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San Francisco Police Station Finally Removes Barricades After 2-Year Battle

Written by Garrett LeahyPublished Sep. 09, 2022 • 1:24pm
People pass by Mission Police Station on 17th and Valencia in the Mission District in San Francisco, Calif. on Sept, 8, 2022. A line of metal barricades placed outside the police station during the George Floyd protests in June 2020 and which had been criticized by some for making sidewalks inaccessible were removed earlier that day. | Garrett Leahy/The Standard

Metal barricades around Mission Police Station have finally been taken down—much to the delight of local people and campaigners who fought for their removal.

Local police placed the barriers outside the station during George Floyd protests. They said it was a way to protect the station and police officers standing guard during protests. 

The barriers remained in place for two years despite the protests coming to an end in 2020.

“It represents power and authority, and just creates a barrier, you know?” said Tony Partono, a 20-year Mission resident who frequently bikes along Valencia Street.

Tony Partono, said that the barricades made him feel that the police were distancing themselves from the community on Sept. 9, 2022. | Garrett Leahy/The Standard

Mission Station Captain Gavin McEachern  agreed with that sentiment.

“It became apparent that the barriers created a physical and symbolic image of the separation of Mission Police Station and the community we serve,” Captain McEachern said in an email.

Local resident Patricia Carr often travels in her electric wheelchair in front of the police station to get home, said she has had to have help or go out of the way to deal with the barriers occasionally, but that such cases were rare.

Patricia Carr, who lives on 14th and Folsom and often travels in front of the police station to get home. | Garrett Leahy/The Standard

“Sometimes I would have to go around the block, or have someone move the barriers aside,” Carr said.

Throughout the existence of the barricades, accessibility complaints surfaced on social media, including from urban transit activists like Luke Bornheimer and Parker Day.

“This was a huge accessibility concern on such a busy corridor,” Day said on Twitter. “The sidewalk was closed 24/7 for weeks before the ends [of the barricades] were opened to allow pedestrians through.”

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