Regarding San Francisco's Epic Crime Wave

If you ever watch Fox News then you'll know that San Francisco has everything that is wrong with America today. Possibly the worst thing about San Francisco is that it refuses to punish criminals for any misdeed, and this has led to a complete break-down of society that can only be compared to Afghanistan, Somalia and the Road Warrior.

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“I’m scared — the amount of lawlessness now is astounding,” one senior Wall Street executive told On The Money. “Violence is a huge topic of discussion at our bank.” This person, who isn’t with JPM, says their colleagues are “pleading” with their bosses and begging not to be sent to San Francisco out of concern for their personal safety.

“People were upset about crime in San Francisco before the pandemic — now this smash-and-grab is a whole new level of mayhem,” another Wall Street executive added.

OMFG! San Francisco sound like a Hell Hole. San Francisco is twice as dangerous as Compton.
It seems that some neighborhoods are so inundated in crime that they are hiring private security.

On Russian Hill Tuesday, tired of being victims, people met to consider the cost for some peace of mind.
Someone at the meeting said people know they can come to San Francisco to steal and assault with no consequences.

It isn't just Russian Hill. It's the Marina district as well.

“This year, I’ve gotten a lot more calls and a lot more emails and increased clients people in the marina a basically scared about what’s going on they see your TV radio reports on social media and they don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods so that’s why I have been contacted,” Alan Byard said.

I'm sure glad that I don't live in San Francisco. The people there must be terrified all the time.

Oh wait. I do live there. I have lived in SF for nearly 30 years.
The city I live in doesn't sound anything like this. If anything San Francisco is MUCH safer than it was when I first moved here.

OK. First of all, anyone that lives in SF will smirk at those two neighborhoods hiring private security, because those are two of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the entire country. They are a far cry from being the most dangerous parts of The City.
The quote about people seeing "TV reports on social media" is also telling. Some people will believe what is on their TV over what their own lying eyes tell them.

BTW, as for San Francisco being more dangerous than 98% of the cities in America, I followed that article back to its source (it's a real estate site). Oakland, where my job is, ranks as the #1 most dangerous city in America.
Both SF and Oakland are supposedly "more dangerous" than Detroit, Baltimore, and Camden. LOL.

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Let's talk about shoplifting, which has been the source for endless fodder on Fox News since September.

Bay Area businesses are concerned about a wave of retail crime in San Francisco, with shocking video of coordinated robberies making headlines around the world.

But data from the San Francisco Police Department tells an oddly different story, reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle found.
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The Chronicle took a closer look at that spike and discovered that 154 of the roughly 400 reports of shoplifting that month were attributed to an intersection in front of a Target in the Metreon Mall — roughly three blocks away from Union Square.

When asked by the Chronicle whether there had been a spree of incidents at that Target, the store manager Stacy Abbot said no.

SFPD replicated the Chronicle's findings. Obviously this is darn near impossible, so what changed? The store had started using a phone-reporting system to report incidents.

So Walgreens announced around the same time that they were closing stores in San Francisco specifically because of the organized lawlessness.
Target said the same thing.
Except that once again, the actual data doesn't support it.

One of the stores set to close, on Ocean Avenue, had only seven reported shoplifting incidents this year and a total of 23 since 2018, the data showed. While not all shoplifting incidents are reported to police, the five stores slated to close had fewer than two recorded shoplifting incidents a month on average since 2018.

So what's going on? Why are we being fed a load of bullsh*t.
There's two reasons for it.
The lesser reason is the economic.

Big-business lobbies and law enforcement officials appear to be using these outlier incidents to greatly exaggerate the scope of the problem...
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data, the number of reported shoplifting offenses dropped 18 percent between 2019 and 2020, the last year for which full data is available...While the average value of shoplifted items has ticked up over the last decade (likely due to a confluence of factors), the actual number of shoplifting incidents in America is falling. The FBI reported in September that overall larceny rates across the U.S. have plummeted to lows not seen since the 1960s.

But the larger reason is political.
Speaker Pelosi and VP Harris are both from San Francisco, so I guess this shouldn't be a surprise.
To add to this political slant is the new district attorney.

