San Francisco Ousts Liberal District Attorney Chesa Boudin

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco residents voted Tuesday to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin following a heated campaign that captivated the country and bitterly divided Democrats over crime, policing and public safety reform in the famously liberal city.

Recall proponents cheered the news at a victory party, with California state leaders of the hotel and retailers associations lauding Boudin’s removal as a sign that visitors, shoppers and employees will be prioritized again in a city that relies heavily on tourism.

“This election does not mean that San Francisco has drifted to the far right on our approach to criminal justice,” said Mary Jung, a chair of the recall campaign, in a statement. “In fact, San Francisco has been a national beacon for progressive criminal justice reform for decades and will continue to do so with new leadership.”

Boudin (41), was a new political candidate and narrowly gained office as part of the national wave of progressive prosecutors. They pledged to find alternatives to prison, stop racism’s drug war, and hold officers accountable.

However, his tenure in office was interrupted by a frightening and frustrating pandemic. Viral footage showing brazen shoplifting as well as attacks on Asian Americans drove residents to launch a recall campaign for the ex-public defender and left-wing activist’s son.

Partial returns Tuesday night showed about 60% of voters supporting the recall, but Boudin remained defiant in a speech to supporters, saying he was outspent by “right-wing billionaires.” He said voters were understandably frustrated by the pandemic and a city government that has failed to deliver on safety, housing and equity.

“We have two cities. There are two types of justice. One system is for those who are wealthy or well-connected, and another one for everyone else. And that’s exactly what we are fighting to change,” he said.

Continue reading: Chesa Boudin’s Recall Is About More Than One Prosecutor

Mayor London Breed, who had backed a more moderate Democrat in the 2019 district attorney race, will name Boudin’s replacement after the results are certified by the elections office and approved by the Board of Supervisors, likely by the end of the month.

Boudin’s time in office was marked by a bruising battle with the San Francisco Police Department, which accused his office of withholding evidence in a case against an officer. Boudin said police often fail to bring thorough cases to the DA’s office for prosecution, making arrests in just 5% of cases. When he revealed that police used DNA from a victim of rape as evidence to charge the victim for an unrelated crime, he made national headlines.

The recall supporters claimed that Boudin was ideologically rigid and inexperienced. They often supported criminals over victims. Opponents of recall claimed the recall was a Republican power grab to weaken public safety reforms.

San Francisco is known for its problems with home burglaries, open drug sales, vandalism, theft of vehicles, and vandalism. According to political experts, the 2019 election winner was a newcomer and was therefore able to be viewed as a target by the public.

Boudin, a child of left-wing Weather Underground extremists, was driving his parents in 1981 New York robbery that resulted in the deaths of two officers and one security guard. The sentence was for decades.

As he campaigned, he talked about how painful it was to have to go through the metal detectors just to hug his parents. He also promised to change a system that causes families to be divided. Kathy Boudin died in May from cancer after being released from prison on parole. David Gilbert received parole in October.

Many of those who overthrew three members of San Francisco’s school board liberal in February backed Boudin’s recall campaign. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom however easily defeated a Republican-led recall in California last year.

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