Activists, neighbors demand safer streets in rally to save SF from street drug crisis

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, April 17, 2023
Activists, neighbors rally to save SF from street drug crisis
A rally to save San Francisco streets from open-air drug dealing and drug use, in the midst of a Fentanyl crisis.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A rally to save San Francisco streets from open-air drug dealing and drug use, in the midst of a Fentanyl crisis. Neighbors and advocates stood together Sunday, demanding safer streets for all. But not everyone supported the message.

"If it was up to me, we would walk right down to 7th and Mission and claim our streets back," said Ricci Wynne.

Neighborhood activist Ricci Wynne and others stood on the steps of city hall, demanding safer streets in San Francisco. They say drug dealing and open-air drug use is out of control.

"What breaks my heart the most is the everyday working family are walking by these drug scenes," Wynne said.

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A group of Bay Area mothers is applauding Mayor London Breed's call for federal assistance to help quell the flow of drugs on San Francisco streets.

Wynne has posted to social media his exchanges with suspected drug dealers and users in front of his SOMA apartment house.

"We can't ignore the problem anymore, the only way we can get this done is come together as San Franciscans and fix the issue," said JJ Smith from San Francisco.

Advocates believe that fix, should involve increased staffing for police and greater consequences for drug dealing.

"I come from a long line of addiction, people who used in my family, when they got caught with drugs they went to jail but you know what? It got them clean," said Wynne.

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"The sidewalk can't be the place, neighborhoods can't be the place where we're letting this happen, public drug use," said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Dorsey says the Fentanyl crisis has reached epidemic proportions.

"I'm also going to support supervised consumption facilities, I know a lot of people don't want to hear that but I think we need to do both," Dorsey said.

Earlier this month Mayor London Breed requested Federal help from the DOJ, to both arrest and prosecute drug dealers. District Attorney Brooke Jenkins welcomes the partnership.

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"I agree. We're not going to be able to do this alone. It's exploding. I'm doing my level best with SFPD but we'd love assitance from Federal Government," Jenkins said.

Not everyone at this rally supported the message. One man was shouted down.

"You want to lock up people who need help but I'm the problem," said the protester.

Meantime, the debate continues how to control a drug crisis.

"What I'm seeing on the streets is a lot of needles," said Wynne.

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