When Chesa Boudin ran for San Francisco district attorney in 2019, he said crime was caused by poverty, wealth inequality and inadequate government spending on social programs. He called prostitution, open drug use and drug dealing “victimless crimes” and promised not to prosecute them. The result has been an increase in crime so sharp that San Francisco’s liberal residents are now paying for private security guards, taking self-defense classes, and supporting a recall of Mr. Boudin, with a vote set for June 2022.

Yes, Boudin and his radical leftist policies of not prosecuting criminals is directly responsible for this crime wave.
And like the crime wave, the data backs it up.

Support for him was never overwhelming, but the promises he made during his campaign — not criminalizing poverty, focusing on economic advancement for the marginalized — were enough to win him the election.
His short tenure has, at times, felt a bit disorganized and chaotic, but his record is pretty much as advertised. The Chronicle did a deep dive into Boudin’s work and found that his rape and narcotics charging rates are higher than his predecessor’s.
...San Francisco had become a lawless place, they said. Sure, there was a bump in San Francisco’s homicides, 41 to 48 from 2019 to 2020, with 46 so far this year — but overall violent crime is far lower than what city residents endured from 1970 to 1990.

So the data reflects what I remember, but the politics say the opposite.
Many on the right say that "the facts don't care about your feelings", when what they really mean is "my feelings don't care about your facts."

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Fox's brand of bullshit has always been off the wall absurd, and the idea that the "San Francisco Liberals" just refuse to enforce criminal law is preposterous propaganda. The Red vs Blue Bullshit Contest rolls on.

I have some first-hand experience regarding SF Bay Area law and order. A largely ignored fact of life for TV photo-journalists in that market is a long series of violent crimes against news crews covering stories. The attacks come in three disparate categories -- attempts to steal cameras and other equipment, politically motivated hostility, and random lunatics. Over the last ten years, there have been more than one hundred such incidents.

Working with the various TV unions, all the TV stations in the Bay area and several of the police departments, we created what we called the San Francisco Bay Area Safety Summit in 2015. We met twice a year to discuss how to protect reporters and photographers while working in the field.

SAG-AFTRA, IBEW, NABET and IATSE all participated and we made it clear to the employers that we would not make it an adversarial situation. We all pulled together in what I used to think was a no-brainer to set all our differences aside while we talked about ways to keep our members and their employees from getting killed or injured while trying to inform the public.

The TV stations responded to my basic premise that safety should not be a competitive advantage for any one company. They all took basically the same measures, and the cost burden was shared more or less equally, and two policies were adopted by all the stations in the market.

They all hired Security Guards to travel along with the news crews to cover most stories. They also all installed tracking devices in all their cameras. So far four have been recovered after being stolen at gunpoint.

The Security Guards have now been involved in two shootings. About two years ago, there was a gunfight between a security guard and a pair of loopy thieves. The guard was hit by a bullet and he shot one of the crooks, who eventually was arrested when he showed up an Emergency Room with a bullet hole. The guard recovered with minimal long term problems.

Unfortunately, another incident claimed the life of a security guard working for KRON just this past week.
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Oakland PD seek person who has video connected to fatal shooting of KRON4 security guard
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The San Francisco and Oakland police departments told us that most of the thefts and theft attempts were committed by professional thieves whose "job" every day is to drive around and look for shit to steal. When they see a TV news crew, the cops believe they just figure that kind of equipment must be worth a lot of money and they strike. They also believe that most of the theft attacks have been committed by the same criminals who steal cell phones by grabbing and running.

In our last Safety Summit on zoom last summer, the SF Police Department informed us that they now believe that there is a fencing ring that gets the phones, cameras and whatever else into container ships leaving from The Port of Oakland every day.

The companies involved include the networks themselves who own ABC, CBS and Fox stations. Their management teams say that there has been no such wave of violence or thefts in any other city. In Los Angeles, we have seen a handful of such incidents, but nothing like the terror in the Bay Area.

This cockamamy Fox story has it backwards. I know from talking to the Public Information Officers of both the SF and Oakland PDs that they are very well aware of the political sniping against them and they are trying to lower the crime stats. In Oakland, they were very proud of getting out of being the Most Crime Ridden City in America as of a couple of years ago.

