Ripple exec Chris Larsen donates $250K to up police surveillance in San Francisco

Ripple executive Chris Larsen has made a $250,000 donation to a series of proposals put forward by San Francisco Mayor London Breed that could see police handed more power when it comes to the use of surveillance technology, drones, and in suspect pursuits.

According to the San Francisco Standard (SFS), Larsen is currently the top donor, handing over $350,000 to ballot measure campaigns sponsored by Breed in the run-up to next year’s election. 

These ballot measures are potential policies that are proposed by competing candidates and will be put to a public vote. Larsen gave $250,000 to a campaign committee advocating for a more relaxed approach to approving police requests for surveillance tech. This would reportedly allow the police to use drones and facial recognition technology freely for a year before it can be scrutinized by supervisors.

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Larsen also donated $100,000 to a campaign committee recommending that residents claiming welfare checks should undergo drug screening if they’re suspected of being drug addicts. In an interview with the SFS, he said, “When it comes to people dying on the street, with fentanyl and some of these new drugs which are even worse, we have to get a handle on that.

“We have to be compassionate, but we have a record number of people who have died this year again. We just cannot keep doing the same thing,”

This policy has reportedly been described by officials as punitive and detrimental to people coping with drug addiction. The policy was also rejected by supervisors but despite this, it’s reportedly popular among its target voters.

During the same SFS interview, Larsen reportedly revealed that he made the donations at the request of London Breed. Larsen also described a separate police campaign looking to increase staff, but through additional taxes, as “a bunch of bullshit.”

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