San Francisco Mayor London Breed defended her city during a tense interview following criticism that the city has become too dangerous because of progressive policies after a tech executive was stabbed to death last week, and a former fire commissioner was brutally attacked.
Breed, a Democrat, was speaking with FOX San Francisco when she said reports surrounding the death of Cash App founder Bob Lee were “inaccurate.”
“I think that oftentimes because of social media, because of cameras and how people are able to publicize things that are happening in a moment, it is taken completely out of context in terms of highlighting the entire city as being unsafe,” she said. “That’s not entirely true.”
San Francisco Mayor London Breed defended public safety in the city following a series of attacks in which a tech executive was killed, and another man was brutally attacked within days of each other. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
After listing off several popular events hosted in the city that were incident-free, Breed was questioned about how residents could be worried about the state of the city after Lee’s killing.
She mentioned that city leaders were having discussions with state and federal authorities about getting support.
“How do you answer the critics who say the state that San Francisco is turning to state and federal authorities because, in some part, it’s the doing of its own politicians and city leaders,” KTVU anchor Gasia Mikaelian asked. “Essentially, they’re saying the progressive policies are what got us here. Now we’re turning to others for help.”
“You know, it’s sad because I think it’s just San Francisco has been a target for so long and used as an example because we’re innovative, we creative, we come up with out-of-the-box ideas and a number of other things to push forward change in our communities,” Breed responded. “And I think that sadly, you know, with the previous president, it was a target.”
People sit in Alamo Square overlooking the city skyline in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Governor Newsom on March 19 ordered that all of the state’s 40 million residents go into home isolation while saying outdoor activity is permissible with proper social distancing. Several parks reported a surge in visitors over the weekend from people wanting to get out of the house. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“Some of our policies have been problematic, and we will do what we can to roll those back. But in the meantime, we’ve got to keep moving forward,” she added. “It’s going to take us some time to get to a better place where public safety. But we are not letting up.”
San Francisco has come under fire from critics following Lee’s death. Days after, former San Francisco Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani was attacked in his own front yard, slashed with a knife and his skull fractured by a pipe.
Elon Musk, who ditched Silicon Valley for Texas weighed in on San Francisco’s crime woes in a tweet last week.
“Many people I know have been severely assaulted. Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately,” Musk wrote.
Some critics have blamed the defund the police movement.
According to city data, the San Francisco Police Department is understaffed by a whopping 541 officers.
An audit of state records even revealed the Police Department hired dozens of either unqualified or undocumented officers to tackle the surmounting shortage, according to a report published in March.
And although some city crime statistics indicate most major crimes have declined since last year, some violent crimes have trended in the other direction.
Murders have spiked 20% and robbery has surged more than 13% so far this year, in comparison to last year, according to data from the San Francisco Police Department.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.