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Roundtable: Reflecting On One Year Since The La Mesa Riot

A hole in the window of a comic book store in La Mesa following a night of protests, May 31, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
A hole in the window of a comic book store in La Mesa following a night of protests, May 31, 2020.
The changes to policing in La Mesa one year after a destructive riot, local governments spend millions of dollars on public relations campaigns, and Scripps Health recovers from a cyber attack.

La Mesa One Year Later

One year ago, several blocks in downtown La Mesa were in ruin after a day of protest turned into a riot that included looting and arson. The George Floyd case in Minnesota was the national catalyst for many of the marches we saw, but the local case of Amaurie Johnson also got plenty of attention when his violent arrest by La Mesa police was caught on camera in late May 2020. San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Alex Riggins recently caught up with Johnson, who reflected on the past year and the ongoing fallout from his case. We also check in on how the community of La Mesa is moving forward.

RELATED: La Mesa Organizations Hope To Heal On Anniversary Of Destructive Protests


Millions Spent On Public Relations For Local Cities

Many local cities have staff to deal with media relations and other public communications. But increasingly, public money is being spent by the millions to hire outside public relations firms to launch highly polished campaigns to improve brands and reputations. In her recent piece for Voice of San Diego, Sofía Mejías Pascoe details the money being spent by the county and other local governments on a range of services from recruiting police officers to publicizing water utility projects.

RELATED: San Diego Police Practice Their People Skills On Social Media With Help From Consultant

Scripps Health Moves Forward After Cyberattack

Scripps Health, one of San Diego's largest health care providers, is getting back on track after its online portal was sidelined for several weeks by hackers. A full investigation is underway to determine who was behind the ransom attempt similar to recent cases involving an oil pipeline and meat supplier. Meanwhile, San Diego County is shifting its COVID-19 vaccine strategy as the state nears the end of its pandemic tier system. KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman joins us for an update on both of these ongoing stories.


RELATED: Scripps Health Says Some Patient Info Acquired During Ransomware Attack

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