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For the last six years, the Safety Summit members have all glumly figured that eventually somebody was going to lose their life in this miserable environment. Now it has happened.

Strange Days Have Found Us

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

note: I moved out of SF after I discovered I could buy a better home for a mortgage that was less than I was paying in rent.
thought 1: Chains (like Walgreens and Target) flooded the area, driving up the price of commercial real estate and forcing smaller stores out of business. After that they might as well close superfluous stores. (a local joke was, "Meet me at the Starbucks, next to the Starbucks, across the street from the Starbucks - funny because there is one street corner with a Starbucks on 3 of the 4 sides)
2: Like all large, wealthy cities SF has a contentious police force. "Liberal" DAs are constantly being accused of being "soft," sometimes for prioritizing white collar crime, sometimes for "coddling" nonviolent criminals rather than violent cops, or Kamala (not the wrestler) Harris, who was allegedly a "do nothing" prosecutor.
3: I don't know if this is still true, but there were 2 competing private security companies in SF, the "Patrol Specials" and off duty SFPD officers moonlighting. It would be no surprise if they were advertising their services by exaggerating the need for private security.

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On to Biden since 1973

zed2's picture

I also fled SF and the insane housing situation.

I also get ot that Faux News isnt exactly something to base opinions on. And that for that reason, the premise of this story is sarcasm.; But if anybody falls for it. Its not reflective of what I understand the situation to be. Not at all. Despite the housing situation which indeed, is making a lot of people angry. I dont see those people going on robbery sprees a Faux News would like us to think, not at all. I see people as showing their disgust and anger in different ways. Say by staying home on Election Day. Or boycotting the so called progressive cause that fail to actually be progressive. Bay Area esidents tend to be high information voters. Also, as almost all California votersare left leaning, in SF, the Democrats seem to me to now be more like a right wing party than a left wing one.

I used to call them the Black Shirts because of the black shirts and black cars it seems one SF politician at the time it seemed, to prefer.

At least to me, This OP's article's overall assertion seems quite questionable if its not sarcastic..
. SF is not a crime ridden city (as I point out, small time crooks - the kind mentioned, cant afford it) and lets face it, Fox News is notorious for their "Faux News". Heavily slanted right wing propaganda, which doesnt even get that in California, the Dems are arguabloy right wing pols, not left wing. For example, they are the ones in bed with the big real estate developers.. etc.

While I lived there, SF seemed to me to be a city that does a good job of keeping itself safe. As somebody who was born in and lived in New York City before I lived in SF, zI lived in what real estate agents would call a traditional neighborhood then too. There were tenements with lots of tiny cheap apartments. And lots of artists and art events going on, lots of people moving in, and out due to rising rents.. And there was also arson going on around there.

Moving from there to SF, in comparison, I didn't see SF as being bad or crime ridden. I saw it as being gentrified very rapidly and for that reason, driving a lot of people, especially arty types, creatives, and families out. . In comparison, I lived on the Lower East Side in the 70s. People who owned cars will remember how cars were constantly being broken into then and there. And also the housing wars, and arson by landlords. THEN. Now that era's problems are back. Except maybe without the arson.But landlords are trying to economically cleanse cities. Hard.

Its happening and its well planned out, I bet.

We face a real housing crisis NOW because of the ending of the entitlements people have had to cheaper rent. One has to understand thie history. The neighborhoods that were dangerous when I arrived there became safe fairly rapidly because of insane levels of gentrification. With rents rising at a higher rate a year in the 70s (before the rent stabilization rules) than anybody would believe me telling you now. How could it possibly be that bad? It just was. Rents were going up so much faster than anywhere else. Driving so many people out. it was much worse than now. So they put limits not on rents which is I think possibly illegal, the new rules limited rent increases relative to last year's rent, so subsequent to that rents could only be raised a few percent a year, but the downside for renters is that te mor time went by the more hostile and even surly landlords were to requests they repair problems. Instead the landlords wanted long term tenants to move. Because new tenants might have to pay double the rent. Whle an apartment is occupied, the rent increases are limited to only maybe 1 or 2 percent yearly, but when a new tenant moves in all the increase in the going rate thatoccurred over those years cold be caught up. Recaptured by the landlord. Ad of course they do.

