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Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug-injection sites citing 'unintended consequences'

California Gov Gavin Newsom on Monday vetoed a bill that would have allowed certain cities to open supervised drug-injection sites.

The idea of the bill was to provide drug addicts with controlled substances in a supervised environment, where they would receive sterile needles and could be connected with a rehabilitation center.

The hope was to stem the rising tide of fatal overdoses in the state. But in a veto letter, the governor wrote that he had concerns about the ‘unintended consequences’ of the bill.

‘I have long supported the cutting edge of harm reduction strategies,’ Newsom wrote in the letter to legislators.

‘However, I am acutely concerned about operations of safe injection sites without strong, engaged local leadership and well-documented, vetted and thoughtful operational and sustainability plans.’

The governor went on to say he was worried about ‘a world of unintended consequences’ that could result from authorizing an unlimited number of sites.

‘It is possible that these sites would help improve the safety and health of our urban areas, but if done without a strong plan, they could work against this purpose.

‘These unintended consequences in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland cannot be taken lightly,’ he added. ‘Worsening drug consumption challenges in these areas is not a risk we can take.’

Still, the governor said in the letter he was directing the state’s secretary of health and human services to work with local leaders in order to create statewide opening standards for these facilities. 

Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

Gov Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Monday that would allow cities to open supervised drug-injection sites. The governor is pictured here on August 12

Injection stations would provide drug users with sterilized needles to shoot up under the direction of staff trained to deal with an overdose. A safe injection site is pictured here

Injection stations would provide drug users with sterilized needles to shoot up under the direction of staff trained to deal with an overdose. A safe injection site is pictured here

Injection stations would provide drug users with sterilized needles to shoot up under the direction of staff trained to deal with an overdose. A safe injection site is pictured here

A woman was slumped over in a wheelchair, her pants down around her ankles, preparing to inject a needle into her thigh

A woman was slumped over in a wheelchair, her pants down around her ankles, preparing to inject a needle into her thigh

A woman was slumped over in a wheelchair, her pants down around her ankles, preparing to inject a needle into her thigh

Photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed homeless people continuing to use illegal narcotics on the streets surrounding the injection site at the Tenderloin Linkage Center

Photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed homeless people continuing to use illegal narcotics on the streets surrounding the injection site at the Tenderloin Linkage Center

Photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed homeless people continuing to use illegal narcotics on the streets surrounding the injection site at the Tenderloin Linkage Center

Senate Bill 57 would have allowed San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland — as well as Los Angeles County — to set up supervised injection facilities in communities struggling with rampant drug use and frequent overdoes.

At the centers, drug users would be offered supplies like clean needles as they use illegal drugs under the watch of staff members who are trained to intervene in overdoses. From there, they could be connected to treatment centers. 

Such injection sites have already operated in New York City at the New York Harm Reduction in East Harlem and The Corner Project in Washington Heights. 

Scott Wiener, the California lawmaker who wrote the bill, described the veto on Monday as a missed opportunity to address one of the most pressing problems in California.

He said in a statement to the New York Times that the proposal was ‘not a radical bill by any stretch of the imagination.

‘We don’t need additional studies or working groups to determine whether safe consumption sites are effective,’ Wiener asserted.

‘We know from decades of experience and numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies that they work.’

Wiener went on to call the veto ‘a major setback,’ but vowed he and other legislators would continue to press for the state to ‘focus on drug use and addiction as the health issues that they are.’ 

But opponents of the proposal, including Republican state lawmakers and local law enforcement groups have argued that setting up the sites would encourage illicit drug use while also failing to require users seek treatment.

They point to a pilot program started earlier this year in San Francisco has resulted in addicts illicitly taking drugs in the middle of the day, as elementary school kids had to walk home through the crowd.

It has also likely contributed to a 7 percent increase in crime over last year, with assaults up 12 percent and larceny thefts up nearly 18 percent.

