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Sheriff’s Department faces outrage in Lakeside over stabbing of Black girl

Lakeside town hall over alleged stabbing of Black girl
Cristina Kim
Community members waiting outside of the Lakeside Community Center for a town hall discussing the stabbing and alleged hate crime committed against a 16-year-old Black girl. Lakeside, Calif. April 19, 2022.

San Diego Sheriff’s Department officials faced community outrage Tuesday in the wake of an alleged stabbing of a 16-year-old Black girl by a white boy, who is also 16, over the weekend in Lakeside.

More than 100 people attended a town hall hosted by the Sheriff’s Department at the Lakeside Community Center, with a number of those in attendance calling the violent incident yet another example of unchecked racism in East County.

“It is a running joke that East County is racist,” said Danielle Wilkerson, co-founder of the East County BIPOC ahead of the meeting. “But that humor is damaging because the racism is real, the racism is alive and we have a victim this week from heinous acts of violence.”


Sheriff’s Lt. Shawn Wray, who leads the department’s Lakeside substation told community members that the 16-year-old boy, who allegedly stabbed the Black girl was arrested on Monday and booked on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime allegation.

It is the first hate crime that is being investigated in Lakeside in 2022, Wray said.

The charges are under review and are expected to be filed on Wednesday with a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday morning, said Lisa Weinreb, Chief Deputy of Juvenile Branch of the District Attorney’s Office.

The victim was allegedly stabbed twice in the back while the assailant and onlookers hurled racist slurs towards her. The other adults and minor present have not been charged, but investigations are still underway, Wray said.

Cristina Kim
Over 100 people from around San Diego County attended a town hall hosted by the Sheriff's Department to discuss the stabbing and alleged hate crime of a 16-year-old Black girl. Lakeside, Calif. April 19, 2022.

Several community members in attendance questioned why the alleged attacker’s guardians, who were present during the attack, have yet to be charged, especially given the reports that they also uttered racial slurs.


”While it is horrific, horrific behavior I can't prosecute a parent for standing by," said Weinreb in response. “We are dictated by the law and the law doesn’t allow somebody, and it specifically says if they were standing as a bystander and did nothing more, then it’s not a crime.”

The two hour meeting ended with a promise from Wray to convene another town hall meeting to continue the conversation in the next three months.

Wray said he was disappointed to hear that people of color feel unsafe in Lakeside and throughout East County.

“If there’s a perception of that then there may be a reality of that and I certainly hope that’s not the case,” Wray said.

Residents voice their distrust of East County and the police with Sheriff Lt. Wray at the Lakeside town hall. April 19, 2022.
A community member asks a question and shares her concerns at the Lakeside town hall, April 19, 2022.

For longtime San Diego activist Tasha Willamson, the open dialogue at the meeting was appreciated, but not enough.

“I feel like this was fluff,” she said after the meeting. “This is a new lieutenant who has no clue what he has stepped into or may have a clue, but is not sure of the severity.”

Williamson said she has spoken to the family of the victim and was told they do not feel the investigation was initially conducted properly and would like to see the three adult men involved in the assault arrested.

Other’s echoed Williamson’s sentiments and are planning a protest against White supremacy in East County this Saturday.

“We want to make it known that hate discrimination and intolerance are not acceptable values in our community because for so long it’s been accepted,” said Danielle Wilkerson of East County BIPOC.

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