San Francisco's Democratic mayor, London Breed, was forced to retreat when chaos broke out during a drug crisis event on Tuesday held at United Nations Plaza, a location that has become a notorious hot spot for open-air drug dealing.
Breed and the president of the city's board of supervisors, Aaron Peskin, were relentlessly shouted down by the public, and at one point, a woman hurled a brick into the crowd.
The two city officials began the meeting by addressing the area's fentanyl crisis and "illegal, out-of-control behavior."
Peskin noted that many residents "do not feel safe" because of the rampant, "brazen drug dealing and deteriorating street conditions," which he claimed have "exacerbated a humanitarian crisis on our streets."
Peskin demanded that Breed take action to shut down the city's open-air drug dealing within the next 90 days.
During her address, Breed declared that "compassion is killing people" and that it is "too easy getting drugs."
"I was born and raised in this city," Breed stated. "I am putting everything on the line. I am doing this job without fear of losing it. San Francisco claims to be so compassionate and liberal. People are growing up in the midst of this chaos. What about them? We have tried over and over again, and what we are doing is not working. Are we going to collaborate and work toward solutions? Or are we going to let the same old thing happen over and over and over again?"
Protesters at the meeting shouted a variety of complaints at the city officials.
A group of demonstrators chanted, "No more police," SFGate reported.
One woman held a sign that read, "No more fentanyl."
A man attending the drug crisis event yelled to Breed and Peskin, "You have a problem here in San Francisco. … You have a homeless problem. You have a drug problem. The cops is not the problem. It's the people … who have the problem."
At one point, a woman threw a brick at the crowd, narrowly missing a child, according to police. The woman was quickly arrested and taken into custody.
The meeting ended abruptly when Breed and Peskin retreated from the podium as the uproar from the public continued to escalate. They conducted the remainder of the event inside City Hall.
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management told KRON-TV Tuesday that the city may start arresting some open-air drug users as a part of a new pilot program.
"The city is developing a pilot program to address situations when someone is so far under the influence of drugs that they may pose a danger to themselves or others," said a spokesperson for the city's Department of Emergency.
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