The streets surrounding the Linkage Center were filled with drug paraphernalia

The streets surrounding the Linkage Center were filled with drug paraphernalia

The streets surrounding the Linkage Center were filled with drug paraphernalia

The rampant drug use has also likely contributed to a rise in crime in the area, with overall crime up nearly 8 percent from last year

The rampant drug use has also likely contributed to a rise in crime in the area, with overall crime up nearly 8 percent from last year

The rampant drug use has also likely contributed to a rise in crime in the area, with overall crime up nearly 8 percent from last year

In December, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the Tenderloin area and announced a sweeping crackdown on open air drug use and drug dealing in the downtown neighborhood.

The area has long been an epicenter of homelessness and drug use, but city officials said the problem has worsened as the national opioid crisis escalated over the course of the pandemic. 

Announcing a crime crackdown, Breed argued that San Francisco officers should get aggressive and ‘less tolerant of all the bulls*** that has destroyed our city’, as she went back on her plans to defund the police.

‘It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,’ she said. ‘And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies.’

‘We are in a crisis and we need to respond accordingly,’ she continued. ‘Too many people are dying in this city, too many people are sprawled on our streets. We have to meet people where they are.’ 

Breed said that rapid drug intervention is needed because about two people a day are dying of overdoses, mostly from fentanyl.

‘The work that we have in place after our assessment allow us this ability through this emergency declaration to move quickly, to move fast, to change the conditions – specifically of the Tenderloin community’ she said. 

‘This is necessary in order to see a difference.’ 

Mayor London Breed launched an emergency police intervention in December aimed at curbing open drug use, brazen home break-ins and other criminal behaviors taking place in San Francisco's crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood

Mayor London Breed launched an emergency police intervention in December aimed at curbing open drug use, brazen home break-ins and other criminal behaviors taking place in San Francisco's crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood

Mayor London Breed launched an emergency police intervention in December aimed at curbing open drug use, brazen home break-ins and other criminal behaviors taking place in San Francisco’s crime-ridden Tenderloin neighborhood

Just a few days later, Breed announced the opening of the ‘linkage center,’ aimed at connecting homeless street addicts with drug rehab facilities.  

The center was equipped to serve up to 100 people at a time who are suffering from drug use and mental health issues, connecting with long-term and short-term services like health care and housing. 

It also included a supervised drug consumption area outside. 

The mayor and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have long advocated a supervised drug consumption site, and purchased two properties in the Tenderloin to serve people suffering from addiction.

‘Our work in the Tenderloin requires all of our City departments and community partners working together to address the major challenges we know exist,’ Mayor Breed said in a release.

‘As part of that work, this Linkage Center will help us create a space for people who are struggling with addiction and other challenges to get immediate support, and then transition into longer term care and housing. 

‘This is hard work, and I appreciate everyone joining in partnership to make a difference for the people of the Tenderloin.’

But soon images emerged of an open air illicit drug consumption site littered with needles and crowded with addicts shooting up in broad daylight.

Photos taken by DailyMail.com show a woman slumped over in a wheelchair, her pants down around her ankles, preparing to inject a needle into her thigh. The woman sitting on the ground next to her has a needle to her neck.  

Many others are sitting on the ground among trash, empty food containers and dirty blankets, as they fumble in with drug paraphernalia in the cold weather. 

Aerial photo also showed the city’s Pioneer Monument overrun with homeless tents. 

A pilot program started in San Francisco earlier this year has resulted in addicts illicitly taking drugs in the middle of the day

A pilot program started in San Francisco earlier this year has resulted in addicts illicitly taking drugs in the middle of the day

A pilot program started in San Francisco earlier this year has resulted in addicts illicitly taking drugs in the middle of the day

The area was also overrun with homeless camps, like the one seen here

The area was also overrun with homeless camps, like the one seen here

The area was also overrun with homeless camps, like the one seen here

By July, shocking video posted online showed elementary school kids filing off the 14 transit line in the Golden Gate City at 8th Street and Mission, walking past dozens of drug users passing out on the sidewalk.

‘This is no back ally,’ Ricci Wynne tweeted. ‘This is the main artery of the city that has been hijacked bye [SIC] drug dealers and now is Pure filth,

‘I’m just trying to bring the images of the streets and the conditions to [the public],’ he said in a separate video. ‘Bring the awareness up…I’m trying to push for a change and try to see if we can get the streets back because we’re losing out here.’

