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Snitch City: Saluting the squealers keeping San Francisco safe from each other

The image shows a park with a "State Law Yield to Pedestrians Within Crosswalk" sign and patches of fuzzy white animal fur on the grass.
Illustration by Clark Miller for The Standard

Welcome to our new series, Snitch City, a roundup of tattletales, curtain twitchers, squealers, narcs and blabbermouths keeping us honest. Tell us what your neighbors are snitching on in the box below.

San Francisco is a city of many tribes. But one thing unites us all: the unshakeable conviction that someone, somewhere, is getting away with something and must be shamed for it.

We’re a city of avid busybodies, each of us eager to report our neighbor for building an unpermitted fence or hoarding a parking spot, and outraged when they do the same to us.

The word “snitch” has a harsh flavor, but we’re not here to judge. After all, we’re snitches ourselves—and so are you, if you’re honest. So join us in honoring the bravest among us.

Crime: Shedding in public

The great outdoors: A reasonable place to groom your four-legged companion, reuniting their fur with that of their wild cousins, no?

Absolutely not, in the view of one outraged Redditor.

In a post titled “Pls clean up after your dog,” the Redditor in question displayed a photo of hair clumps left behind on a grassy knoll, the subject of an apparent official complaint to the city.

The frustrated Redditor wrote they reported the incident to 311, citing “that your mom doesn’t work there and you should clean up after yourself and your pets as you’re a grown adult who chose these responsibilities as part of the deal of getting a sweet boogie-woogie-woo.”

Not everyone appreciated the act of vigilance.

“You actually took the time to report this to 311? Damn girl, you gotta lotta time on your hands 😂😂,” one user replied.

Crime: Being a non-see-through bush

On Wednesday, one San Francisco driver took to Nextdoor to demand the city trim a bush she claims is a danger to life. 

A bush is seen in a photo.
The offending bush at Fifth Avenue and Judah Street measures a little over 7 feet high. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

“Please explain how the SFMTA decides this is helpful to Vision Zero,” wrote the angry poster, who claimed the bush was 8 feet tall. “Can’t make this stuff up!”

In point of fact, the bush is 7 feet, 2 inches in height. We know this because The Standard visited the bush Thursday. It is also scratchy to the touch and smells strongly of plant. 

Vision Zero is the city’s failed plan to end traffic deaths by 2024, and in fairness to the poster, the offending bush does seem to be partially obstructing the view of the Judah Street and Fifth Avenue intersection. After our visit, we would advise a slow approach when crossing the street on foot. We would also advise not taking a photo from behind the wheel of your car, as the poster appears to have done.

The Standard reached out to the poster but did not get a message back. 🙁

Garrett Leahy can be reached at