When the Whole Foods Market closes down in San Francisco, you know things are getting bad.
The Whole Foods outlet at Eighth and Market streets in San Francisco announced it was closing this week due to deteriorating conditions in the area.
“We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being,” a Whole Foods spokesperson said in a written statement, according to the San Francisco Standard. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.”
The San Francisco Standard also reported that conditions in downtown San Francisco have eroded markedly in the past few years. What was once a bustling commercial part of the city shows signs of extreme decay.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Downtown has suffered a massive loss in foot traffic due to remote work,” the Standard reported. “Many small businesses have shuttered, while examples of extreme poverty, drug use, and mental illness on the street have become more apparent.”
You don’t say.
The Whole Foods closure in San Francisco comes just a week after Cash App founder Bob Lee was stabbed to death while onlookers did nothing to help. The suspect appears to have known him. The Left is apparently very excited it wasn’t random street violence. Congrats, I guess.
This wasn’t the only high-profile violence so far this month, though. A former San Francisco fire commissioner was beaten in broad daylight April 5 by a man carrying a metal pipe in the city’s Marina District.
Many other San Francisco businesses have closed shop, too. Walgreens shut down numerous San Francisco locations because the pharmacy chain says it isn’t worth dealing with the crime and safety issues. Lawlessness is generally bad for business.
Don’t expect an honest reckoning with what’s happening from Democrat politicians in the Bay Area or their fellow travelers in the media. Their answer to the crime and anarchy problem is almost always complete denial.
“Our overall crime rates are down,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, when asked what she was going to do to keep the city safe. “Our clearance rate in San Francisco for homicides is at 85%. The rest of the country’s average is at 60%.”
Clearance rates are the ratio of arrests to known offenses.
This is the view through blue-colored glasses. Most local media are happy to run with the happy talk. Everything is fine, nothing to see here. Give yourself a lobotomy and stop complaining.
Sure, San Francisco isn’t as violent as Baltimore, New Orleans, and St. Louis—some of the most violent cities in the world—but the crime is still inexcusable.
As Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Cully Stimson said in a Fox News report, San Francisco’s serious law enforcement difficulties extend back over a decade. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.) Even the official crime statistics don’t explain what’s really happening.
“People do not report these crimes, because when you have a [district attorney] who’s pro-criminal and not going to enforce the law, the cops aren’t going to go out and arrest somebody when they know the case is going to be no-papered,” Stimson said.
“No papered” means that the prosecutor decides not to prosecute the case and the defendant gets released.
The problem began in earnest under former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, who served from 2011 until 2019, when he was replaced by Chesa Boudin. Gascón did not prosecute certain misdemeanors, lowered crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, and shortened prison sentences. No surprise, crime went up.
More from the Fox News report:
Citing FBI and Justice Department data, Stimson pointed out that in the five years before Gascón took office in 2011, there were 757 reported rapes, an average of 151 per year, in San Francisco. But in Gascón’s final five years in office, the city had a total of 1,731 reported rapes, or 346 per year.
Other crimes escalated, too, while crime rates generally were dropping around the country.
So, the disintegration of San Francisco didn’t begin overnight. But following the COVID-19 chaos, business closures, anti-police riots, and foolish decision-making by government officials, crime really began to spiral out of control.
Some San Francisco voters have caught on that something has gone wrong. In June, voters recalled the radical left-wing district attorney Boudin, one of the more ridiculous rogue prosecutors who carried on the anti-law enforcement policies of Gascón.
Gascón wasn’t done either. He brought his ruinous ideas to a new gig as Los Angeles district attorney. The results have been similar.
At no point will Democrat politicians and left-wing pundits acknowledge the ideology that brought on the crime surge. When they are honest enough at least to acknowledge it exists, rising violent crime typically is blamed on forces outside their control. It’s the economy, it’s the pandemic, its corporate greed.
What about defunding the police and all that?
The new Democrat message is that defunding the police is a Republican idea, or something like that.
But Democrats’ actions suggest they are at least aware that crime has become a huge issue. Breed has called for $28 million to hire more police officers in San Francisco amid what she has said is a severe staffing shortage.
This is the same person who demanded a $120 million cut in the police budget in 2020. It’s hardly a surprise that San Francisco isn’t finding enough qualified applicants in a city so hostile to law enforcement.
With the ouster of Boudin, it’s clear that some people in San Francisco are fed up. That doesn’t mean anything will change. After all, Chicago threw out one failed “defund the police” Democrat who tried to mend her ways but elected an even more radical and ridiculous replacement.
Many city residents clearly want the crime problem to be solved. Others just want to stay on the social justice ride to perdition. I’m sure many of those who do can afford their own private security.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.