Mission district residents and business owners continue to question the Police Department’s handling of recent anarchist-fueled vandalism in the neighborhood.
After Thursday’s officer-involved shooting at 14th and Minna streets, the Mission endured two nights of rowdy demonstrations, with vandals attacking banks, smashing windows and spray-painting “killers” on the Mission Police Station at Valencia and 17th streets.
Last month, an anarchist group apparently protesting gentrification in the Mission claimed responsibility for vandalizing cars and businesses. “Die yuppie scum” and other obscenities were etched around the neighborhood.
Then on April 30, a group of more than 100 anarchists broke off from what was supposed to be a peaceful Occupy San Francisco demonstration, again smashing windows and paint-bombing cars and businesses.
During a community meeting Monday, some residents and businesses questioned why vandals haven’t been arrested.
Milton O’Brien, owner of Live Fit Wellness Club, said the same person responsible for vandalism during past Mission demonstrations had attacked his business Friday night.
“How is this going to escalate the next time around?” he said. “What is the police response to stop this?”
Police Chief Greg Suhr countered that his department had properly handled last week’s demonstrations, intervening immediately. He said the police response has improved since the April 30 demonstration.
“It’s very difficult with these masked guys … to try to grab one out of the crowd without furthering and exacerbating the event,” Suhr said, adding that police are still looking to arrest the vandals.