The kids appeared chipper as they head back home after their classes in stark contrast to the addicts scowling as they sit on the garbage-strewn pavement shooting up.

‘Now ask yourself this question, would you want your children to walk through this squalor just to get home from school? @JoeBiden @VP @SpeakerPelosi @SenFeinstein @LondonBreed @SFPDChief #DoBetter #democrats #politics #Drugs #California #crime #DoYourJob #NA.’ 

Wynne, who describes himself as a ‘career criminal’ and a recovering drug addict, frequently posts videos of addicts on the streets or the piles of garbage and used needles that they leave behind.

Ricci Wynne, 37, a career criminal and recovering addict, documented how school children were forced to pass by dozens of drug users passing out on the sidewalk.

Ricci Wynne, 37, a career criminal and recovering addict, documented how school children were forced to pass by dozens of drug users passing out on the sidewalk.

Ricci Wynne, 37, a career criminal and recovering addict, documented how school children were forced to pass by dozens of drug users passing out on the sidewalk.

The kids appeared chipper as they head back home after their classes in stark contrast to the addicts scowling as they sit on the garbage-strewn pavement shooting up

The kids appeared chipper as they head back home after their classes in stark contrast to the addicts scowling as they sit on the garbage-strewn pavement shooting up

The kids appeared chipper as they head back home after their classes in stark contrast to the addicts scowling as they sit on the garbage-strewn pavement shooting up 

In the aftermath, Gary McCoy, the vice president of public affairs and policy at non-profit HealthRIGHT 360 — which runs the controversial Tenderloin Linkage Center — was accused of exaggerating the number of people it helped.

The organization recorded it was making 659 ‘meaningful engagements’ for the week ending February 7, meaning it was actively helping the nearly 700 drug users by directing them to clean syringes or services rather than just observing them while they shot up.

But in an email to colleagues, Dr. Rob Hoffman, special project manager with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said he and a colleague had visited the linkage center over the same period, and wrote: ‘I observed the HR360 staff and did not see anything that can account for the high numbers of meaningful engagements.’

Instead of handling the problem itself, press officers at the Department of Public Health apparently tried to minimize the issue.

In response to a query from a reporter working for the San Francisco Standard News about Health360’s tweaked figures on February 23, Alison Hawkes, director of communications for the department, sent over a heavily-modified email which replaced words such as ‘mistake’ and ‘inaccurately’ with more PR-friendly terms.

The original statement, written by Dr Matthew Goldman, read: ‘ Part-way through the most recent reporting period, the TLC metrics team discovered that one of the CBOs was inaccurately recording data on engagements… This mistake has since been resolved.’

Hawkes, though, smoothed out his words and changed them to say that ‘one of providers at the site was defining engagements in a way inconsistent with other teams on the site.’

She also changed ‘mistakenly’ counted to ‘categorized all visits.’   

At the same time, DailyMail.com revealed that just 18 of the 23,367 visitors to the site between January and the end of March had been given medical treatment, or referred to rehab – equivalent to 0.7 percent of everyone who’s passed through its doors during that time period.

HealthRIGHT 360 is given tens of millions of dollars by the City of San Francisco to run drug outreach programs.

The death of downtown: San Francisco, Cleveland and Portland have seen activity drop by almost 50 percent – as soaring crime in the Democrat-run cities forces workers, tourists and homeowners away

San Francisco, Cleveland and Portland have the most deserted downtowns in the US as soaring crime rates in the Democratic cities scare away workers and tourists.

In a recent study by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California Berkeley, San Francisco’s downtown area was found to be only 31 percent active over the spring of 2022 when compared to pre-pandemic levels, with Cleveland at 36 percent and Portland at 41 percent.

Meanwhile, cities like Salt Lake City, Utah, Bakersfield, California and Columbus Ohio are enjoying the fastest comeback, seeing their downtown activity go up by more than 110 percent since 2019. 

By tracking more than 18 million smartphone users traveling through America’s busiest downtowns, researchers found that the three cities, which have been plagued by a spike in crime, are trailing in COVID-19 recovery. 

