San Francisco's ruling elites go all 'Chesa Boudin' on crime in wake of tech executive's killing

Looks like getting rid of leftist district attorney Chesa Boudin didn't really get rid of the problem he represented for crime-battered San Francisco.

Two days, ago, this happened:

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bob Lee, founder of Cash App and the former chief technology officer of Square, was identified as the man stabbed to death early Tuesday morning near downtown San Francisco, according to his current employer, cryptocurrency startup MobileCoin.

Officers responded at about 2:35 a.m. to a report of a stabbing in the 400 block of Main Street in the city's Rincon Hill neighborhood. Officers found the victim who was taken to a hospital and succumbed to his injuries there, police said.

Rincon Hill's a nice neighborhood full of condos near various tech headquarters in downtown San Francisco, not far from the Bay Bridge entry, and close to the famous docks of the bay. It's not known as a criminal dump, but it's not far from the places that are -- from the retailers who've been subjects of mass lootings, to the dangerous areas in the South of Market and the Mission, to the seventh circle of hell known as the Tenderloin, which is loaded with drug addicts, drug dealers and five-dollar hookers.

Someone stabbed the man who had recently fled the city but returned for a brief business trip, while he was walking at night in a seemingly random attack; a productive citizen with no criminal background who apparently had no enemies and was successful in his field. When he tried to flag down a car to get himself to the hospital, the cars he pleaded with all drove past him, not helping him; leaving him to die, which happened shortly afterward.

It's a horrible story of seemingly random crime brought on by the layers and layers of crime already engulfing San Francisco, accentuated by citizen flight, and an emerging culture of distrust, like you see in places like Argentina and Venezuela -- where someone who seemingly needs help is fled from in terror as a likely ruse for robbery. And yes, the tech community is alarmed and beginning to protest

But instead of confronting this complete breakdown in law and order, the ruling elites of San Franciso are trying to make light of it. Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who has a headquarters walking distance from where Lee was stabbed, made this pointed tweet about it:



The response? Get a load of this goober, who serves as a "police commissioner" in the city:



According to the San Francisco Standard:

At a City Hall meeting Wednesday evening, Police Commissioner Kevin Benedicto expressed frustration with the deluge of comments on social media and in the press, saying many people were “exploiting this horrific incident for political gain.” He encouraged people to read eulogies about the victim—not Musk’s tweets.

“So much of the coverage in this short amount of time has been a significant amount of misrepresenting facts, of fear-mongering and of trying to exploit this tragedy,” Benedicto said. “We don’t know all the facts. … I find it premature and distasteful to try to fit this horrifying act of violence into a preconceived narrative and use it to advance a political agenda.”

Narrative? What is he talking about? A man got killed and the city has done nothing. They didn't prevent it by scraping the lowlife off the streets, they didn't have a cop onhand to help the man, and they have no idea who did it. That's political? Maybe this oaf's politics doesn't involve preserving human life and perhaps we are supposed to just step over the body and walk on by, calling it nothing out of the ordinary. It's this clown's job as police commissioner to make sure police are around and people don't get killed. He's failing miserably at that. Based on his history, his call to wait and see sounds as though he's waiting to hear that the perpetator was a white supremacist before he can make a condemnation. His knowledge of policing seems to be confined to donut shops. How the heck is any of this murder a spinmeister's narrative?

He's not the only one trying to downplay the killing while the legitimate anger is hot. Two other strains of elitist indifference seem to be gripping the city as something very bad is happening, too:

The San Francisco Chronicle is busy downplaying the murder entirely as statistically insignificant, despite that 20% rise in the murder rate in the city. Nothing to see here, move along, and amazingly offensive to the family and friends of the victim. The argument they are using about statistics is the one Chesa Boudin used, advising San Franciscans that the crime in front of their eyes was all in their heads and and instead of thinking about that street they dare not walk down or that car of theirs that just got broken into, they were better off thinking about statistics and dismissing whatever it was that victimized them for the umpteenth time. Here's how they filled in their copy in the story announcing the killing:

 San Francisco has a relatively low rate of homicides compared with other major U.S. cities, but it has struggled with high property crime rates, particularly in the last decade. Reported violent crime overall declined over the past three years, dropping by 14%, along with property crimes, which decreased by 7%. Homicides increased slightly from 2020 to 2021. 

Reported? Perhaps the defund the police movement, which has left the city with cops who retire at their desks and cops who quit, might have something to do with the reportings being down. Why report crime when the city is not going to do anything about it and prosecutors will simply not charge the perpetrators? Failing to prosecute small crimes is the surest social fertilizer for creating the conditions for big crimes, as James Q. Wilson has noted.   

As for the murder rate, where the data do tend to get reported, there are problems with that data, too. Killings happen for reasons -- such as being a gang member or being a hooker or living in other high-risk ways -- which for better or worse, raise one's odds of being killed. The overall murder rate may be low or steady, but for a gang member or a hooker, the odds are far higher. For a guy like Lee, the odds are far lower than even the average, even in an area with violent crime. These things didn't happen in the past -- but now they do. That's a sign of crime reaching a critical mass.K'

Killings happen when a criminal, hopped up on drugs, living off thefts, muggings, and NGO "aid," is confident he will never be punished no matter what he does. That is what San Francisco has become today, and it doesn't take long for unpunished small crimes, to become very big crimes in short order, which is now happening. 

If crime is so small and statistically insignificant (it sure as heck wasn't if you were Bob Lee, or for that matter, Paul Pelosi, who was attacked last year by a local bum), as the Chronicle's reporting argues, why is Mayor Breed calling for a federal bailout on the city's out-of-control crime in the wake of the city's defund the police movement? More likely, the paper was playing city booster, attempting to get reluctant tech workers to return to their empty skyscrapers from telecommuting (the city has about a 25% vacancy, one of the country's highest) by dismissing the threat of violent crime as statistically unimportant. That was what Chesa Boudin did in his recall campaign last year, and we all know how well that worked out for him.

These are far from the only San Francisco elites disgracing themselves in the face of violent and growing crime. Others are putting their heads in the sand.

There is this former mayor of San Francisco turned ambassador for California, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who's spending his time in Florida preaching at the locals about the importance of duplicating his morals:



The killing of Lee, amid the crime and disorder already seen in San Francisco, is prompting the locals to conclude that there really is a problem. 

The various instances of excusemaking didn't go down well with the San Francisco tech locals:





Musk threw this in, highlighting that an emerging divide was coming between the local radicals and their NGO buddies who take government money, and the lefty tech community, which pays the government money:



It points to a sorry showdown ahead -- as tech companies pull out of the city simply because they cannot get employees to come to their downtown offices and city officials keep on doing what they are already doing -- letting criminals out for small crimes, demonizing the police, calling anyone who questions them as "political," failing to charge criminals, shoveling billions at the great homeless industrial NGO complex which thrives on More Homelessness, and other destructive practices. Then they either deny the reality of what they have wrought, or tell concerned citizens it's all in their heads -- a "perception" of crime, as Boudin used to say. 

It's strange stuff because already they are facing a monster budget shortfall premised on falling tax revenues based on the high numbers of productive citizens who have fled the city and taken their taxes to be paid with them. Last year, the Chronicle ran a piece called "San Francisco is on the brink and it's worse than it looks," describing the impact of free crime and citizen flight, suggesting that the city is well on the way to economic and physical collapse.  

All signs remain that they going to continue on with that same track. Now that Lee has been killed, the tech community seems to be waking up. But the elites? Same old same old. They are like dinosaurs in their inability to change -- and as the money dries up, they will be heading for extinction.

Image: Jitze Couperus, via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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