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San Francisco Asks DC For Help With Rampant Crime

Holland McKinnie
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San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) has asked for federal aid in addressing the city’s severe crime and drug-related issues. In a letter to California’s new U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey, Breed highlighted multiple public safety challenges, including a fentanyl-driven overdose epidemic, open-air drug dealing, property crime and increasing gun violence. She attributed the problems to an “unprecedented police staffing shortage.”

This request comes in the wake of Mayor Breed’s previous commitment to “defund the police” in response to the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. As part of her plan, $120 million was cut from the budgets of San Francisco’s police and sheriff’s departments. That decision was later reversed as crime rates soared.

San Francisco, home to Silicon Valley and some of the world’s wealthiest individuals has become notorious for its high cost of living, lawlessness, and drug-ridden streets. The city is governed predominantly by left-wing Democrats, whose progressive policies have been criticized for exacerbating these issues. 

A report by the Hoover Institute in 2020 noted that progressive Democrats had dominated San Francisco’s city government for the past 20 years, marked by skyrocketing homelessness, drug use and cost of living. The report also pointed out the city’s tacit tolerance of drug use and related crimes, resulting in a thriving drug-based economy that unfolds on city streets daily.

In recent years, San Francisco has witnessed various changes in its leadership, including the recall of George Soros-installed District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Boudin’s successor has yet to be able to make a significant difference, prompting Mayor Breed to seek federal help in combating the city’s drug markets and violent crime.

In her letter, Breed emphasized the scale of the problem, stating, “Our local law enforcement is doing its best to enforce against drug dealing; however, the scale of the problem is beyond our local capacity.” She called for additional and ongoing support from the Department of Justice to arrest and prosecute drug dealers.

U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman Abraham Simmons confirmed the receipt of Mayor Breed’s letter and stated that arrangements were being made to discuss her concerns. 


Journalist Michael Shellenberger, who wrote a widely-discussed book on drugs and homelessness and appeared in a CNN documentary about San Francisco, criticized California lawmakers for blocking efforts to hold drug dealers accountable for the thousands of people they are killing.

San Francisco’s request for federal assistance is a cautionary tale for other cities grappling with similar challenges. As Mayor Breed and city officials seek support from the Department of Justice, it remains to be seen how effectively they can address the city’s crime and drug problems while balancing progressive values and public safety.