San Francisco’s Radical Leftist District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, has two new problems to worry about as the effort to recall him gains steam. Two prosecutors working under Boudin have resigned in protest of his leadership, and are now actively working with advocates and city leaders in the campaign to remove him from office. In addition, San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani is pushing legislation to bring greater transparency to the DA’s office. The effort comes amidst spiking crime rates and rising murders across the city.
On October 24, Prosecutors Don Du Bain and Brooke Jenkins announced that they were resigning from the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Since DA Boudin was sworn in last year, a total of 51 prosecutors have quit, resigned, or retired from his team, accounting for a third of all prosecutors in the San Francisco office. Du Bain and Jenkins are the first of these prosecutors to publicly join the recall movement against their former boss.
Both former prosecutors were interviewed by NBC Bay Area immediately after resigning to outline their reasoning. Jenkins stated that “Chesa has a radical approach that involves not charging crime in the first place and simply releasing individuals with no rehabilitation and putting them in positions where they are simply more likely to re-offend.”
“Being an African-American and Latino woman,” she continued, “I would wholeheartedly agree that the criminal justice system needs a lot of work, but when you are a district attorney, your job is to have balance.”
Boudin is one of a number of radical leftist prosecutors whose rise to power was funded by progressive megadonor George Soros. Soros and his allies claim that their intentions are to combat “systemic racism” in policing and help minority communities. The tragic irony is that, thus far, the most visible result of this approach is greater violence and less opportunity in those minority communities, where criminals are released back onto the streets. Thankfully, as seen in other cities like Chicago, citizens and even some liberals are stepping up and taking a stand against such dangerous practices.
One of the most shocking allegations the former San Francisco prosecutors revealed was that Boudin would regularly defer to the preferences of public defenders over his prosecutors. “Lawyers in the public defender’s office essentially are getting to boss around attorneys in the DA’s office” Du Bain revealed. In one specific case, he said, a man was convicted of shooting his wife in the chest. Boudin explicitly “ordered” Du Bain to pursue a more lenient sentence, in direct violation of state statutes. Du Bain withdrew from the case, the first time he has done so in 30 years of prosecuting cases.
Jenkins and Du Bain have joined a growing chorus of critics moving against the DA, several of whom are government officials seeking greater accountability. San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani has proposed legislation that would require quarterly reports from the prosecutor as to the results of domestic violence cases. In the fourth quarter of last year, almost 90% of the 131 felons arrested for domestic violence under Boudin had their charges outright dismissed. Stefani, a former prosecutor, asserted that the level of dismissals “made no sense to me” and deserved greater scrutiny.
Thus far, the District Attorney’s office has dismissed or deflected all criticism directed at Boudin. They assert that all attacks are “political” and in bad faith. Although Boudin himself has been actively avoiding reporters asking about the recall effort, he did join a webinar to discuss social justice issues. During the interview, he made it clear that his goal is radical “reform,” and claimed that his only true opposition is “police unions…undermining reforms.”
Despite attempts by mainstream media outlets to downplay crime in San Francisco, the spike in criminality shows few signs of abating. Last Monday, for example, a San Francisco Safeway announced that it would no longer remain open 24 hours. According to the Safeway Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, the reason for the tightened hours is “off the charts” shoplifting.
“Police rarely arrest anyone for a property crime, by the time they make it on the scene,” he said. “I think like a lot of retailers [Safeway’s owners have] been experiencing increasing property crime and theft from their stores. I think the last 6 months from what they say have been sort of – off the charts in terms of how bad it’s been. It’s sad, upsetting, and frustrating.”
Earlier this year, Walgreens announced it was closing several stores due to shoplifting in the San Francisco area as well. Most concerningly, violent crime rates are skyrocketing in 2021. While the DA’s office touted an all-time low in 2020, rates for 2021 could be as much as 50% higher than the previous year.
As of November, over 83,000 signatures for the recall of Boudin have been submitted to election officials, well over the 51,325 required to trigger a recall in June of next year. This will be the second recall attempt against Boudin. With crime on the rise and so much opposition to Boudin’s tactics, even within his own party, just what Boudin’s end goal is seems unclear to many. However, Jenkins has a clearer view. “Public safety is not his focus,” the former prosecutor said. “That is not his goal.”