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Border & Immigration

San Diego County Supervisors Revive Human Relations Commission Amid Rise In Hate Incidents

A San Diego county sheriff's deputy stands in front of the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019.
Associated Press
A San Diego county sheriff's deputy stands in front of the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019.
County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who pushed for the revival of the commission, said that racial tensions in the county had been further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county board of supervisors voted Tuesday to revive the county’s Human Relations Commission.

This comes after a pair of incidents at Santee grocery stores — one with a man wearing a KKK-style hood, and the other involving a man wearing a swastika on a face mask.

The commission had existed in the county for decades, but was dissolved in 2018.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who pushed for the revival of the commission, said that racial tensions in the county had been further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: San Diego DA Establishes Tip Line For Asian Americans To Report Coronavirus-Related Hate Crimes

“We have seen issues around COVID-19, the virus called the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus, providing racists a thinly veiled excuse to threaten and target the [Asian/Pacific-Islander] community,” Fletcher said shortly before the vote. “Anti-Asian, hurtful derogatory and hateful graffiti recently targeted a Little League Field in the Allied Gardens section of San Diego.”

The 25-person commission will include representatives from law enforcement and members of several minority and religious groups.

The commission will host public events and make recommendations to the county board of supervisors on how to fight back against intolerance.

Public comment on the proposal (done virtually) was all in favor of the commission, with members of the county’s Jewish community lending their support following last year’s deadly shooting at Chabad of Poway.

The commission will be named after former Supervisor Leon Williams, the first African-American to serve on the Board of Supervisors. The nonagenarian called in to Tuesday’s meeting to lend his support for the commission.