Thursday, January 23, 2014

Video: A Dozen SF Cops Arrest 1 Drunk in the Mission Tonite

All I wanted was a slice on Wednesday night around 9:30 pm at the Escape From New York Pizza shop on 22nd Street between Valencia and Mission. As I ate and read the NY Times, two men banged each other up against the shop window and the more drunk one wearing a white shirt threw punches at the head of his sparring target, dressed in a green jacket.

The three hipster chicks at the next table shrieked and we began yelling, "Stop fighting!" Patrons from the cafe next store came out and urged the men to chill, to no avail.

Two minutes later, a uniformed San Francisco police officer approached the fighting dudes, separated them for a few short moments and radioed for back up on the mouthpiece strapped to his shoulder, then sprayed the white-shirted dude in the face with a chemical. That spritz sent the drunkard to the sidewalk's dirty cement and he rubbed his eyes, as the cop cuffed him.

You see the drunk fellow sitting in the streets in the video, hands behind his back and surrounded by cops.

At least three possible four police cars soon arrived on the scene, lights a-blazing and testosterone riding high and about thirteen police officers either assisted the arresting cop or just milled about chatting. Yeah, a dozen or so cops to deal with a drunken brawl and take one man into custody.

Cafe patrons shouted at that the cops were showing an excessive amount of police personnel for such a minor incident, one that was well in control, and a fire engine pulled up with four firefighters and medics wearing bright blue rubber gloves attended to the arrestee. I'll never understand why San Francisco sends enormous fire trucks to non-fire incidents only to deliver medical services, if needed. Costs a pretty penny when a much smaller ambulance unit with two medics would be enough for these things. Save the fire trucks for, er, fires.

Memo to chief of police Greg Suhr: Reconsider deploying such large number of uniformed personnel, and allowing them to remain at the scene long after it's clear they are not needed, cars parked askew and impeding traffic, leading the public witnesses wondering why the cops don't redeploy elsewhere to more quickly calm the streets and sidewalks where the minor fight took place.

Not good optics for so many SF Police Department officers to stand around like they did tonight.

1 comment:

Stephen R. Stapleton, Sacramento, CA said...

First, the reason so many cops and the fire department shows up is the cost of all of that man power will be born by the fellow arrested. When he pleads guilty to some minor infraction or misdemeanor, he will pay court fees. Current California law allows the arresting jurisdiction to also recover the cost of the arrest as part of the perps "restitution" fine. Thus, The City has an interest in getting the wages of those officers paid by someone else. It is a stupid move, but one that is very popular. If a town has police standing around not doing something -- and that happens often, crime isn't constant -- sending them to a minor crime scene to get their wages paid by someone else saves money.

Also, I could be wrong, but I think the Fire Department vehicle that arrived on scene was a fire engine, not a fire truck. A fire engine is a vehicle that primarily pumps water, while a fire truck is primarily a vehicle with ladders. Thus, a hook and ladder truck, not engine. Still sending either is wasteful, unless one doesn't have a medical response vehicle about.