SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera held an online press conference on the morning of Friday, September 24. He announced that his office sued 28 alleged drug dealers in an effort to combat drug dealing in the Tenderloin.

Herrera said “These lawsuits won’t solve the problems themselves. But they are a step worth taking.” If the lawsuit is approved in California Superior Court, the alleged dealers will not be able to enter certain areas of Tenderloin and also some parts of South of Market. Those who violate the court order would be arrested, charged $6,000 fine and seized drugs and money.

City Attorney Herrera claims the sue is not enough to clear drug dealing in Tenderloin. “More needs to be done, including more drug treatment options, expanded mental health help, and a concerted focus on major narcotics suppliers.”

Mayor London Breed thanked Herrera on Twitter for taking the first step to combat drug dealing in Tenderloin streets. “We need to stop the open-air drug dealing happening on the streets of the Tenderloin. It is unacceptable and it needs to end.” She added “San Francisco has become the place to go to sell drugs, it is known widely, and that has got to stop.”

According to authorities 27 of the 28 alleged drug dealers sued come from outside of San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, San Jose, Suisun City. This time, Herrera decided to charge those who continuously sell/use drugs in Tenderloin and who have multiple arrests for sales or possession for sale of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.

This announcement comes after the citywide substance use trends show that overdose deaths totaled 441 in 2019, an increase from 259 deaths in 2018, according to an annual report by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. 

SFPD Tenderloin told San Francisco News that the SFPD Narcotics Detail and Tenderloin Station Street Crimes Unit are taking efforts to combat the drug dealing situation. They said that plainclothes officers are addressing narcotics issues, and also they increased foot and bicycle patrol in the district.