SFPD Arrests 7 in German Tourist's Killing - Too Little Too Late?

Ben Shore's picture

In one of the most shocking and sad crimes to hit San Francisco in recent memory, a German tourist, on vacation with her husband, was shot by a stray bullet - caught in the crossfire of a gang shoot out. After many months, the San Francisco Police Department finally arrested 7 suspects - detailed in this Examiner article.

Outside of the major crime areas of the City, San Francisco is a relatively safe big city. But the gang violence seems to get out of control from time to time. Just last month, we saw an uptick in gang violence in the Mission. While it's great news that these 7 suspects were finally arrested, it seems to be a case of "too little too late."

The SFPD is undoubtedly spread too thin. But when the threat of violence moves out of the crime ridden neighborhoods into Union Square where innocence tourist bystanders are killed, the effect could be disastrous for San Francisco. If tourists have the impression that they run the risk of being caught in the crossfire, they may chose to visit other parts of the state or country. With tourism such an important part of San Francisco's economy, that's a risk we cannot take.

The arrests of these suspects should send a message that the SFPD isn't taking this volence lightly - but it should also be a message to SFPD that more must be done to combat violence between gangs and to prevent that violence from spilling over to innocent tourists and San Franciscans alike.

gcotter's picture

Never too late

It is never too late to arrest a criminal although I agree that quicker arrests are more desirable as they get the perps off the street before that can do more harm.  And preventing crime is the best solution of all.

I believe the SFPD has been doing great.  The gang injunctions did a lot to reduce crime and send a message that SF won't tolerate gangs.  That approach needs to be broadened and vigilantly enforced. We've seen it work - now let's expand it.

I opine that some of the increase in crime is due to the economy - more criminals with less money preying on tourists and residents because they are the ones with money. 

More crime fighting could be done if we had monitored crime cameras on the streets where tourists visit.  Cameras do reduce crime, help apprend perps, and make streets safer.  Alas, many people consider cameras on public streets to be an invasion of privacy, which is really wierd when you consider that just about everyone has a cell phone with a camera and no one thinks those are an invasion of privacy.  Union Square, Pier 39, Fisherman's wharf; the embarcadero, the cable cars, should be blanketed with crime prevention cameras.

The only way to avoid the "too little too late" scenario is to prevent the crime in the first place.  Once a crime has been committed, it is "too late."  To prevent crime we need to send a strong message that we residents of SF will not tolerate crime and pass more stringent laws against all crimes.  

We also need to fund more public crime prevention cameras in more public areas based not only on whether or not an area is "safe" or "unsafe" but also on street population density.  All camera feeds should be monitored realtime so that if a crime is in progress and a camera is present, police can be sent to the scene.  There will never be enough policemen to provide the coverage needed to prevent all crime, but technology can be a valuable asset in the fight to prevent crime.  One person monitoring a dozen cameras can effectively increase the value of officers on patrol.

Also, IMHO, it is appaling that there is violence in any neighborhood, and the mothers of slain innocent bystanders grieve just as deeply whether the victem was a German tourist or someone in one of SF's many "dangerous" neighborhoods.

Qt4u2nv's picture

7 arrested in german tourist killing.....Too little too late

After reading the article in this am examiner this morning: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/05/san-francisco-tourist-allegedly-... Looking at the big picture from the outside looking in ...... Sounds like SFPD, rushed arrests out of panic for their namesake/reputation to our tourists and of course consulates. Court docs BASICALLY say they are from 4 different gangs, attempting to kill 1 individual( Jackson). WOW! The 1 individual must have a hit from a Mafia Boss-( Godfather sent the word)....lmao...or SF Prosecutors really just needed a PERFORMANCE/SHOW for FOREIGN RELATIONS to cover their own dirty assets Only obvious...how many unsolved cases do they have.... Condolences to the SCHROER Family. SFPD, honesty, why can't YOU find my fathers' murderer, or my friends' murderer, who they found in a dumpster...Is it cause they were natives of SF and SFPD's reputation wasn't on the line w/future tourists/embassies....
Qt4u2nv's picture

7 arrested in german tourist killing.....Too little too late

After reading the article in this am examiner this morning: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/05/san-francisco-tourist-allegedly-... Looking at the big picture from the outside looking in ...... Sounds like SFPD, rushed arrests out of panic for their namesake/reputation to our tourists and of course consulates. Court docs BASICALLY say they are from 4 different gangs, attempting to kill 1 individual( Jackson). WOW! The 1 individual must have a hit from a Mafia Boss-( Godfather sent the word)....lmao...or SF Prosecutors really just needed a PERFORMANCE/SHOW for FOREIGN RELATIONS to cover their own dirty assets Only obvious...how many unsolved cases do they have.... Condolences to the SCHROER Family. SFPD, honesty, why can't YOU find my fathers' murderer, or my friends' murderer, who they found in a dumpster...Is it cause they were natives of SF and SFPD's reputation wasn't on the line w/future tourists/embassies....

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