Will Brooke Jenkins Be The New ‘Tough-On-Crime’ Kamala Harris In San Francisco Politics?

Former San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Brooke Jenkins went viral in 2021 when she and her colleague, Don Du Bain, resigned from their positions as top prosecutors to protest District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s way of fighting crime.

The duo is among more than 50 attorneys who either quit or were fired since Boudin was elected to office in January 2020. They say San Francisco’s new top cop is too liberal and his policies are causing the city they love to be overrun with crime.

“Public safety is not his focus, that is not his goal,” Jenkins told the NBC Bay Area affiliate during an interview. “His goal appears to be what is best for the individual either who’s been arrested for a crime or who’s been charged with a crime, but not what is best for San Francisco.”

Jenkins is one of the leading voices of Safer SF Without Boudin – a movement to recall the DA from office. She joined the group as a volunteer after resigning and ending her seven-year tenure with the district attorney’s office.

“I actually submitted my resignation to the office as a result of my belief that the office is headed in the wrong direction,” Jenkins said. “The work that myself and my other dedicated colleagues have done for the last number of years in order to secure safety for the residents of San Francisco has been undermined by Chesa’s policies and his management in the office.”

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Now some are wondering if Brooke Jenkins will pick up where U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris left off while she was San Francisco’s DA. Vice President Harris had a reputation for being tough on crime, a stance that still haunts her to this day among critics.

While she agrees that the criminal justice system needs reform, Jenkins believes Boudin’s methods are doing more harm than good.

“Being an African-American and Latino woman, I would wholeheartedly agree that the criminal justice system needs a lot of work, but when you are a district attorney, your job is to have balance,” Jenkins told NBC.

Crime is on the rise in San Francisco, but that is the case in many major cities across the U.S. According to Jenkins, however, Boudin’s methods have led to the release of violent offenders who are likely to commit more crimes.

“Chesa has a radical approach that involves not charging crime in the first place and simply releasing individuals with no rehabilitation and putting them in positions where they are simply more likely to re-offend,” Jenkins said.

The effort to recall Boudin garnered more than 83,000 signatures, at leastr 30,000 more than necessary for a recall to be placed on the ballot in June 2022. It is a feat Jenkins celebrated on social media.

“One thing the recall effort has taught us is that this isn’t about party lines. He continues to rely on this elementary argument because he has nothing else,” Jenkins tweeted. “Chesa Boudin – the people have spoken. Wanting to be safe is universal!”

Boudin, his office and supporters have refuted the allegations against him. “District Attorney Boudin has made it his priority to promote public safety for the people of San Francisco,” Sara Yousuf told NBC Bay Area in a statement.

“This has nothing to do with the facts or the real challenges our communities are facing,” Boudin told his supporters about the recall effort. “This has everything to do with disrespecting the will of the people.”

While some have celebrated Jenkins as a progressive prosecutor, she was accused of prosecutorial misconduct in a 2019 trial by The Davis Vanguard. Jenkins allegedly coached a minor witness on what to say on the stand, despite there not being any evidence the defendant committed the crime he was accused of.

“Addressing public safety is District Attorney Boudin’s top priority and the facts are clear: the overall crime rate is lower today than before DA Boudin took office and his prosecution rates are higher than his predecessor and comparable to other Bay Area DAs,” said Julie Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Friends of Chesa Boudin Opposing the Recall Committee. “Meanwhile he’s put in place innovative solutions, like suing ghost gun manufacturers, to make San Francisco safer.”

Twitter users were also divided over Jenkins’ stance against Boudin and weighed in on whether or not they thought she was operating with integrity.

“I’m watching Brooke Jenkins bash Chesa on Maher right now and liking every word,” Twitter user @GeogePDenny wrote. “Perhaps she should replace her old boss. It’d also be nice to see the Dems demonstrate an ability to appoint Black women to powerful positions without mentioning race/gender.”

“I had heard the Brooke Jenkins was appearing on Bill Maher last night. I was finally able to watch it this morning and – oh boy,” @Julie_Edwards1 said in a Twitter thread. “But to break it down, that was an interview full of falsehoods, misinformation and outright lies.”

“Jenkins and Bill Maher discuss three separate cases over the course of the interview,” @Julie_Edwards1’s thread continued. “The impression for viewers is that Chesa Boudin has failed to prosecute any of them – the reality is that he’s prosecuting all of them.”

Photo: Brooke Jenkins resigned as a top prosecutor in the San Francisco DA’s office to protest District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s policies. Credit: YouTube Screenshot

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