition, replacing it with the line that gives robots the authority to kill suspects. According to Mission Local, Peskin eventually decided to accept the change because “there could be scenarios where deployment of lethal force was the only option.” San Francisco’s rules committee unanimously approved a version of the draft last week, which will face the Board of Supervisors on November 29th.

Keep reading

San Francisco Launches Guaranteed Income Program for People Who Are Transgender — Using Taxpayer Money

San Francisco has launched a guaranteed income program for people who are transgender, and taxpayers are stuck footing the bill.

The Guaranteed Income for Trans People program (GIFT) will provide low-income transgender people with a $1,200 monthly check for up to 18 months.

Unlike other welfare programs, the checks will be handed over to be spent on anything the person wants, without rules or limitations.

In addition to the free money, people approved for the program will also be offered services, including “gender-affirming medical and mental health care” and financial coaching.

“Our Guaranteed Income Programs allow us to help our residents when they need it most as part of our city’s economic recovery and our commitment to creating a more just city for all,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement obtained by KTLA. “We know that our trans communities experience much higher rates of poverty and discrimination, so this program will target support to lift individuals in this community up.”

The report explains that “Lyon-Martin Community Health Services and The Transgender District are leading the program’s design and implementation, with support from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Office of Transgender Initiatives, and the Treasurer & Tax Collector.”

The program, which ironically discriminates based on “gender identity” is necessary because trans people are poor more often, according to activists.

Keep reading

Surveillance shift: San Francisco pilots program allowing police to live monitor private security cameras

Last week San Francisco city leaders approved a 15-month pilot allowing police to monitor live footage from surveillance cameras owned by consenting businesses and civilians without a warrant.

The 7-4 decision by the San Francisco board of supervisors was a major loss for a broad coalition of civil liberties groups that had argued the move would give police unprecedented surveillance powers. It also seemingly marked a departure from the progressive stance on surveillance the city’s leadership had previously maintained.

In May 2019, the board had made history by making the city the first to ban the use of facial recognition by any local government agency. At the time, supervisor Aaron Peskin said, the city had an “an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology”.

But more than three years, a pandemic and many protests against police injustice later, some members of the board now say they need to balance concerns for privacy with the need to allow law enforcement officials to “utilize certain technologies to make San Francisco safer”.

Privacy advocacy groups say the shift is part of a larger phenomenon in cities across the US, where fears of both perceived and real increases in crime have prompted police and elected officials to expand the use of surveillance technology, even if there isn’t always clear evidence those technologies are effective at deterring or solving crimes.

Keep reading

Witnesses: S.F. Police Caught Catalytic Converter Thief Red-handed, Let Him Go

San Francisco police caught a man red-handed sawing off a catalytic converter from a stolen car — and let him go, even helping him find the bus stop, according to shocked eyewitnesses who said the experience left them feeling unsafe in the city.

Lauren Lindsay and Morgan Heller, roommates who live in the city’s Richmond district, heard the noise of a man using power tools to cut the converter from the car — at 3 a.m. Catalytic converters are popular targets for thieves because they include trace amounts of precious metals, such as platinum, that help reduce the toxicity of emissions from combustion engines.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

[Officers] responded to a 911 call about a man cutting a catalytic converter from the underbelly of a car. The officers arrived to find the alleged thief at the scene of the crime, learned he was on probation for a previous theft and then let him walk off, car jack in hand — even giving him directions to the nearest bus stop.

Roommates Lauren Lindsay and Morgan Heller witnessed the incident and bizarre police response from their apartment at 24th Avenue and Anza Street in the Richmond neighborhood and were left dumbstruck. They’d done everything right: called the cops, kept their eyes on the person the entire time, answered all the officers’ questions and agreed to participate in the case.

“Even if you package it all together with a bow on top, it still doesn’t go anywhere,” said Lindsay, 26. “It makes you feel like the police don’t really care. It makes you feel helpless.”

Crime has risen in major cities across the United States, thanks in partly to the Black Lives Matter and “defund the police” movements, as well as left-wing prosecutors who have often benefited from lavish spending by billionaire George Soros.

But San Francisco is almost in a class of its own. A statewide prison reform referendum, Proposition 47 in 2014, reduced sentences for many crimes, allowing thieves to escape jail time for thefts less than $950. And left-wing district attorney George Gascón, who was appointed after Kamala Harris left for the Senate, oversaw “reforms” that saw petty crime rise.

Keep reading

San Francisco wants real-time access to private surveillance cameras

Lawmakers in San Francisco are deliberating on a law that would give the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) real-time access to private security cameras, like those in retail shops and even residential doorbells. The city’s Rules Committee is set to vote on the ordinance on July 18.

The draft ordinance is an amendment to the city’s 2019 surveillance ordinance, which requires the SFPD to get permission from elected officials and the general public before launching or using surveillance systems. Without the law, the SFPD could conduct surveillance without the knowledge of the public.

We obtained a copy of the draft for you here.

The law also prevents SFPD’s real-time access to surveillance videos from CCTVs and other cameras. Currently, the police are only allowed to get historical surveillance videos from privately-owned cameras for specific cases.

The proposed amendment was promoted by Mayor London Breed following a weekend of theft and burglaries last November in the Bay Area.

