Chesa Boudin Got Interviewed on ‘60 Minutes’

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Progressive, socialist San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin has barely been in office a year, and already a coalition of tech donors and Republicans are trying to recall him from office. Boudin’s focus on reform instead on incarceration has made him a frequent national target on Fox News, but a new 60 Minutes segment that just aired told both sides of the story, and debunks the claim that crime is significantly worse in San Francisco compared to other US cities.

The interview and segment is an online-only bit on 60 Minutes+, which is only available on their new and probably not-necessary streaming platform Paramount Plus. We signed up for the free trial and watch the 20-minute segment so you don’t have to.

The segment does have some neat vintage photos and footage of Boudin’s parents, from their 1981 Weather Underground arrests. Boudin’s father is still in prison, and the interview actually gets interrupted as Boudin gets a call from prison from his father, parts of which we do get to hear. 

“My parents left me at the babysitter. They were unarmed getaway drivers. They weren’t even at the scene of the robbery,” DA Boudin says of that arrest that inspired his work in law enforcement. “I learned from Day One that our criminal justice system is not working. It is not keeping us safe.

“It is not rehabilitating people. It is warehousing them. And in the process, it is bankrupting state and local governments, it is destroying communities and families. It is contributing to an intergenerational cycle of incarceration.”

Image: 60 Minutes+

We do hear from SF Police Officers Association president Association Tony Montoya, who describes Boudin’s tenure as “pure destruction,” But as seen above, 60 Minutes+ broke down pandemic-era crime in other major US cities (which has increased natiowide) and found San Francisco has seen about the same pandemic crime increase as other US cities.

The segment also interviewed Joe Bell, Jr., a formerly incarcerated man whom Boudin released and is now having a productive life and career.

“I’m a better taxpayer than I am a bill,” Bell said. “I can contribute $80,000. Why do you want me to cost $80,000 a year?”


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  1. Michael Bryant
    March 30, 2021 at 2:18 am

    Too bad he is a complete failure and is not law enforcement by any stretch. Another example of how ranked-choice voting is a joke. Plenty of democrats have donated to the recall campaign. He needs to go.

  2. SFnative
    March 30, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Chesa is a scumbag. He said he’d go to the funeral of an Asian man killed in these senseless assaults, heard there would be no media there, and flaked. Classy Chesa 🖕

  3. SR
    April 3, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for providing some much-needed perspective. I voted for Boudin and I strongly support all his ideas and initiatives. His rehabilitative views echo those found in European nations who boast lower crime overall. Despite the United States having the HIGHEST incarceration rate in the world, we are in no way “safer.” Instead, I feel our unforgiving, hard-nose approach (steeped in systemic racism) is failing our communities spectacularly. I’d like SF to approach crime prevention by enacting more drug rehab, mental health services, and educational job training BEFORE folks get into trouble. I support Boudin 100%.

    • Tats
      April 5, 2021 at 9:48 am

      May I ask what neighborhood you live in? Because I think that has a lot to do with who supports Chesa and who doesn’t. It’s very disturbing to see this false narrative that only racist republicans or Big Tech capitalists are for the recall. If anyone were to actually ask the working poor and immigrants in the neighborhoods under discussion when talking about Chesa’s policies, a very different story would emerge. For example, if I knocked on the other 99 apartment doors in my building (which is in the center of the new COVID containment ghetto created by London and Chesa), I’d be shocked if I’d find more than 1 or 2 who don’t want to recall our DA.

      • CharlyB
        April 12, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        I don’t think the narrative is only “racist Republicans”. California Democrats have plenty of racism to go around, they are even more right-wing than in other states, after all (simply because more rightwingers are increasingly voting D vs R here).

        My position: Anyone who isn’t seeking an immediate fundamental restructuring of the entire criminal “justice” system is supporting racism toward Black and indigenous people, plain and simple. Sure, some might support “less racism”, but the system is either racist or it isn’t. I think it’s racist and needs to go, from murdering cops to the prison industrial complex to legalized slavery for putting out fires. This is an uncomfortable truth, sure, but it’s true. I wont claim that Boudin is some magic cure to this, but at least he’s on the right side. If you can point me to someone who would be better, who explicitly wants to tear down the whole damn racist system to rubble, to the same or greater degree than Boudin, I’d support them instead, but I really doubt anything short of that will make me side with the cops on this one.

  4. Tats
    April 5, 2021 at 9:43 am

    It’s pretty easy to say that crime is down when no arrests are made and you don’t prosecute. If SF DA and PD would wake up for property/theft crimes of less than $1K value, or prosecute drug dealers at all, our statistics would look different.
    Yes, our penal system is completely broken and does nothing to rehabilitate people. But that’s no reason to ignore the completely innocent. And that’s what’s once again completely left out of the discussion. What about the tens of thousands of law-abiding residents and thousands of children living in the TL? Just because we’re poor we deserve to be terrorized and endangered by East Bay drug gangs and the dozens of completely-out-of-it, sick or deranged homeless/junkies camping in our doorways? Because that’s the unspoken result this all comes down to.
    Chesa has a chip on his shoulder because Mommy and Daddy went to jail for being accessories to murder. And that’s the only reason why us working poor now live in a Third World War zone – while he enjoys his new multi-million dollar home his DA salary just bought him in NOPA.