Two San Francisco prosecutors have quit their jobs in the district attorney’s office of a progressive prosecutor and joined an effort to recall him.
Prosecutors Brooke Jenkins and Don Du Bain told KNTV they have stepped down from their posts in San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office due to his lack of commitment to prosecuting crimes.
"Chesa has a radical approach that involves not charging crime in the first place and simply releasing individuals with no rehabilitation and putting them in positions where they are simply more likely to re-offend," Jenkins said in the interview. "Being an African American and Latino woman, I would wholeheartedly agree that the criminal justice system needs a lot of work, but when you are a district attorney, your job is to have balance."
Du Bain added that he believed Boudin "disregards the laws that he doesn't like, and he disregards the court decisions that he doesn't like to impose his own version of what he believes is just – and that's not the job of the district attorney."
"The office was headed in such the wrong direction that the best thing I could do was to join the effort to recall Chesa Boudin as district attorney," Du Bain said.
Jenkins and Du Bain were among at least 50 lawyers from Boudin’s office who quit or were fired since he became district attorney in January of 2020, which represents roughly a third of the department’s attorneys.
A second recall effort has been launched against Boudin, which demonstrates how residents are "fed up" with his progressive policies, as his push to reduce jail funding and refusal to prosecute repeat offenders ensures the streets remain marred with open-air drug dealing and violent crime now stretching into the suburbs, a leader of the prominent local police union told Fox News.
"Police are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys in the mind of a progressive," San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya said. "Chesa’s good at the blame game. We’re going to call him Mr. Deflector because he’s always pointing the finger left or right and never at the man in the mirror."
Open-air drug markets and homelessness, coupled with upticks in blatant daylight shoplifting, residential and commercial burglaries, shootings and other violent crimes, have left citizens "starting to wake up to the reality that’s now become their nightmare as far as public safety and crime goes," Montoya said.
The police union was not involved in organizing the first unsuccessful recall effort, which ultimately failed, Montoya said.
Addressing the two recall efforts during his tenure, Boudin participated in a national organizing call for the campaign group "Our Revolution," which was advertised as "celebrating 5 years of electing progressive champions from coast to coast." Mentioning how both of his parents were incarcerated growing up, Boudin argued that America’s approach to mass incarceration is not rehabilitating people.
"As San Francisco’s district attorney, I’ve worked tirelessly since day one to follow through on the campaign promises that I made to all of you and to the people of San Francisco that got me elected," Boudin said. "It’s following up on those kinds of promises we made, holding corporations accountable, holding police accountable, reducing our reliance on incarceration and instead prioritizing diversion, mental health treatment and keeping families together that I’ve been able to follow through on my commitments to those that elected me."
Boudin drew criticism earlier this year when a parolee back on the streets due to his office's actions killed two pedestrians after running a red light in a stolen car.
Police say Troy McAlister, 45, was intoxicated when he ran a red light in a stolen car, killing Elizabeth Platt, 60, and Hanako Abe, 27. The San Francisco police officers union says a plea agreement for a robbery set McAlister free on parole in April and that Boudin's office failed to prosecute McAlister's multiple arrests in the aftermath, including one Dec. 20 for alleged car theft.
A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman told The Associated Press that McAlister has been incarcerated in state prisons numerous times. In April 2020, he was sentenced in San Francisco County to five years for second-degree robbery and was released on parole for time served.
Boudin has defended his office's choices, saying that charging McAlister with a new, nonviolent crime would not have necessarily put the serial offender behind bars. He instead blamed law enforcement agencies, saying they could also have acted differently to avoid "a terrible and devastating tragedy" but vowed to make "concrete changes" in his office.
Du Bain said that in one specific case, he was ordered by Boudin to request a more lenient sentence for a man convicted of shooting his girlfriend. Du Bain believed that was a violation of a state statute and withdrew from the case in protest.
"I’ve done 136 jury trials in my career – never, never withdrawn from a case before," Du Bain said. "I've seen decisions made in this office in the last year plus, since Chesa took over, that shocked my conscience – and I've been a prosecutor for 30 years."
Boudin's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Bradford Betz contributed to this report