An anonymous reader quotes the SFGate report: In a 7-4 vote on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors agreed to review Mayor London Breed’s controversial plan to overhaul the city’s surveillance methods, allowing police to access private security cameras in real time. Executives Kathryn Stefani, Aaron Peskin, Gordon Marr, Matt Dorsey, Myrna Melgar, Raphael Mandelman and Asha Safai voted to approve the trial run, while Connie Chan, Dean Preston, Hilary Ronen and Shaman Walton voted against.

Under the new policy, police can access up to 24 hours of live outdoor video from private surveillance cameras owned by individuals or businesses without a warrant, as long as the camera’s owner allows it. Police must meet one of three outlined criteria to use their new powers: they must respond to life-threatening emergencies, decide how to deploy officers in response to a large public event, or conduct a criminal investigation approved in writing by a captain or senior police official . The trial will last 15 months. If managers want to extend or revise the policy, they must hold a second vote. “I know the thought process is, ‘Just trust us, just trust the police department.’ But really, people have been violating civil liberties since my ancestors were brought here from a completely different continent,” said Walton, the board president and District 10 representative.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins added, “I believe this policy can help eliminate the open-air drug markets that fuel the sale of the deadly drug fentanyl. Drug dealers are destroying lives and wreaking havoc in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin. Massive organized robberies in retail, as we saw in Union Square last year, or focused neighborhood efforts, as we saw in Chinatown, is another area where the proposed policy can help.”

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