crackheads of the day #22

Tuesday morning, 1am, 6th and Stevenson, San Francisco. Tenderblog has a related piece about public disorder in the TL. Sidewalks are for crackheads people!




from a new article The Sidewalks of San Francisco (see tenderloin sidebar). This is exactly what happens next door to Passion Cafe on 6th street, a Tenderloin Housing Clinic building, and the photos above are the result just 100 feet away

Police officers in the Tenderloin are as eager for a sit-lie law as their colleagues in the Haight are. The Tenderloin is the smallest police precinct in the city, but it has the highest number of parolees and sex offenders and the highest rate of violent crime. It’s also right next to Union Square, San Francisco’s central tourist area. Tourists walking through the Tenderloin to its few remaining theaters have been mugged; those waiting for the cable car at the bottom of Powell Street are routinely accosted by panhandlers. The city’s persistent failure to dent the disorder has kept the area, along with the adjacent Market Street Corridor, in thrall to crime and blight for years, as have strict laws protecting single-room-occupancy buildings from acquisition and development. Police officials and local entrepreneurs speak wistfully of the transformation of New York’s Times Square, and they still hope that it could happen here.

Whereas street sitters in the Haight are usually engaged in various forms of consumption, many in the Tenderloin are in sales. Asked how he would use the proposed sit-lie ordinance, Officer Adam Green responds, “I’d ask these ladies to move on,” referring to a group of women sitting on folding chairs on the sidewalk. Green’s “ladies” are most likely holding drugs for the dealers milling around a few paces down the block. “It’s a very sophisticated game,” Green explains. “They know it’s harder for us to search women. We try to prevent people from congregating, because that’s when we get our drive-by shootings.” (A few weeks later, an Oakland man wearing body armor was gunned down in the Tenderloin in a cascade of 16 bullets, saved from death only by his foresight in putting on his bulletproof vest before entering the area.) Other sidewalk sitters serve as lookouts against the cops.

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