On Aug. 7, Mayor Ed Lee held a press conference at Calvary Hill Community Church near the Bayview district to announce that he was dropping his pursuit of the conntroversial "stop and frisk" policy. SFPD Chief Greg Suhr joined him to declare that the department would be implementing a new anti-gun, non-stop-and-frisk strategy, called "Interrupt, Predict, Organize."
Exhibit A: On Saturday, SFPD searched three Bayview houses and seized 10 firearms, including two assault weapons. In all, officers confiscated 12 guns over the weekend.
"I wouldn't say that [seizing that many guns] is very common -- not 12," says Officer Carlos Manfredi. "The fact that we were able to get 12 off the streets within the weekend is great. It means that the system is in place and it's working."
Stop-and-frisk critics would be happy to hear that, based on the police reports, most of the guns were located, not through racial profiling or arbitrary searches, but on good old-fashioned police work.
According to Manfredi, interactions with community members helped lead SFPD to the suspects' dwellings. Finding these gun-carriers, he notes, is about "knowing who the players are."
True to the I.P.O. plan, police conducted the Saturday searches at the homes of two people on probation and one on parole. Officers had search warrants for two of the residences, and a probation search condition on the other. The most fruitful of the three investigations corralled five weapons, including a MAC 11 assault pistol as well as a handgun "found inside the pocket of a bathrobe hanging on a hook behind the bedroom door."
The two other guns were found on foot patrols.
Just after midnight on Monday, officers stopped a man walking down the street; the man, "on seeing them ... became rigid and started glancing around for a route to run," according to a police summary of the incident report. "When one of the officers advised the suspect that they were going to pat him down for weapons, the suspect ran from them." The policemen grabbed him and a handgun fell from the man's waistband.
Not every seizure was without controversy, though. On Friday, officers detained a group of people who were "involved in an illegal game of dice" in front of a house. With a pat-down search, an officer found a handgun on one of the guys. It was 8 p.m. and bystanders were watching. Many of them did not appreciate police detaining a group of guys for apparently nothing more than playing craps in public. According to the police version of events, the crowd was "hostile."
One woman attempted to get past the police line. An officer pushed her back, and "she kicked him in the groin area with such force that the keys that were attached to his duty belt came flying off."
She was also arrested.