George Gascon

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says around 50 percent of all robberies in the city last year were stolen smartphones. He wants phone companies to install a “kill switch” that renders a phone inoperable after it has been stolen – and Apple announced on Monday that it would be the first smartphone manufacturer to do so. Gascon, a former San Francisco police chief, joins us to talk about cell phone theft as well as his views on immigration reform, crime in the Bay Area and other issues.

George Gascon, district attorney for the City and County of San Francisco and former chief of the San Francisco Police Department

  • Torremolinos

    A kill switch is bad for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it means that perfectly functional phones will become useless, which will lead to yet more electronic waste in our environment as thieves dispose of them.

    The bigger picture is that this kill switch idea is a Trojan Horse. What the government ultimately wants is a path to get inside your phone so that they can wiretap it, steal your photos and so on. Their strategy is to first find a seemingly harmless reason to get their software onto your phone. Then they will add seemingly innocuous “updates”, which upon analysis turn out to be for wiretapping, stealing and spying.

    It is the thief who is first to accuse others of being thieves, and in this case the government is eager to scare us about thieves while it plans to steal our privacy and our freedoms.

    • Ehkzu

      An obsession with conspiracy theories is what unites the Far Right with the Far Left. Unfortunately the human brain has a propensity for connecting the dots regardless of whether the dots are actually connected.

      • Torremolinos

        People who reject conspiracy hypotheses are usually very ignorant people. They have faith in authority, which is the mark of stupidity.

        Obviously you’ve never heard of the NSA backdoor into Windows, nor would you even know what that is, because you don’t know nothing ’bout nothing. Nor would you know about any other government violation of peoples’ privacy.

        You probably believe NSA spying on Americans is justified as well.

  • Kurt thialfad

    In the area of immigration reform, does Garcon support (or oppose) repealing the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966?

  • Skip Conrad

    Do you support the municipal sanctuary laws, passed by the BoS in 1989? Would you favor expanding the sanctuary policy to include deadbeat dads, sex workers, tax cheats, sex offenders, human traffickers, drug dealers, and other lawbreakers?

    • Ehkzu

      Doesn’t it already include protecting the kinds of criminals you enumerated, as long as they’re also illegal immigrants?

    • Kurt thialfad

      The reason the crime is going down is because you don’t categorize certain illegal activities as crimes.

  • Ryan

    Does Mr. Gascon believe there is any problem with being a Sanctuary city? He only espouses the benefits but never discusses that there may be problems. Is this because he doesn’t believe there are any?

  • Ehkzu

    The DA’s positions on various issues–particularly illegal immigration–paint a clear portrait of what Frisco’s law enforcement establishment has to believe in (or at least say) in order to get elected there.

    The topper is his support for Fricso beng a Sanctuary City, despite its resulting in the City protecting some truly vicious criminals. The DA positions this as Frisco staying out of the federal business of immigration law enforcement. But in reality it has been more like obstruction of justice and treating Frisco as some kind of city-state like Singapore.

  • Chris OConnell

    I agree with the caller regarding the lack of turn signals by drivers these days. It is epidemic and I guess a big part of it is that drivers have one hand on the wheel and one on their communication device. So there is no hand for the blinker.

  • Tony Rocco

    I couldn’t believe the woman who fought off attackers to keep her cell phone, then incurred $35000 in medical bills as a result of her injuries. She sounded proud of herself, like she had done something great when she had actually been a complete fool. To save a cell phone at the cost of your physical and financial welfare is idiotic, in my opinion. What is wrong with people?


    • Slappy

      It seems you don’t believe in something called “principle”.

      • Tony Rocco

        You belong in the same nut hut as that caller.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Re the call that turn signals help pedestrian safety, I wholeheartedly agree. I was disappointed that Gascon did not pledge that police would actually follow the law (in signaling their turns) to set a good example for civilians. It is a legal requirement not a suggestion for better manners!

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor