Saturday, March 14, 2015
Trashing The Streets of San Francisco
On a recent Sunday morning, a Department of Public Works employee was cleaning up trash around the San Francisco Superior Court building at Polk and McAllister.
Her job was complicated by a quartet of street people who had spread across the Polk Street sidewalk with piles of belongings which they were casually tossing into the gutter beside them.
This did not amuse the trash collector, and after she asked the quartet to pick up their things and leave, they started screaming at her.
She screamed right back, telling them how sick she was of picking up their garbage every single day...
...and then they started yelling threats at her.
Meanwhile, a dog walker and a wheelchair user got stuck in the melee trying to pass in different directions on the sidewalk.
A police patrol car stopped at the light going south on Polk Street and I told the policeman, "I think she needs some support over there. Those people are threatening her." The policeman pointed his finger at the back seat which was occupied and said he was busy but that he'd "call it in."
About ten minutes later a paddy wagon arrived, but the policemen inside never ventured out of the vehicle, merely telling the sidewalk sprawlers to move along. The police didn't even stick around to see if they complied, leaving the DPW worker alone to receive more screaming abuse from the slowly exiting quartet. Most of us have become immune to how unconcerned the SFPD is for the safety and welfare of the average San Franciscan who is neither wealthy or connected, but it was shocking to see how little they seemed to care about the safety of a fellow city employee.