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S.F. Prosecutors Halt Charges From ‘Pretextual’ Stops

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S.F. Prosecutors Halt Charges From ‘Pretextual’ Stops

San Francisco prosecutors will no longer charge people with the possession of contraband resulting from stop-and-frisk style pretextual searches or make use of status-based sentencing enhancements such as prior strikes or alleged gang affiliation status, except in extraordinary circumstances, reports Bay City News Service. “Pretextual stops and sentencing enhancements based on who you know rather than what you did are relics of the tough-on-crime era that failed to make us safer,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “Instead, they led to mass incarceration, targeted innocent black and brown drivers, and increased recidivism. They stand in the way of fairness and justice.”

Pretextual stops are those in which an officer uses a minor traffic infraction to pull over and search a motorist. Boudin’s office says research shows pretextual stops erode trust in communities of color and result in disproportionate arrests and higher convictions. Black drivers in the city are stopped five times more often than white drivers, Boudin said, citing a 2020 Racial Identity and Profiling Advisory Board Report. The report concluded drugs were found in only 1.3 percent of traffic stops, and firearms or ammunition were seized in just 0.6 percent of the stops. In response, San Francisco Police Association  President Tony Montoya said Boudin “has demonstrated that he is a clear and present danger to the law abiding residents, businesses and visitors of San Francisco

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