1661238633 206 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

1661238633 206 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

Cleveland's downtown activity was down 36 percent compared to 2019 as the city suffers a slow pandemic recovery

Cleveland's downtown activity was down 36 percent compared to 2019 as the city suffers a slow pandemic recovery

Cleveland’s downtown activity was down 36 percent compared to 2019 as the city suffers a slow pandemic recovery

Portland ranked the third-lowest city in downtown activity as the city contends with soaring homelessness and crime after years of protests calling to defund the police

Portland ranked the third-lowest city in downtown activity as the city contends with soaring homelessness and crime after years of protests calling to defund the police

Portland ranked the third-lowest city in downtown activity as the city contends with soaring homelessness and crime after years of protests calling to defund the police

According to the latest available FBI Unified Crime Report, San Francisco had the highest overall crime rate of the 20 largest cities in the United States, recording 6,917 crimes per 100,000 population in 2019. 

That was more than double the crime rates in New York and Los Angeles, and well above the rates in the next largest US cities: Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix. 

A year later following the Black Lives Matter protests, the call to defund the police grew among Democratic leaders.  

San Francisco Mayor London Breed demanded cities defund the police last year, announcing that the Golden Gate City would be one of the first to do so and promising to slice $120million from the budgets of its police and sheriff’s departments.

The city also greenlit its first open-air drug market in San Francisco’s civic center, which spurred vagrants in homeless encampments across the city to use illegal substances out in broad daylight.  

Breed has since made a screeching U-turn and announced she was asking the city’s Board of Supervisors for more money to be given to the police to stamp out drug dealing, car break-ins, and theft.

After initial calls to defund the police, San Francisco Mayor London Breed (pictured) has made a screeching U-turn and announced she was asking the city's Board of Supervisors for more money to be given to the police to stamp out crime

After initial calls to defund the police, San Francisco Mayor London Breed (pictured) has made a screeching U-turn and announced she was asking the city's Board of Supervisors for more money to be given to the police to stamp out crime

After initial calls to defund the police, San Francisco Mayor London Breed (pictured) has made a screeching U-turn and announced she was asking the city’s Board of Supervisors for more money to be given to the police to stamp out crime

San Francisco has the highest overall crime rate of the 20 largest cities in the United States, easily exceeding the crime rates of the five largest cities (seen above)

San Francisco has the highest overall crime rate of the 20 largest cities in the United States, easily exceeding the crime rates of the five largest cities (seen above)

San Francisco has the highest overall crime rate of the 20 largest cities in the United States, easily exceeding the crime rates of the five largest cities (seen above)

Chesa Boudin was ousted from his position in June, after critics accused him of not doing enough to keep residents and business owners safe amid a crime wave

Chesa Boudin was ousted from his position in June, after critics accused him of not doing enough to keep residents and business owners safe amid a crime wave

He has since been replaced by Brooke Jenkins has fired at least 15 members of her predecessor's staff following his ouster last month

He has since been replaced by Brooke Jenkins has fired at least 15 members of her predecessor's staff following his ouster last month

Chesa Boudin (left) was ousted from his position as District Attorney in June, after critics accused him of not doing enough to keep residents and business owners safe amid a crime wave.  Brooke Jenkins (right) has since taken over and fired 15 members of Boudin’s team

1661238634 932 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

1661238634 932 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

Crime remains stubbornly high in the Golden Gate City, with overall crime up 7.4 percent as of August 14 compared to the same time last year. 

Assaults are up nearly 12 percent, and robberies are up 2.4 percent. Thefts have spiked by 17.5 percent compared to last year, and rapes have also increased by 9.5 percent.   

In June, citizens fed up with the state of their city voted to oust woke District Attorney Chesa Boudin, whose anti-incarceration policies have been widely panned as causing the ongoing crisis.

He was originally elected on a platform of criminal justice reform, but his notoriously progressive laws have been widely blamed for rising crime and homelessness in the Bay Area since the start of the pandemic.

During Boudin’s time in office, ‘smash-and-grab’ robberies became commonplace, with thieves brazenly raiding store shelves in broad daylight, only to avoid charges thanks to Boudin’s lax policies. 

He has since been replaced by Brooke Jenkins, 40, who cleaned house after taking her old boss’ job as both she and Breed vowed to crack down on soaring crime and increasingly prevalent open-air drug markets in the city. 