The situation has led to many landlords deliberately failing to maintain dangerous problems with apartments, because they want long term tenants to move out. Sometimes landlords even set their own buildings on fire.

This was a huge problem in New York City back in the early 80s. To the horror and injury of many poor people, who simply could not move.

As long as the wages dont keep up with rents, legislators fall back on rent controls to make up for that. If people are forced to move they lose the cheap apartment that allows them to live in a major city for $1500 a month, instead of the 2500 a studio apartment might cost a new arrival in that same building now.

If a tenant had been there a long time, a matching apartment one or two floors down or up might cost twice as much. Rents are tied to the housing CPI plus a very small percent. This so called housing CPI is artificially low, it seems to me, itgs not a realistic measure of the real cost. Recently I have heard of insane rent increases, if somebody for some reason, loses rent control both their rent and their rent deposit rises , sometimes a lot. In the film millio dollar shack somebody got hit with an astronomical rent increase where they were also asked to pay thousands of dollars more to cover the increased deposit. Although unusual, this does not sound like a tall tale. When living in San Francisco, I heard about things like that happening all the time. Nobody is safe from it. My old apartment is now a condo, owner occupied. It sold for much more than a million dollrs. And it was literally toxic, not just a little bit toxic. When we left, it was demonstrably dangerous, according to two world experts. And they would not fix it. In fact, it was illegal for them to collect rent. They had lost their permit of occupancy. But we didnt withhold rent, because we didnt want to end up in the situation millions of people will be in soon, where credit agencies blacklist them. Thats another, big problem. Millions of Americans, people who the Covid depression hit, will likely be blackisted by the landlord Mafia.

They should have been rich. Rich enough to pay rent all that time, even if they lost their incomes.

Many large US cities did this. This law is under attack and it will probably end soon. The landlord lobby views it as unconstitutional. But lets not go into that, all we need to know is that if urban Americans have to move, most cant pay rent on whatever they would need to pay is too high. So millions will become homeless, if that happens, soon. It is insanely expensive if you move, you have to pay a (often much much higher) higher rent. That means that none of those hundreds of thousands of people will be abe to rent a new apartment. Most criminals are not wealthy enough to live there. Its grown to be one of the most expensive cities in the US. This is why we left. We couldnt afford this situation. And we had far better options than most San Franciscans would, and even we had to leave. Renting had become that much more expensive.

A similar situation will applyto dozens of US cities. The Dems created this crisis because rather than actually make it so wages increased, they used rent stabilization as a band aid on a problem, one that would backfire on people if they lost the stabilized rent.

Because of hooliganism in the past in SF, it is now a very safe place to live. (in many areas), as many residents carry loud whistles with them. If you blow the whistle, you will have dozens of your neighbors out on the street in seconds. And these are people who will stop any violence in seconds.

Women particularly, appreciate this level of safety, which is very real.

Russian and Nob Hill, I don't know. I never lived there. I personally never owned a car when I lived in (other parts of) SF either. My last apartment came with an off-street parking space. This was very unusual. If you own a car in SF, parking will be problematic. If you park on streets you have to move your car every few days to avoid it being towed away. Boats have similar issues. You must show the boat can actually sail, move, whatever. So never had to deal with the car issues very very rich people have to deal with. The cost of renting a parking space off the street is more than rent in many cities. To get around, for >30 yrs I rode Muni which is one of the US's best public transit system. I never encountered violence on busses. I made lots of friends on busses. I still revisit the SF public transit in my dreams frequently, the SF transit map seems to be imprinted in my brain. Like most of NYC, SF escaped "National City Lines" and the large scale destruction of public transit in most US cities in the 50s and 60s by companies owned in part by the auto industry..

It may be different now because the eviction moratorium is ending. People need to come up with huge sums of money, even though many have had reduced hours, incomes, etc, due to covid. Rents in SF are not cheap, having risen rapidly due to tech companies invading SF in the late 2010s. Many people were forced out of SF during the 2010s.