Keep reading

“Gary Is Just Making Up Random #s” – San Francisco Homeless Officials Caught Lying About Fabricated Data

The operator of San Francisco’s supervised drug use site fabricated the number of people who the site allegedly served, according to a San Francisco Department of Public Health executive, whose emails were released as part of California’s Public Records Act.

“I think Gary is just making up random #s,” wrote Dr. Rob Hoffman, Special Project Manager with the San Francisco Department of Health, in a February 8 email to other city employees including ones with the Department of Emergency Management and city homeless service agencies.

Gina McDonald, co-founder of Mothers Against Drug Deaths, filed the public records request, and was the first to report that of the 23,367 drug users who have visited the Tenderloin Linkage Center, just 18 have received drug treatment

The Gary in question is Gary McCoy, an employee of city contractor HealthRight360, which is one of the private sector operators of the Tenderloin Linkage Center, which San Francisco Mayor London Breed created last December as part of her proposed crackdown on the open drug market in United Nations Plaza in downtown San Francisco.

Keep reading

Parents guilty of murder and raised by radicals, Chesa Boudin is San Francisco’s next district attorney

In 1981, when Chesa Boudin was 14 months old, his parents — members of the radical and violent Weather Underground — left him with a babysitter so they could take part in an armored car robbery. It became one of New York’s most notorious botched heists, a crime that left two police officers and a Brink’s truck guard dead in a New York suburb.

Thirty-eight years later, Boudin is set to become San Francisco’s top prosecutor. In a matter of weeks, he will be sworn in as the city’s district attorney, the latest in a line of prosecutors seen as criminal justice reformers who are taking the reins across the country.

Like his peers on the left, Boudin ran on a platform of ending “mass incarceration,” eliminating cash bail, creating a unit to review wrongful convictions and refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, as well as prosecuting ICE agents who violate so-called sanctuary city laws. He also wants to move the district attorney’s office away from prosecuting prostitution and minor quality-of-life crimes to focus, instead, on taking on corporations and prioritizing the most serious offenses.

Boudin, 39, spent decades visiting his parents in prison and, as a result, learned the ins and outs of the criminal justice system from a unique vantage point. Boudin’s parents were getaway drivers in the attempted Brink’s robbery in 1981 in Nanuet, New York, about 35 miles north of New York City. His mother, Kathy Boudin, pleaded guilty to murder and robbery and was imprisoned for more than two decades. His father, David Gilbert, is still behind bars after he was convicted of murder and robbery.

Keep reading

San Francisco will require children ages 5-11 show proof of vaccine to access businesses

Children of San Francisco: Prepare to keep your vaccination cards close by. 

The California city has announced that kids ages 5 to 11 will soon need to show proof they have received the coronavirus vaccine in order to gain access to indoor businesses and activities such as restaurants and gyms. 

“We definitely want to wait and make sure that children have an opportunity to get vaccinated,” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Phillip said Tuesday during a virtual town hall on the city’s YouTube channel. “That will happen no sooner than about eight weeks after the vaccine is available to kids. So there will be a limited time in which there will not be those requirements, but then at some point, 5- to 11-year-olds will also have to show proof of vaccination to access some of those same settings.” 

Keep reading

San Fran Mayor Defends Partying Maskless Despite Mandate: ‘I Was Feeling The Spirit,’ ‘Don’t Need The Fun Police’

San Francisco mayor London Breed defended herself after being caught maskless at a city jazz club in violation of her city’s own strict ordinance, telling reporters that she “was feeling the spirit” and not thinking about masking, and claiming that San Francisco should not be h “fun police,” even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Breed was caught, last week, “dancing behind a table full of drinks,”  and “not wearing a face covering as she sang and posed for photos,” according to a local ABC affiliate.

“Unmasked, singing, and dancing with an equally unmasked crowd, cell phone video shows Mayor London Breed inside a club in the Tenderloin on Wednesday night,” the outlet noted. “Breed and others enjoyed a surprise performance by Bay Area R&B group, Tony! Toni! Toné!, at the Black Cat on Eddy and Leavenworth Streets. But the maskless moment flies in the face of what [] Mayor Breed has been telling San Franciscans all pandemic long.”

On Monday, Breed blasted back at her critics, claiming that she was following the rules, and also that, in the moment, she was not considering her own mask mandate.

“While I’m eating and drinking I’m going to keep my mask off,” Breed said, though the photo shows her dancing. “And yes, in the time while we’re drinking like everyone else there, we were all having a good time and again all vaccinated.”

Breed will likely know that San Francisco’s mask mandate does not take vaccination status into account. According to the city’s website, individuals “must wear a mask indoors in public places, even if you are vaccinated…You must wear a mask even if you are vaccinated.”

“You should still get vaccinated,” the city’s guidance continues, “because it’s the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, including the Delta variant.”

Those details, however, are immaterial when you are “feeling the spirit” — at least according to Breed.

Keep reading

San Francisco mayor caught partying maskless with BLM co-founder at nightclub in violation of her own health order

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has broken her own health order after being seen singing and partying in a nightclub without a mask.

The Black Cat Nightclub’s official Instagram page had posted, and then deleted, a photo showing Breed partying with friends maskless, including Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and singer Raphael Saadiq.

San Francisco’s mask mandate states: “According to the citywide mandate Breed announced in August, the health department requires that everyone wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public buildings even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except while actively eating or drinking.”

Keep reading