The city’s open-air drug market project was terminated and would be shut down by the end of the year. 

Breed called for progressive policies that have allowed criminal behavior to make a mockery of the city’s famed tolerance and compassion to be replaced with ‘more aggressive policing.’

Breed said she plans to introduce legislation that allows law enforcement officers real-time access to surveillance video in certain situations, as well as measures that would make it harder to sell stolen goods. 

‘It’s time the reign of criminals who are destroying our city, it is time for it to come to an end,’ she said. ‘And it comes to an end when we take the steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policies.’ 

Vagrancy has run rampant in San Francisco, where drug use in broad daylight has become exceedingly common

Vagrancy has run rampant in San Francisco, where drug use in broad daylight has become exceedingly common

Vagrancy has run rampant in San Francisco, where drug use in broad daylight has become exceedingly common

In the California city, homeless encampments line the streets despite the official's efforts to clean up the area

In the California city, homeless encampments line the streets despite the official's efforts to clean up the area

In the California city, homeless encampments line the streets despite the official’s efforts to clean up the area

Pictured: homeless individuals lining up outside a liquor store in July as the city cracks down on vagrancy

Pictured: homeless individuals lining up outside a liquor store in July as the city cracks down on vagrancy

Pictured: homeless individuals lining up outside a liquor store in July as the city cracks down on vagrancy

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the city is urgently trying to recover from its historically high crime rate, which saw an average of 10,435 arrests in the past three years. 

As of the first half of the year, the city has only reported 3,764 arrests, with weapon charges sinking by 51 percent since last year, with police reporting a 49 percent drop in guns confiscated. 

Drug arrests have dropped by 32 percent since the same time last year, and there were 29 percent fewer arrests for grand theft auto. 

But police are still condending with high homicide rates, reporting 90 killings as of August, only slightly down from the 101 murders reroded by the same time last year.  

In 2021, 169 people died in homicides, more than double the figure from a decade earlier. In 2020, 179 people were killed, a marked increase over 2019’s number of 122.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has helped with the turnaround in the city and is currently looking to end a federal court oversight of the city’s police force in order to allow officers to crackdown on violent crime. 

‘The quickest we can get out of this decree, the better it will be for the police department and the taxpayers,’ Bibb told reporters. ‘I am working as quickly as I possibly can to get out of it.’

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (above) is moving to allow more freedom for the city's police force to crack down on crime as it finally sees a decrease in decade high crime rates from last year

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (above) is moving to allow more freedom for the city's police force to crack down on crime as it finally sees a decrease in decade high crime rates from last year

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (above) is moving to allow more freedom for the city’s police force to crack down on crime as it finally sees a decrease in decade high crime rates from last year 

Despite dropping crime rates, Cleveland is still seeing a high murder rate as downtown recovery suffers

Despite dropping crime rates, Cleveland is still seeing a high murder rate as downtown recovery suffers

Despite dropping crime rates, Cleveland is still seeing a high murder rate as downtown recovery suffers 

1661238635 780 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

1661238635 780 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

Oregon’s Lax Limits for Hard Drugs 

Under the new Oregon law that went into effect in February 2021, offenders caught with the following drug amounts can avoid criminal charges:

  • Less than 1 gram of heroin
  • Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA
  • Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine
  • Less than 40 units of LSD
  • Less than 12 grams of psilocybin
  • Less than 40 units of methadone
  • Less than 40 pills of oxycodone
  • Less than 2 grams of cocaine

Offenders caught with the following amounts of drugs will be charged with misdemeanor simple possession, rather than a felony:  

  • 1 to 3 grams of heroin
  • 1 to 4 grams of MDMA
  • 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine
  • 2 to 8 grams of cocaine

Sporting the third-worst recovery in the downtown area, Portland has also been impacted by a rise in crime and homelessness, with calls to defund the police echoing loudly in the Oregon city. 

Portland’s federal courthouse and Apple Store, the sites of two large confrontations between protesters and police during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, remain closed off. 

John Tapogna, a policy adviser to Portland economic research firm ECONorthwest, told The Oregonian, that the empty buildings serve as a lingering warning over the state of the city. 

