Even in a pandemic, certain businesses operate face-to-face.
Drug dealing is one of them.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced Thursday a new initiative to obtain civil injunctions that would prevent drug dealers from going to the Tenderloin.
Accompanied by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Police Chief William Scott, Herrera explained the new initiative will target known drug dealers, and seeks to break the supply chain for addicts who congregate in the Tenderloin.
The initiative commenced with the filing of 28 civil lawsuits, each naming "a specific individual defendant and includ[ing] ample evidence of his or her repeated drug dealing in the Tenderloin."
The injunctions seek to bar dealers from entering "a roughly 50-square-block area of the Tenderloin and adjacent South of Market neighborhood," according to the City Attorney's Office.
Citing "rampant drug-dealing" and a spike in drug overdoses, the mayor said that urgent action is necessary because "San Francisco has become the place to go to sell drugs."
Breed said that the Tenderloin "has never been worse."
San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin said that while the initiative is not a "silver bullet," it represents an innovative approach to the problem and if it proves successful he would support expanding it to other parts of the city.
Herrera was asked why civil injunctions are being employed as opposed to arresting the dealers for drug dealing under the criminal laws.
Herrera explained "it is another tool in the tool kit," and will give law enforcement the potential for imposing financial penalties.