San Francisco Mayor London Breed is requesting federal assistance to stem the drug crisis in her city.
“The problem is beyond our local capacity,” the mayor wrote in a recent letter to the U.S. Attorney for Northern California.
Breed wants help arresting and prosecuting drug dealers, who have become increasingly brazen in their efforts. Dealers have taken over parts of SOMA, selling illegal drugs out in the open, becoming confrontational with business owners and police, and inviting violent crime.
The request for assistance comes amid unprecedented staffing shortages at SFPD.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who supports Breed’s call for intervention, called the drug crisis “a public health calamity we have not seen since the AIDS crisis.”
Breed's critics place blame for the crisis on the mayor herself. San Francisco Police Officers Association's Lt. Tracy McCray accused Breed of "hating" police officers and wanting to defund the SFPD in an interview on America's Newsroom Monday.
"You throw everything on us. So you know what? Stop criticizing us. Stop trying to break us down because… you need us to deal with it."
"San Francisco's a beautiful city," McCray added. "I want you to come here. I want everyone to come here and visit, but you can't do that, if you got to keep stepping over people shooting drugs in their neck, toes, God knows where else in their body, no one wants to see that."