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Blue city sued by residents in crime-ridden neighborhood over poor conditions


Daily Caller News Foundation

A group of residents in San Francisco’s most crime-ridden neighborhood sued the city over open-air drug markets and rampant homelessness, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of four unnamed Tenderloin residents and the Phoenix and Best Western hotels, alleges that city policies have allowed an open-air drug market to persist in the city and that officials have tolerated criminal activities in the area, according to the Chronicle. The city currently faces lawsuits on both sides of the issue, with the Coalition on Homelessness, a nonprofit assisting the homeless in the city, arguing the city has been cruel in their application of homeless ordinances, and the University of California (UC) College of the Law, San Francisco, arguing that the city has been too lax.

Crime in the Tenderloin district increased 240% from August 2022 to August 2023, according to San Francisco crime data.

“While we understand and share the frustration of Tenderloin businesses and residents, the City is making progress in reducing crime, disrupting open-air drug markets, and addressing homelessness, all while complying with the preliminary injunction issued in the Coalition on Homelessness case,” Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for San Francisco Attorney David Chiu, said in a statement, according to the Chronicle.

UC Law San Francisco filed a separate motion accusing the city of violating a 2020 settlement agreement that required city officials to make “reasonable efforts” at eliminating homeless encampments in the neighborhood near the school.

“The city blithely treats the Tenderloin as a place where this type of harmful activity can happen on the streets and sidewalks, and it’s inconceivable that they’d allow it in other neighborhoods,” Matthew Davis, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in both the UC College of Law San Francisco case and the Tenderloin residents case, told the Chronicle.

The Coalition on Homelessness lawsuit argued in 2022 that San Francisco violated the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment protections and the Fourth Amendment by removing homeless people from public spaces and confiscating their belongings.

Residents previously demanded more police to solve crimes in the city, but officers claim they’re underfunded and are undervalued by the local government. The San Francisco Bay Area lost 250,000 residents between 2020 and 2022.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comments.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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