SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- District Attorney Chesa Boudin claimed Sunday that placing blame on his prosecutors for crime in San Francisco's neighborhoods is miscast and should be focused on the police officers union and a poor clearance rate of crimes that are reported to police.
In an interview with KPIX 5's Ken Bastida, Boudin didn't mince words when it came to a public perception that he is soft on crime -- a belief that has spawned two recall campaigns demanding his removal from office.
"Come down to the courthouse and watch what we're doing," he said. "Any day of the week, any courtroom. You will see my veteran prosecutors handling cases ranging from shoplifting to murder and doing it with dignity and integrity and doing with zealousness."
Boudin said the blame should be placed further down the investigative chain.
"The reality is the POA (police officers union) needs someone to point the finger at and this isn't a new issue," he said. "Look they were blaming (Vice President) Kamala Harris and attacking her when she was the district attorney. This is an age old problem in San Francisco because the POA wants to get away without doing their job. They want to get away with allowing their officers to send racist text messages, to use excessive force against the community and to engage in systematic violations of civil rights of Black and brown drivers on our streets. And I'm pushing back and demanding that they modernize, that they reform and that they respect all the members of our community."
Boudin also was highly critical of the San Francisco police department's low case clearance rate.
"Frankly, when it comes to crime, we need to increase police clearance rates," he said. "Right now, police are only making arrests in about 10 percent of all reported crimes. There is no way we are going to lock up our way out of a problem when police are only clearing 10 percent of reported crimes."
"There is no way that any prosecutor in this country can successfully prosecute a case if police don't make an arrest and do a good job investigating it," he continued. "It's that simple."
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