How much did last weekend’s white supremacist rally cost the city?

Mayor has yet to release figure for police overtime

The march through the mission attracted many thousands

The entire San Francisco Police force was ordered to be on the streets in San Francisco this past weekend as officials feared violence during a planned rally by alt-right group Patriot Prayer. The group’s past event has attracted white supremacists and has seen violence. But how much did it end up costing the city?

“We are currently reviewing the costs of the weekend, but these events will be handled within existing department budgets, including overtime costs,” the Mayor’s office said in an email statement on Monday.

There are around 2,301 police officers in the SFPD and every single available SFPD officer was ordered to work past weekend.

“Every available officer is expected to be working on Saturday,” said San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. “So no discretionary time off and days off have been canceled.”

Ahead of the rally, the Mayor’s Office said it was keeping a close eye on the cost estimates and “fully intends to seek reimbursement from the feds”

However, the federal government has no obligation to reimburse the city. And if the costs are within “exiting budgets,” how does the mayor expect to bill Washington?

The rallies past weekend saw a heavy police presence with officers securing multiple locations across the city in full riot gear. Hundreds of officers secured the streets including Crissy Field, Alamo Square, Civic Center, the Castro and dozens marched alongside counter-protesters from Filmore to the Mission. 

Rally organizers worked closely with the SFPD to secure the route as they continued to march for over two hours. More than 12,000 people marched the streets of San Francisco to rally against hate forcing Patriot Prayer to cancel their press conference in San Francisco’s Alamo Square and move to Pacifica instead. 

The group had earlier canceled a planned rally at Criss Field. After canceling the press conference announced that they will keep “popping in” different parts of the city resulting in counter protesters and police to chase them across the city.

In the end, a handful of Patriot Prayer supporters along-with founder Joey Gibson showed up in Cross Field. But even though the alt-right wasn’t able to hold its rally in San Francisco, the toll it took on the tax-payers’ pockets remains to be seen. 

 

Sana Saleem is a writer with a focus on social justice and human stories. She's member board of advisory for the Courage Foundation, Edward Snowden's legal defense fund.