Is it just me, or have a bunch of criminals been in the spotlight ever since Gascón became the new DA?
Kamala Harris, the former District Attorney for San Francisco, dismissed many cases, leaving criminals free to roam the streets with no punishment, including one in 2010 where a homeless man stabbed a man in the Tenderloin district. The victim died a few days after being stabbed. Another incident occurred in 2009 when a criminal with a long record, including DUI’s and robberies, decided to rob a Starbucks at the corner Fulton and Masonic (USF’s local Starbucks). Earl Davis took off with the cash and half a day later, with help from witnesses, the police found Davis lying under a parked car.
Typically, a crime such as this would end with the criminal receiving two to five years in state prison, while Davis made a deal with the District Attorney’s office to plead guilty and only spend nine months in prison. A wide array of many cases involving pity crimes unjustly slid through the former DA’s office with very little or no consequences for the criminals who committed them. San Francisco’s new district attorney, George Gascón, seems to represent a hopeful future for San Francisco. Although his tongue has slipped a few times in front of the camera, he seems to get the job done. In the short time Gascón has been a DA, SFPD found the man who allegedly lit a car in the Lower Haight with a woman inside it on fire. Gascón also wants to organize “volunteer courts” in which community and district members would have trials and courts to prosecute criminals for petty crimes, such as minor drug offenses. This would hopefully help prevent many criminal cases from just “slipping by” the DA’s office and it would also help to save money for the city. Furthermore, to prove his character, Gascón even asked his predecessor, Harris, about a case involving a police shooting.
Gascón’s outlook for San Francisco’s future seems very promising. His ideas are what a city which has been struggling with crime for several years needs: new ways of doing things, a firm grip on criminals and crime, and some long lost common sense. Gascón’s plans might even help to lower crime around USF, or last help to catch criminals such as those who break into cars and occasionally mug late-night passerby students. The Tenderloin district may have finally gotten the inspiration it has been waiting so long for. He’s no god and he hasn’t held the DA position for a very long, but by the looks of things so far, Gascón might have what it takes to help lower crime and substantially transform the parts of San Francisco which need the most help.
Thomas Munka is a sophomore architecture major.
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