And I bet many renters now are facing very very large COVID driven rent bills. Such a shame that those payments are not going towards buying struggling people's apartments so they could have more stability..

https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/09/the-fed-provides-an-unlimited-mon...

What is the country going to do, as we are facing a massive homelessness crisis soon? This is no joke.

It will be aggravated by the rising natural gas bills (due to the resumption of exports, after a 50 year long hiatus in LNG export). This means heat costs will make it hard to figure out to heat large buildings. Wherever they are built. If older (postwar, rent stabilized) apartment buildings are torn down because of the costs of heating them, they likely wont be replaced.

The only thing I can think of is building tons of cheap manufactured housing, that occupiers can own now.

Thats what SF did in the past. Some of these earthquake cottages from 1906 are still standing. They should upgrade the concept, perhaps have a contest to design a new version of them, for low cost and then get to work, we have 30 days. Where could they be put? Space is hard to find in the Bay Area? Especially San Francisco. There are a number of Frys stores that are going out of business. I have no idea. Maybe somewhere around the bay. Thats the only real open space thats left. In the past most of our earthquake cottages were just put in the neighborhoods that had been burned down in the huge post-earthquake fire. Some were temporarily put in parks. I suppose short term they could be put in parks, parking lots and any available empty space within 20 miles or so. To you who protest, STFU. As this would be better than more homeless people dying tragic deaths outdoors. Sure, SF is warmer than, say, Minnesota but its still pretty cold and damp in the winter. Too cold for families to camp out. They have set up a situation that's guaranteed to kill lots of good people. The Democrats cant let the unthinkable happen. If they don't they should step down, resign and give up their current title of fake progressive party. The investments of many of the political class made in the Democratic brand will be worthless. As Dems as things stand now wont be able to claim that "The Republicans are worse" like they always do. No, people will realize that "friends" who are not at your side when you need help are not friends at all. Instead they are presiding over the economic cleansing of the core of America, as well as trading jobs away - something else people dont expect thats coming.

If you follow the link to the Million Dollar Shack film,

be aware that that will be you soon, if you don't wise up. Millions of well to do foreign guest workers will soon be moving to the US pushing up rents, and often, looking to buy real estate. (These guest workers are often quite wealthy, because frannkly who else can afford to work for almost nothing, just to have an important sounding US job on their CV? Nobody?

But as jobs dry up, e are moving to a pay to work society. People who just graduated college will pay employers (as much as $30k, I hear) to place their adult/child/recentgrad for an entry level US job in their field. More than many young people pay for college tuition. (They insist that "they get all that money back and more on the dowry" once they have a US job with a good employer lined up! DOWRY? WTF? This is how/why many peoples jobs are being taken. To fuel this web of corruption.

Can anybody with knowledge of Indian customary behavior and marriage customs explain this in debt to me. I just have the offhand comments made by young guys I was temporarily working alongside .. That is what they told me while complaining bitterly about parents having to pay cash for them to be placed in the US. (I don't think they realized that that ws likely committing a crime here, bribery is normal to them) They also are promised green cards by these foreign IT firms, it seems. If they work like slaves for years. with no promotions. (as their skill level rises) .

American Young people should be speaking out about this and about being lied to over a fake "green new deal" that is untrue. They have been played. And web sites and phony politicians that have gotten away with endless lying that hide whats happening in an organized way will get busted for it. Because its acting against all our people. .

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@zed2

I personally never owned a car when I lived in (other parts of) SF either. My last apartment came with an off-street parking space. This was very unusual. If you own a car in SF, parking will be problematic. If you park on streets you have to move your car every few days to avoid it being towed away.

When I first moved to SF, my new roommate explained to me, "If you aren't prepared to shed blood for that parking spot, then you don't really want it."
More than once I was driving across The City and I saw a parking spot and slammed on the brakes and started parking, before realizing that I was still several miles from where I was going. And then (this'll give you an idea) I had to stop and think about whether to finish parking where I was, or continue driving to where I was going to and pray that I could park.

One of my first roommates was a stock broker (a particularly disgusting person). His solution to the parking problem is that he would buy the absolute cheapesst car he could find, and then park wherever he liked. He wouldn't pay the tickets. Eventually the car would get towed, and he would then buy a new cheap car.

