The head of the San Francisco police union claims a homeless man’s attack on police officer exhibits that even cops aren’t safe on that metropolis’s streets.
Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, mentioned extreme staffing shortages and a “criminal-first agenda” by District Attorney Chesa Boudin is making patrol duties for the town’s cops unsafe following Friday’s assault in Chinatown on an officer of Asian descent.
“I’m very concerned,” Montoya told Fox News. “If it’s not safe for the police officers right now, what should the general public feel?”
Surveillance video released Sunday by the union exhibits a homeless man later recognized as Gerardo Contreras, 33, wrestling an officer of Asian descent to the bottom as she was attempting to detain him. A gaggle of bystanders then rushed in to save lots of the feminine officer as she was fighting Contreras on the bottom, the clip exhibits.
Several different officers then responded to the scene and took Contreras into custody.
“We are deeply grateful to these citizens who rushed to our officer’s aide,” union officers tweeted. “Our staffing shortage left this officer alone instead of with a partner.”
A police division spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle the assault is being investigated as a attainable hate crime.
“We are not confirming the suspect’s statements toward witnesses or the Asian female officer,” spokesman Robert Rueca informed the newspaper. “Our investigation is looking at aspects of this assault on the officer which includes a possible hate crime and motive.”
The officer, who has not been publicly recognized, is a five-year veteran who had bumps and bruises following the assault. Contreras was being held on assault and hate crime fees, in keeping with jail data cited by the Chronicle.
Montoya informed Fox News that greater than 900 police officers are at present patrolling San Francisco at any given time, however the quantity retains dropping as a result of retiring officers or those that left the division or regulation enforcement altogether.
“Here locally the cops just not feel supported – by our command staff, which is 22-person strong right now,” Montoya mentioned. “And they don’t feel supported by their elected officials. So if you add all those factors in, it’s not really great material for a recruiting poster.”
Mayor London Breed launched a finances proposal Tuesday to extend the variety of cops on San Francisco streets to at the very least 1,224 officers. She additionally pledged to spend greater than $1 billion over two years to handle the town’s homelessness downside, Fox News reported.
Montoya informed Fox News he thinks there’s “absolutely” an opportunity Contreras, who remained held with out bond Wednesday, could be freed, significantly if he has a historical past of drug habit or psychological well being points.
“If you look at the policy of our current district attorney’s criminal-first agenda, there’s a very high likelihood that this person will get released before facing any consequences for his actions,” Montoya mentioned. “You see that day in and day out here in San Francisco.”
The caught-on-camera assault offers the general public a “visual” into how harmful the job has turn out to be for San Francisco cops, Montoya informed the Chronicle, including that it additionally indicated extra housing and psychological companies are wanted.
“She was approaching him very low-key, using a talking voice,” the union head mentioned. “The guy was giving indications he would be compliant, but when she went to do a pat-down he turned around the started attacking her.”
Montoya mentioned Contreras had a historical past of prior arrests, however didn’t present particulars, the Chronicle reported.
Boudin’s workplace didn’t return a message looking for remark Tuesday, Fox News reported. A spokeswoman for the district legal professional didn’t instantly return a message early Wednesday.