When Bob Lee was murdered on April 4th, some media outlets and political figures throughout and outside of San Francisco co-opted his death to spew hatred about our city, and more specifically about progressive criminal justice reform. They assumed that the murder was a random attack, without any information from the investigation to back that assumption up.
The Mission Local reported this morning that the person arrested for the murder of Bob Lee was in fact, someone who knew him who also works in tech. Bob Lee’s death remains a tragedy regardless of who was responsible and we send our condolences to his loved ones. Regardless of who you are and where you live, we all deserve to feel safe in our communities.
That’s why we need to talk about the hijacking of high-profile tragedies like this to push forth a political agenda that harms marginalized communities.
For years, certain media outlets have injected their bias into crime reporting, pointing the finger at progressive criminal justice reform policies as the reason why crime is seemingly so out of control – although violent crime rates in San Francisco remain lower than many other big cities in the U.S. What these media outlets fail to talk about is that data shows that progressive reforms like sending offenders into diversion programs rather than incarceration remain not only widely popular, but are also effective at deterring crime.
If we really want to address public safety in an effective way, we have to look at the facts and understand the role that these media outlets play in overreporting on crime, and that they have their own political agendas to uphold harsh crime policies that harm BIPOC communities. We appreciate the reporting of publications like the Mission Local who have contributed meaningful reporting on crime without leaning on scare tactics. We know fear and shock sell, but they don’t lead to real solutions.
Instead of playing political football with crime, let’s look at solutions that have actually been proven to reduce crime rates and center marginalized communities in our approach to public safety. We know a future where we all feel safe in our communities is possible. Let’s finally adopt the evidence-based solutions that can get us there.