Who hasn’t had a drunk night in the Mission?* For most of us, however, the worst case scenario for that type of evening typically involves puking, crying, or both. Not violence, one might hope — but with more studies associating alcohol use with violent behavior out there than we can reasonably link to, you might think that SFPD would keep an eye on public boozers to preempt violent crimes. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.
Last Friday, for example, a 21-year-old man was stabbed multiple times by his drinking buddies. The incident occurred at the relatively early hour of 8pm on 100 block of Bartlett St.
A look at a police-call tracking site like Crime Mapping shows events like these occurring in the Mission almost every night of the week but according to Mission Local, police seem overwhelmed by the sheer number of people drinking in public, and opt not to step in until a situation has turned violent.
SFPD spokesman officer Albie Esparza says simply that “there are too many people drinking in the Mission for police to spend their time dealing with them.”
The Mission is a hotbed of drinking culture, with its multiplicity of bars and general acceptance of public drinking, Esparza indicated. “At places where large crowds gather on the weekends, police can’t ask everyone who is drinking to leave” reports ML@L, so it’s impossible for police to devote the proper attention to eradicating the problem.
“These are adults drinking.” continues Esparza, “In Dolores Park we would spend all our time giving citations.”
*those of you who have not, we sincerely salute you.