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Arrest In Lee Stabbing Won't Stop Debate On San Francisco Crime

Last week, San Francisco woke to shocking news of the death of Bob Lee, the 43-year-old founder of the popular Cash App. Police had found Lee suffering from multiple stab wounds on a sidewalk in the city’s Rincon Hill neighborhood. He was transported to a hospital, where he died. For days, law enforcement officials stayed mum on the circumstances around the case, and Mayor London Breed, urged residents not to jump to conclusions. The killing of a well-known tech executive on a city street reignited arguments that San Francisco is unsafe. National headlines focused on the city’s massive homelessness emergency, drug crisis and high-profile retail thefts, with pundits and prominent voices in tech, including Elon Musk, demanding a course correction, reports The Guardian.

On Thursday, police detained Nima Momeni, a tech entrepreneur who reportedly knew Lee, on suspicion of murder. The arrest upended the narrative that Lee had become the victim of a city wrecked by crime, but the killing and the public outcry that followed highlighted the pressure San Francisco public officials face when it comes to public safety. “It is the top issue facing San Francisco right now,” said Jeff Cretan, a spokesperson in the mayor’s office. “In terms of the issues most impacting San Francisco, public safety is the top. We have the work we’re doing around the economy and downtown and office vacancy rates – but even in that area public safety is the number one.” Violent crime in San Francisco has been declining since the 1990s, and the city has a lower violent crime rate than other major cities. Still, local leaders acknowledge many residents don’t feel safe. “It’s no consolation to say San Francisco had three times as many murders in the 1970s,” said Joel Engardio, who sits on the county board of supervisors. “What matters is how people feel today and they don’t feel safe.”


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