San Francisco Mayor Slams Anti-Law Enforcement Official

San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) defended the city’s recent crackdown on the open sale of illegal drugs. Breed rebuked Board of Supervisors member Dean Preston (D), a self-described democratic socialist, regarding his comments that the drug problem is a treatment, rather than a law enforcement issue. 

At a recent meeting, Preston said that Breed’s recent program of arresting drug purchasers was an example of a “punitive” policy. Preston claimed that such an approach would cause “even more overdose deaths.”

“Here we go,” the mayor said. “Another White man who’s talking about Black and Brown people as if you’re the savior of those people and you speak for them.”

San Francisco has struggled with an increase in crime and homelessness. However, Breed’s recent crackdown on public drug dealing resulted in 38 arrests in the previous week, the mayor said. She added that only three of the arrested lived in San Francisco.

Breed said that each person arrested was offered rehab treatment, but “zero have accepted.”

“We will offer people help,” said the mayor. “But when they refuse, we won’t just let them put themselves and others in danger.”

In particular, Preston criticized the mayor for shutting down a “safe consumption site” within his district and asked for a drug facility he dubbed a “wellness hub” to open there. 

The mayor said that every person in the Tenderloin District was “adamant about opposing” such an opening.

“They want to see safety. They want to see police. They want to see a change in their neighborhood,” she said. “They don’t want any more services to continue to dominate their community and then provide an additional layer of problems that have continuously plagued the Tenderloin community.”

Following Preston’s racially-intoned comments, Breed, who is Black, said that she had lost a sister to a drug overdose. 

She asked if the member of the Board of Supervisors “ever spent time talking to any of those same Black and Brown people who are addicted to drugs on our streets in San Francisco to understand their challenges and what they need and what we need to do as a city to turn their lives around?”

San Francisco has seen a sharp increase in drug-related deaths, with almost 650 in 2022 alone. So far, there has been a substantial increase in overdose deaths in 2023.