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An Interview with the New District Attorney in San Francisco

by Rahul
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Brooke Jenkins, who led the recall of Chesa Boudin’s predecessor, will be sworn into office on Friday.

One month after San Francisco voters voted out their progressive district attorney, Chesa Bodin, the city now has a top cop.

Brooke Jenkins, an ex-San Francisco assistant district attorney and high-profile critic who campaigned for Boudin’s recall, replaced London Breed with him on Thursday.

After clashing with Boudin about his management style, Jenkins quit the office of the district attorney in October. She also criticized Boudin’s policies towards criminals.

Jenkins, 40

brooke jenkins

Jenkins, 40, stated that “We are a city full of second chances” but that it was necessary to draw a line at those who choose violence, hate, or a life of crime during a Thursday news conference.

Boudin’s recall was seen nationally as a referendum about a liberal city’s treatment of crime and punishment. Local residents felt the issue was more complex. Residents were dissatisfied by the perception that burglaries and squalor had become more common during the coronavirus epidemic, even though there was very little evidence that Boudin’s policies made it worse.

These changes to the office of the district attorney are part of a series that has seen recall efforts in San Francisco over the past few months. After an ouster, Breed appointed three parents as members of the San Francisco school board in March. This decision has already had major consequences.

Breed chose Jenkins as her district attorney because of her experience in prosecuting (Boudin was a public defender), and her determination to hold perpetrators responsible while pursuing progressive reforms.brooke jenkins Breed stated that both could and should have been in San Francisco on Thursday.

Jenkins will not have much time to prove herself as a candidate for the job. In November, voters will decide whether Jenkins or another candidate should finish the remaining year of Boudin’s term.

Boudin is open to running again. On Thursday, he did not respond to a request for comment.

Jenkins was reached by telephone on Thursday. Below is a transcript of our conversation.

What are you going to do to reduce crime after you become president?

We must regain our ability to hold repeat offenders responsible. As a D.A., one of the first things you learn is that there are certain crime drivers in a city. There are certain criminal drivers in any given city. A small number of repeat offenders can often drive up statistics. This must be addressed immediately.

Our Asian American community has been particularly vulnerable due to the rise in hate crimes in San Francisco. We have to be serious about how those cases are handled, brooke jenkins not just the ones that exist now, but all that may arise in the future. This will send a clear message to San Francisco that hate is not tolerated.

We need to do more to combat drug crime. We cannot accept open-air drug markets simply as a part and parcel of life in big cities like San Francisco. We must hold those selling extremely dangerous and fatal drugs such as fentanyl accountable.

You are a progressive prosecutor and have criticized Boudin’s rigid adherence to progressive policy. What will you do differently?

 What legal tools can you use to restore D.A. ?

Prosecutional discretion in a D.A.’s Office is, to me, of paramount importance. While we must be mindful of inequalities in the system and how we can make it more fair, I believe we must restore prosecutorial discretion.

brooke jenkins This applies to all jurisdictions. There shouldn’t be any blanket policies that prevent us from accessing the laws we need to pursue justice and hold offenders responsible.

Is that a return to cash bail, or in some cases, the charging of juveniles as adults? You sound like you are saying that you want the freedom to use them however you please.

Yes, I want the freedom to decide whether a case should be charged in a particular way. We will be very careful about how we use our discretion to do things a certain way, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be thoughtful. We must be fair and accountable in all cases.

Boudin was elected as president and many of the prosecutions left, some citing his policies while others citing low morale.

 What can you do to improve morale

We cannot continue to function as we are now. The office was divided between pre-Chesa and post-Chesa staff for some time. We must be one office, one group with one mission. That is, to make San Francisco safe and to advocate for victims.

There is a lot of debate about the causes of crime in San Francisco. Some believe that Boudin was more influential than the pandemic. Do you think Boudin’s policies actually led to more crime?

At this point, it is difficult for me to let go of a lot the discussions we had during the recall. No matter the reason, San Franciscans feel unsafe. brooke jenkins feel constantly in danger of being victimized. We have to do our best to deter crime, no matter how severe or subtle.

This environment is dangerous and encourages crime. That’s what I believe is going to be crucial to San Francisco’s crime reduction.

However, I never attributed all the crime to Chesa Boudin. No district attorney can just snap his fingers and eliminate all crime. We will need to be diligent in our efforts to combat all natural factors that lead to crime, such as making sure people with substance abuse problems receive treatment and get out of jail.

Are you expecting to see tangible results by November when you are up for election?

This is a difficult question because I believe people will need to be patient. brooke jenkins will need to temper their expectations. The city is not only in crisis but also the D.A.’s own office. Over the last two years, we have lost hundreds of years’ worth of prosecutorial experience. That office needs to be rehabilitated. It is necessary to bring it back to a state where lawyers can go into the courtroom and do their job effectively.

The rest of the news

Governor. Gavin Newsom could be gearing up to run for the presidency in 2024. He’s already focusing on an opponent: Governor. Politico reports that Ron DeSantis, Florida, is in preparation for a potential presidential run.

Ramesh Balwani, former executive at Theranos was found guilty of 12 counts fraud on Thursday.

CNET reports that California will soon be producing its own insulin.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Griffith Park: Los Angeles officials temporarily closed Griffith Park Drive following the April death of a cyclist. This was done to provide more space for runners, cyclists, hikers, and equestrians, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Happy Days: Anson Williams, actor, has declared that he is running for mayor of Ojai, his hometown. Deadline reports.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

The Fresno Bee reports that the Artist Tree, Fresno’s first cannabis dispensary will soon open its doors.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Falling fish: Anchovies are starting to appear in the Bay Area. Some are even falling from the skies.

Captain Eo: This is the 40th anniversary of the death of Captain Eo, a Magellanic penguin from the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. The Associated Press reports.

Where are we going?

Felicia Thompson is today’s tip:

“When I was a teenager, the Huntington Library in San Marino was one of my favourite places to visit. It is a magnificent estate that Henry Huntington, a railroad magnate, built. Later it was transformed into a library with rare books and manuscripts. The beautiful main house was also turned into an art museum featuring Gainsborough paintings and other notable Gainsborough artworks.

My best friend and me skipped high school at the end our senior year, when we were almost done. We went there instead. The quiet and culture of the area was what we loved so much. It was also free and not crowded.

We want to hear about your favorite California places. Send your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com In future editions of the newsletter, we’ll share more.

What we are watching

A documentary about a small group natural wine producers in California.

Before you leave, here are some great news

On a recent morning, Huntington State Beach was host to many dogs — not to play fetch or frolic but to surf.

Sugar, a Huntington Beach-based 11-year-old female surfing dog, won the canine contest. According to The Daily Pilot, it was her second consecutive large surfing dog title.

Ryan Rustan, Sugar’s trainer was moved by the win. Rusty Rustan, his father, was honored by the win.

Rustan stated, “I’m 40 years of age, and he always told me, ‘Keep surfing, son, with your dog. I love it.'” “Other people ask, ‘What’s your life doing?’ but my dad was thrilled.”

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