I've been told that on the average workday in SF, that there are 20,000 cars looking for parking. In a city that is only 7 miles by 7 miles.

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zed2's picture

car lost it within a year or so. For the reason you explain.

Now I live in the land of plentiful parking and even have my own garage. But still don't myself own a car. Its a big act of faith for a risk averse person like me to buy a car. Even a scooter would be. Ive ridden public transit and my classic 70s bike my entire life. More often than not, when I lived in SF, my friends, like me, rode MUNI everywhere.

When I first lived in SF I had a board on my wall with32 envelopes on it that I saved transfers in and it used to be possible to reuse transfers the next month I also used to glue transfers together to extend the time one could use it on a given day. And on that day of the month in the future. I forget what the fare was at that time. It was cheap. For a long time it was sixty cents. I dont even know what the MUNI fare is now, its been so long.

One day our ordeal over housing just broke something and we decided to leave and were on the road nd heading east. The difficult we had in doing that convinced us it was the right decsion. It took us such a long time to make it past the huge traffic jam that day. I caught it on video. We drove all the way to Oakland and then hit traffic so bad we had to turn back, go back to SF and then drive north across the GGB to try our lock on the Richmond San Rafael bridge.. That went smoothly and there was little traffic and got us going in the right directuion. By sunset we were on the road, we continued driving east for thousands of miles and several days. Man, I was glad to get out of there, although sometimes I do miss quirky San Francisco. Especially the putergeek community there. Where I live now for many years I often felt repeatedly something like "The Man who fell to earth" (from another planet) Especially at the beginning. Because the cultural difference was so huge and the world I spent most of my life in was really impossible to explain to people.

Even though its changed a lot, for the better fairly rapidly. I feel my area is like a diamond in the rough. But its still way too flat, LOL, and lacking the delicious insanity and perpetual sense that absolutely anything might happen.

So many just crazy things and people happening all around me. It was so beautiful and weird back then. Before the Internet companies invaded and then sold us out. especially. I was there and and saw the world change and the crazy booms and busts in all their glory..It was totally insane. And beautiful.

for all that I now feel very lucky. If any of you are going to the Bay Area and like to hike or camp, PM me, I used to hike a lot and have tons of maps and could share tons of great places to visit. Assuming they haven't been paved over, closed or gentrified out of existence.

Like The Tourist Club in Muir Woods is one quirky place to go. And have a beer after a long day hiking on Mt. Tam, anybody else ever been there? Its a co-op of hikers.. an outlier branch of a large European hikers organization called the "Nature Friends".

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It was the 1950's, of course.
Nope. It was the 1960's when San Francisco was great.
What am I saying? The 1980's was San Francisco's best decade.
My mistake. It was the 1990's when The City was at its peak.

Actually, San Francisco's peak was 20 years before whenever you arrived here.

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zed2's picture

You cant be creative or have a good time when you are fighting for survival. Politicians have a responsibility to try to prevent destruction of affordable housing. Or what is the point of voting for them? Its not appropriate to play the blame game. Failure to protect the electorate is a problem.

People are perpetually optimistic but sooner or later they wise up and realize whe politicians are dropping the ball. (or collaborating with the other side to push them out)

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zed2's picture

Mayor Moscone (who was a good mayor) and Harvey Milk (a popular Supervisor who represented the gay community) They were both killed in cold blood by a ex-police officer who successfully claimed in court that his mind had been addled by eating too many Twinkies.. and got off the murder charge causing wide spread outrage.

What happened around then was super creepy. At the time I lived in the Western Addition and I had neighbors who died in Guyana.

Jim Jones was very evil. Jim Jones and Peoples Temple was a cult and some claim they were some kind of mind control experiment. For a long time the building and sign remained there at Fillmore and Geary. It was an old synagogue, and a beautiful building but the weight of it's history made it so nobody wanted to rent it.

How could Dan White have gotten away with murder with his Twinkie defense? That still just amazes me it was so outrageously wrong. That was the horrible crime that I remember the most from SF. That and all the evictions of poor people. And so many people forced onto the street.

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