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SF CRIME CAMERAS APPROVED DESPITE PRIVACY CONCERNS
The San Francisco Police Commission voted unanimously to approve the placement of 25 security cameras throughout the city Wednesday night despite an outpouring of public sentiment that surveillance would violate privacy rights.
The approval, which carried with it a number of amendments and stipulations, came after nearly five hours of comment from a vivid cross section of residents from the city's Mission, Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods.
And though the more than 50 speakers who shared their thoughts with the commission gave varying reasons for their thoughts, the sentiments came down to only two passionate positions: no or yes to the installation of surveillance equipment in high crime areas.
"Government invasion is already at an all-time high and this technology can be abused," said Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. "Public safety is of the utmost importance, but we can do better than this."
Pan echoed the sentiments of several opponents that choosing "high crime areas" such as the intersection of 16th and Mission streets would unfairly target poor and minority residents of the city.
"We're against the cameras because the benefits are not proven, and the costs, historically, have been borne by minority communities," he added.
Allen Nance, who recently handed in his resignation as director of the mayor's office of criminal justice, reiterated a presentation that he made in November in support of the cameras.