‘It certainly sends a signal to anybody who just passes by that something’s still off in this downtown,’ he said.

 ‘You don’t have to look very hard beyond toward those gates to see numerous blocks, still with a lot of plywood.’ 

And along with shuttered businesses, homeless encampments have grown severely in certain neighborhoods throughout the city. 

One realtor in the area said that she’s seen a surge of residents moving to the suburbs over the past two years.

‘Most people don’t want to have to worry about if they can leave their car parked in their driveway overnight without maybe having it broken into,’ Lauren Iaquinta told KGW8.

The real estate broker said it’s a ‘testy subject,’ and said the issue can be unpredictable due to homeless people settling down wherever they want.

The drug crisis in Portland, especially among homeless communities, has become unmanageable for authorities in the area. 

As the city deals with a rising homelessness problem, more than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services through funding from Measure 110, designed to provide treatment

As the city deals with a rising homelessness problem, more than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services through funding from Measure 110, designed to provide treatment

As the city deals with a rising homelessness problem, more than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services through funding from Measure 110, designed to provide treatment

One man grimaces in pain as he shows the bandage on a gunshot wound as he sits on the street after his hospital release in Portland

One man grimaces in pain as he shows the bandage on a gunshot wound as he sits on the street after his hospital release in Portland

One man grimaces in pain as he shows the bandage on a gunshot wound as he sits on the street after his hospital release in Portland

Tents line the streets as the crisis grows, worsened by a drug crisis that was caused partly by Oregon becoming the first state in the country to decriminalize many hard drugs

Tents line the streets as the crisis grows, worsened by a drug crisis that was caused partly by Oregon becoming the first state in the country to decriminalize many hard drugs

Tents line the streets as the crisis grows, worsened by a drug crisis that was caused partly by Oregon becoming the first state in the country to decriminalize many hard drugs

Following a surge of shooting incidents this year, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (pictured) issued an emergency declaration over gun violence in the city

Following a surge of shooting incidents this year, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (pictured) issued an emergency declaration over gun violence in the city

Following a surge of shooting incidents this year, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (pictured) issued an emergency declaration over gun violence in the city

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone, and other drugs after voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs.

A person found with personal amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs receives a citation, like a traffic ticket, with the maximum $100 fine waived if they call a hotline for a health assessment.

The state’s program, which has been promoted as a way to establish and fund addiction recovery centers that would offer people aid instead of incarceration, is being watched as a potential model for other states. 

But drug overdose deaths in the state also hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020, Fox News reported. 

And along with a rise in overdoses, crime also saw a spike in Portland, with police reporting a 23.4 percent rise in overall crime in the first half of the year compared to the same time in 2021. 

Robbery is up 51 percent, and although homicides fell by 12.2 percent, the  number of shooting incidents reported in the city as of June was at 670, prompting Mayor Ted Wheeler to issue an emergency declaration over gun violence in the city.

Lori Lightfoot has been partially blamed for the rise in crime in Chicago after initially backing calls to defund the police

Lori Lightfoot has been partially blamed for the rise in crime in Chicago after initially backing calls to defund the police

Lori Lightfoot has been partially blamed for the rise in crime in Chicago after initially backing calls to defund the police

1661238635 454 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

1661238635 454 Gavin Newsom VETOES bill allowing drug injection sites citing 039unintended consequences039

Detroit stood as having the fourth worst downtown in the U.S. at 42 percent activity compared to 2019, with Chicago following at 43 percent. 

The Windy City is among several cities across the US to be hit by rampant shoplifting, and even its Magnificent Mile, the once highly-populated retail destination, is now dotted with empty storefronts as businesses are being driven away by the brazen thieves.

Observers have pinned some of the blame on Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who backed calls to defund the police in the wake of BLM protests in 2020 before u-turning after a Chicago policewoman was shot dead.

Others have pinned blame on District Attorney Kim Foxx, who was widely accused of meddling in the Jussie Smollett case, after she stopped pursuing shoplifters who stole less than $1,000.

Shoplifting cases grew more common following a December 2016 motion from Foxx that mandated Chicago prosecutors only issue felony charges for the theft of property over $1,000.

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