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SAN FRANCISCO – Residents in the liberal Bay Area told Fox News they’re ready to boot San Francisco’s progressive district attorney, Chesa Boudin, who’s facing a recall election.
“Let me see … bang, bang, bang, you break something and … out the next day,” said Johnny, who works the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf. “Yeah, the DA has got to go.”
“That’s how a lot of people feel about it, because he’s not doing a job, and everybody is pissed off about it,” he continued. “Where is our protection?”
More than two-thirds of likely voters said they would vote to oust Boudin, according to a poll published in March by Recall Chesa Boudin, a campaign leading the effort. Recall supporters say Boudin’s policies have made San Francisco less safe.
“A lot of voters who voted for him actually felt duped, felt like it was a bait and switch,” Richie Greenberg, a former Republican mayoral candidate and spokesman for the Recall Chesa Boudin Committee, told Fox News.
Stand With Chesa, a group funded by San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin, touts the DA’s achievements, including “decarceration,” ending prosecutors’ requests for cash bail and reducing the jail population by 50% in the first quarter of 2020 as the pandemic took hold.
The anti-recall effort denied Fox News’ request for an interview with Boudin.
This is the second time the Democrat has faced a recall attempt since taking office in January 2020. The first effort failed to gather enough support to put the recall on the ballot, falling short by about 2,000 signatures.
Boudin during his election campaign pledged to “focusing on reducing recidivism rates rather than increasing conviction rates,” as well as “end the rampant racism that plague every step of the process today.”
“He never told the voters that he was going to protect drug dealers,” Greenberg said. “He never told anyone … that he was going to simply let virtually anyone that was arrested with egregious crime out.”
Fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents jumped 33% from 2020 to last year the San Francisco Chronicle reported in January. Homicides rose from 48 to 56. In 2022, property crime is up 10.4% from this time last year.
Calls to oust Boudin reached new levels in January 2021 after a parolee was accused of killing two pedestrians while driving intoxicated in a stolen car on New Year’s Eve 2020.
The San Francisco police union said at the time that the suspect, Troy McAlister, was free on parole after striking a plea deal in April 2020 for a robbery. The union also said Boudin’s office failed to prosecute McAlister’s multiple arrests in the aftermath, including one just days before the December incident for alleged car theft.
Paul, who lives across the bay in Oakland, called San Francisco a “train reck.”
“It’s getting progressively worse over time,” Paul told Fox News. But he added that he understands the need for restorative justice.
“You’ve got to have balance in it all,” he said.
Clay, of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, said the city is stuck in “neutral.”
“Someone needs to actually do something,” Clay told Fox News.
“We haven’t had an effective prosecutorial office for more than two years,” Greenberg said. Boudin “being recalled out of office will have an immediate effect.”
During a recent interview with a local Fox affiliate, Boudin said: “San Francisco remains a safe city, and when we have tragedies, it is despicable that folks like these Republican donors are exploiting those tragedies to promote fear and undermine confidence in our government.”
He specifically called out a leading donor to the recall effort, San Francisco billionaire and Republican William Oberndorf, and challenged him to a debate.
“Voters deserve to hear what his vision for public safety is,” Boudin said.
Greenberg told Fox News it’s “hogwash” to claim the recall is a Republican effort, despite GOP donors.
“Here in San Francisco, there are so few Republicans compared to Independents and Democrats,” he said.
The recall vote is set for June 7.