by Shaun Osburn
A year after the heavily debated prohibition against sitting or lying on San Francisco sidewalks was proposed, police have begun to enforce the law. The debate continues with supporters of the law claiming it is working and opponents claiming that it targets individuals who are homeless or mentally ill.
The first week’s numbers indicate that police in the city have handed out 75 warnings and eight citations. Citations range from $50 to $500 and potentially even jail time.
“The emphasis is not to cite, but to inform and offer services,” said police spokesman Sgt. Mike Andraychak to the Associated Press on Sunday.
Many residents of the areas Police have begun enforcing the new law have their doubts. Bruce Wolfe, vice president of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council, doesn’t think the law will work and believes it to infringe upon civil rights.
“It seems a little bit overextended, overreaching. I just find to make everybody have to be on their two feet moving and walking seems very odd for a city to demand,” Wolfe said. “That it would have this huge drastic effect on changing the social landscape of the city, I just don’t see it.”