Mid-year crime stats revealed / Local weightlifter makes Olympic team

It's Monday, July 12.

Hey there, San Francisco. How we doin? 

On Monday, in a joint press conference with Mayor London Breed, Police Chief Bill Scott released San Francisco’s mid-year crime statistics. You can view them here

Perhaps more helpful, though, is viewing the slides from Chief Scott’s presentation, which shows crime stats at mid-year marks dating back, in most cases, to 2015. 

A few things that popped out to me include: 

  • Gun violence (both lethal and non-lethal) is the highest it’s been in years. 

  • As noted in the presentation, there’s been a “troubling increase” in burglaries.

  • Car break-ins are up from last year, but not nearly as bad as the numbers we saw from 2017-2019. 

Seeing the data laid out like this is helpful. And, for me at least, underscores the complexity of the crime debate in our city (you know, the question of whether things have gotten better or worse here). 

Some crime categories are up. Some are down. Overall, the data shows both violent and property crimes are down slightly (5% and 4%, respectively) compared to last year. But, of course, nowhere in these stats are we able to capture how people actually feel. 

“You don’t care about statistics, you don’t care the crime is going down and going up,” Scott said on Monday. “What you care about is ‘it happened to me, and it just turned my life upside down.’”

And with that...onto some news… 

District Attorney Chesa Boudin is prosecuting fewer shoplifting cases than his predecessor, George Gascon, according to data provided to the Examiner by the DA’s office. In 2019, Gascon prosecuted 70% of cases involving the theft of property valued at $950 or less, while Boudin filed charges in 44% of petty theft cases in 2020 and 50% of cases in 2021 (as of mid-June). 

As the Examiner’s Michael Barba writes: 

Boudin said the decline in prosecution rates for shoplifting cases is a reflection of the “difficult choices” his office had to make during the pandemic, when the Hall of Justice closed most of its courtrooms and city officials decided to largely empty the jails, in part to prevent an outbreak.

“We made an intentional decision to prioritize crimes involving violence, injury to human beings and use of weapons,” Boudin said.

Boudin’s prosecution rate in “organized retail theft” cases, meanwhile, is in line with his predecessor at 81%. (Examiner

Quick bits: 

  • 🌭 During the Giants’ game on Saturday, the father of a player on the opposing Washington Nationals team successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on a fan who was choking on a hot dog. “I saw her having some difficulties...and I went over just to chat, and she couldn’t talk, she needed help,” said the dad, who happens to be a pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Hospital. “She had three pieces of hot dog lodged in her airway...The third piece was as big as my first knuckle.” (Chronicle

  • 🛣 The Great Highway’s future is still TBD, but in an op-ed last week, Supervisor Gordon Mar (whose District includes the entire stretch closed off to car traffic) called for a “compromise” approach. “We can balance the benefits of this unique open space with the real needs for safe and efficient vehicle traffic flow through a partial reopening of the road to vehicles, either part of the time, or on part of the road,” Mar wrote. (Richmond Review)  

  • 🏘 A recent paper estimated that restrictive zoning laws for housing have increased the price of a quarter-acre lot in the San Francisco metro area by $409,000. As the Chronicle noted, that estimated “zoning tax” is around ⅓ of the area’s $1.26 million median home price. (Chronicle

  • 🕺 A natural wine pop-up, that couples its drinks with DJ sets, has found a permanent home in the Mission. One of Bar Part Time’s partners told the Chronicle: “We want to make it feel less like a traditional wine bar where there’s a stuffy, high-society quality, and more like a party vibe that’s super fun and inviting.” It’s set to open this fall. (Chronicle)  

And finally…

When New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard qualified to become the first transgender person to compete in the Olympics, a local athlete’s name made the news as a result. 

That’s because 21-year-old Kuinini “Nini” Manumua, a Lowell High graduate and current business student at San Francisco State University, was the first person bumped from making the upcoming Tokyo games when Hubbard qualified. But as Chronicle reporter Ann Killion writes, Manumua “doesn’t look at social media and isn’t interested in learning about how she has been used as fodder in the Hubbard controversy.” 

Then, on July 1, Manumua got the news that she had received a “wild card” bid to the Olympics, something that is sometimes given to athletes from “underrepresented countries.” Manumua will compete in women’s weightlifting for country of Tonga, where she spent the first 10 years of her life.

“It was so exciting,” she said of learning that she’d be going to Tokyo. “I was crying I was so happy.”

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you back here tomorrow. - Nick B.

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