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Community activists say second arrest over Lakeside stabbing is step forward, but not enough

Another teenager has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a Black girl in Lakeside. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado tells us community advocates say this is a step forward, but it’s not enough.

Community activists say the arrest of a second teenager in connection with the April 16 stabbing of a Black girl in Lakeside is a step forward, but is not enough.

"No, this is by no means justice. Justice would be that all parties are held accountable," said Tasha Williamson with Exhaling Injustice.

The 15-year-old girl who was booked into Juvenile Hall over the weekend on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime is said to be the girlfriend of the 16-year-old boy already facing those same charges.


She had been taken in for questioning and released before. But in a press release, the department said detectives found the girl played a larger role in the attack than they initially believed.

Williamson said from the beginning, the family has told the sheriff’s department more people were involved in the attack, and she said their account remains the same: On April 16, the family was getting out of their car when they saw a group coming towards them.

"The suspect, his girlfriend, his father and two other adult males approached them and arguing ensued, "Williamson said. "And then I’m told that the girlfriend went to hit the daughter with her metal rod and the mom blocked it, the mother was struck by the metal rod, she tried to hit her again, she blocked it and at that point mom realized ... that her daughter had been stabbed by the suspect while he was also calling her the N-word, the b-word, while the father just stood there watching."

Williamson said action by law enforcement has been slow, and only in response to public outcry. "I don’t believe that this arrest (would have happened) had it not been a push at the town hall and after," she said, "because the (victim's) mother was clear that she intervened when she saw the girl raise the metal bar."

Williamson said justice to the family and community would mean more arrests, including of the boy's father. Last week a representative of the District Attorney's office said they could not prosecute a parent for standing by. But Williamson said the DA's office needs to use the same standard in this case that is used in other cases. "Countless thousands of people here in San Diego have long-term prison sentences not for committing a crime at all but for being present at the commission of a crime with the person who committed it," she said.


Williamson said she and others who’ve been speaking out are now getting death threats. She said some almost made good on those threats at a weekend rally in Lakeside. "We were coming in peace. It was an anti-hate rally," Williamson said. "They followed us. They walked with our groups chanting and ranting racist comments and then they tried to run us over … it was terrifying."

Williamson said justice would also mean those who continue to terrorize them would be held to account without having to call people out. She said even when they tell law enforcement of the threats nothing is done. "We are not going to be protected by police or FBI or the attorney general civil right’s unit or the D.A.’s office until we are severely injured or dead."

KPBS reached out to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. They did not respond to our requests for an interview and the DA’s office declined to comment.

In that same press release the sheriff's department said they do not "condone hate or acts of intolerance. We are a county that is welcoming of people from all backgrounds. We treat all reports and incidents of hate crime seriously."

They also ask anyone with information about this incident to call the department at (858) 565-5200 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.