The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California city’s mayor and police are urging new surveillance measures at nightclubs and other entertainment businesses after recent violence:
San Francisco police are recommending that entertainment venues permitted by the city be required to have security cameras, metal detectors and ID scanners that electronically store a patron’s driver’s license information for at least 15 days as a means to counter recent violence outside nightspots, city documents show.
ID data would be turned over to law enforcement at their request, as would camera images, according to a draft of the police recommendations.
The department’s suggestions came at Mayor Gavin Newsom’s request as he and other city officials try to deal with nightlife-related violence in the wake of the Aug. 8 shooting of a German tourist just yards from her hotel in the theater district. […]
Some of the department’s suggestions are likely to be opposed by civil rights advocates as an invasion of privacy, and club owners will probably view some as expensive and impractical. […]
As drafted, venues would have to meet the conditions to receive an entertainment permit.
Such surveillance strategies are not unheard of, but that doesn’t make them the right choice for law enforcement to deem anyone grabbing a drink at a bar or dancing at a club to be suspicious enough to be scanned and tracked. The Chronicle questions whether the proposed surveillance would have prevented the violent murder that occurred in San Francisco in August:
It’s unclear, though, if the new police recommendations would have prevented the death of German tourist Mechthild Schröer, 50. Schröer was hit by a stray bullet when at least three people opened fire outside an end-of-summer party at a Mason Street comedy club. No charges have been filed in connection to her death.
The event had no live music, DJ, alcohol or food and thus did not require an entertainment permit.