As I said, substance abuse is really hard for a city to confront. But abusive police vandalism is definitely not the answer, and DA Rollins strikes exactly the right note in response to the city’s “Operation Clean Sweep”:
Public safety begins with public health. As I’ve long made clear, we cannot arrest our way out of a health and resource crisis. People who suffer from homelessness, substance use disorder, or mental illness are not debris; they cannot be “swept” away.
Investing resources in evidence-based solutions isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. Clearing the streets will not clear up the underlying problems, and in the end will cost us more money and more lives.
Again, I’m reminded of the quote from Brecht and Weill’s Three-Penny Opera, translates “First bread; then the moral code.” Give people access to treatment on demand. (Make the Sacklers pay for that.) But punitive actions aren’t shown to help. What was this supposed to accomplish, other than sheer harassment?
Glad we’ve got at least one elected official who gets it.