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Fox News
Fox News
21 Feb 2024


Residents of San Francisco’s Mission District slammed the city for failing constituents, especially minority residents, as "brutal sex trafficking," menacing pimps and distracted johns brazenly take over streets in the neighborhood, according to a recent petition. 

"San Francisco is failing the Mission District and its less privileged, mainly BIPOC constituents. The City has no consistent plan in place to prevent rampant and brutal sex trafficking infiltrating and degrading the neighborhood," a petition posted last week by Mission District residents reviewed by Fox News Digital shows. 

The petition is calling on the city to install license plate readers "as soon as possible" between 15th and 25th streets on Shotwell, Capp, Folsom, South Van Ness, Treat and Harrison streets in the Mission District. The petition adds that cameras should be installed in any "surrounding areas where sex trafficking occurs nightly."

"Our hope is that the license plate readers will send a signal to the criminals engaging in the trafficking of women and girls that they are no longer safe to operate freely in our residential neighborhood. In addition to sex trafficking, the aforementioned locations cover areas of known drug dealing," the petition concluded. 

PIMPS CONTROL SAN DIEGO NEIGHBORHOODS AS RESIDENTS FEAR SPEAKING OUT AMID BRAZEN PROSTITUTION: BUSINESS OWNER

Mission District street

Mission District of San Francisco (GHI/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

San Francisco officials recently approved a plan to install 400 license plate readers across the city to combat crime, including rampant shoplifting that has rocked the city in recent years. 

NEARLY NAKED PROSTITUTES PROWL STREETS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, BUT CALIFORNIA LAW TIES POLICE HANDS: MAYOR

Prostitution and sex trafficking have spiraled in cities across California – according to residents, elected officials and police leaders – since Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation dubbed the Safer Streets for All Act.

The legislation, signed in July 2022 and officially taking effect at the start of 2023, repealed a previous law that banned loitering with the intent of engaging in prostitution. The bill was championed as one that would help protect transgender women from reportedly being targeted by police

Newsom smirks at news conference in Sacramento

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Critics, including residents and business owners, are demanding the governor repeal the law, arguing it has promoted brazen prostitution, including pimps controlling neighborhoods in San Diego, barely-clothed women walking sidewalks in broad daylight looking for johns, and rampant sex trafficking. 

CHURCH SERVICES DISTURBED AS RAMPANT SAN DIEGO PROSTITUTION HITS FEVER PITCH

The San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, a Republican, wrote an op-ed late last month calling on the governor to repeal the law, saying it has caused human trafficking to spiral and is hurting young women and girls. 

San Diego woman in skimpy outfit

A woman stands on the streets in San Diego in high heels and skimpy outfit. (Fox News Digital )

"Girls as young as 13 are being openly sold for sex on San Diego County streets. In fact, women of all ages are being blatantly trafficked for sex, meaning they are forced to walk the streets while their traffickers keep a watchful eye on their every move. One big reason is because California recently repealed the crime of loitering for prostitution with Senate Bill 357," Stephan wrote in a piece published by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

SUSPECTED PROSTITUTION RING MOVES INTO CA NEIGHBORHOOD OUTSIDE CATHOLIC SCHOOL: 'PIMP IS BLOCKING MY DRIVEWAY'

Woman in underwear on San Diego street

Prostitution issues in San Diego have increased since California's controversial S.B. 357 became law, according to a business owner. (Fox News Digital)

When Newsom signed the bill, he said his administration "must be cautious about its implementation" and would monitor any negative fallout. When asked earlier this month by Fox News Digital about recent outrage and calls to repeal the law, Newsom’s office provided a tepid response. 

NEWSOM ADMIN DELIVERS TEPID RESPONSE TO SPIRALING PROSTITUTION, PIMPS CONTROLLING CALIFORNIA NEIGHBORHOODS

"Prostitution is illegal, and sex trafficking is a serious and abhorrent crime – as evidenced by ongoing law enforcement operations that occur regularly across California, including the significant arrests and felony charges in San Diego just last week," Newsom’s office told Fox News Digital earlier this month. 

"As the Governor stated when he signed the Safer Streets For All Act, the Administration is closely monitoring the implementation of this particular law, and is committed to responding to any unintended consequences," the office added. 

No prostitution sign

A "Prostitution Free Zone" sign is displayed in a window in California. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In San Francisco’s Mission District, residents told local media that the parade of endless johns looking for prostitutes has led to hit-and-run accidents, while prostitutes have reportedly threatened residents that their gun-toting pimps would shoot them if they interfere with the illegal sex operations

"There's literally lines of hundreds of johns just going around the block, all night long," one Mission District resident told NBC San Francisco.  

AS CALIFORNIA POLICE FIGHT RAMPANT PROSTITUTION, JOHNS LINE UP LIKE THEY'RE AT 'FAST-FOOD DRIVE-THROUGH'

The neighborhood is no stranger to prostitution, as it has been a decades-long issue, however, residents last year began sounding off to the media that solicitation was increasing and becoming brazen and "rampant" on city streets. 

The line of johns waiting for prostitutes has also resulted in minor car accidents and hit and runs, according to residents. 

"Everyone has a story of a hit and run," another resident told the outlet. "Everyone has a story of an altercation."

Golden Gate Bridge view

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Feb. 20, 2024. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images )

The petition added that the rampant solicitation in the neighborhood puts trafficked women and kids in the crosshairs of "immeasurable harm.' 

"The overall impact is immeasurable harm for trafficked women and girls and for the Central Mission neighborhood, families and businesses. The city of San Francisco, due to its decades-long neglect of the situation, is responsible," the blistering petition states. 

Police do monitor areas of the Mission District to help curb the rampant prostitution, but residents said they can’t be there at all hours of the day trying to ward off solicitation. 

"Overall, what we’ve noticed is that as soon as the police are gone, they are back," one resident told The San Francisco Standard. "They know the drill."

The San Francisco Police Department told Fox News Digital that officials have arrested "25 individuals in the last 3 months" in the Mission District area, most of whom were males. The police spokesperson added that the department has long been aware of the "decades-long challenges involving sex workers" in the neighborhood, and "will continue to enforce the law."

"Our officers always ask suspected sex workers if they are being trafficked to see if they need additional services," the spokesperson said. "We will continue to enforce the law, and work with the community and our city partners to address this issue."

The San Francisco mayor’s office and Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on the matter.