Skip to main content

Witness Says He Killed ISIS Prisoner, Reaction To Newsom Apology, Celebrating A Boxing Champ

Cover image for podcast episode

A Navy SEAL called by prosecutors to testify at the murder trial of a colleague has acknowledged killing a wounded prisoner in Iraq in what he described as an act of mercy. Also, local reaction to Gov. Newsom’s apology to California Native Americans for state-sponsored genocide, the pros and cons of San Diego’s gunshot detection system, scientists are trying to measure the value of outdoor service work for transitioning veterans, and Imperial Valley will celebrate hometown hero and heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr. with a parade.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 A prosecution. Witness shocks is San Diego courtroom today in the court, Marshal of navy seal chief Edward Gallagher, a medic at the scene of the stabbing of no rocky prisoner says he's the one who actually ended the prisoner's life. Gallagher is on trial for the murder of the prisoner and attempted murder of civilians in Iraq. I spoke with KPBS military reporters, Steve Walsh this morning during a break in the trial. Steve, a prosecution witness through the court into disarray this morning. Can you tell us about that?

Speaker 2: 00:31 Right, so we've been covering the trial of Eddie Gallagher's. The main charge against him is that he was accused of killing and wounded isis fighter in his custody and then posing with the body. And we've had several seals testify over the last couple of days that saw him in one way or the other. Either staff or shoots an unarmed Iraqi civilians. But we had a yes bombshell testimony this morning. This is just happening this morning. Yeah, this medic, Cory Scott has been granted testimonial immunity. In this case, he was the one of the medics who was there when Gallagher is accused of stabbing. This wounded prisoner who was with receiving medical treatment got on the stand. This is a prosecution witness mind you said that he saw Gallagher stab the prisoner in the neck in show he showed a downward motion showing that he is, there was no medical reason for this stabbing best is what he was expected to testify to. But then on the stand during cross examination by the defense counsel, Cory Scott said that it was in fact not Gallagher, but him who killed the Iraqi fighter, that they had given him a Craig, which is basically a breathing tube and that after Gallagher's stamped him that Scott had closed the airway and essentially suffocated the prisoner.

Speaker 1: 01:55 So what Cory Scott is saying, if I understand this correctly, is not that Gallagher did not stab this Iraqi prisoner, but the person who actually killed the prisoner was uh, Cory Scott by this procedure that he inflicted on the prisoner.

Speaker 2: 02:12 Indeed, Cory Scott says that he was the one who in fact killed the prisoner. That it was not that the blow by Gallagher, but his closing of the breathing tube that actually killed the fighter who had been still alive up until that point.

Speaker 1: 02:26 And did he say it was intentional on his part?

Speaker 2: 02:30 It was intentional. You said that he didn't think that uh, the wound that Gallagher had inflicted upon him would, would have killed him, but that he was afraid that the prisoner would be interrogated and ultimately tortured and killed by the Iraqis and that it would be a mercy killing.

Speaker 1: 02:47 So this is why the minute didn't say this before, is there any consequence to him actually telling two stories on the witness stand?

Speaker 2: 02:57 Well, prosecutors were of course just livid. They, they had interviewed Cory Scott Multiple Times, so had naval police in CIS. They've interviewed him multiple times in this case, he's one of the key witnesses in this case because he witnessed the actual stabbing. So on the stand that prosecutors were trying to explain why, asking him why. In fact, he had never said any of this prior to being on the stand. The defense made the argument that no one has specifically asked them about x fixation. Now, prosecutors came back and they said they had asked him multiple times what happens step by step in this case, so they tried to essentially impeach his credibility. Cory Scott is said, he is a friend of chief Gallagher. He had never had a problem with him, but he had a wife and family and he didn't believe that he should spend his life in prison. But nonetheless, this obviously this is like a Hollywood movie, this never happens in actual court cases that you have these revelations from the stand this way. This obviously puts the case into a certain amount of disarray for prosecutors at the moment, but all of this is happening this morning here at naval base San Diego, so the wheel is still very much in spin.

Speaker 1: 04:11 How did Edward Gallagher and his team react to this revelation?

Speaker 2: 04:16 Initially in court, Gallagher was fairly emotionless, but out in the hallway during this recess, he's there with his wife and in two of his kids they were hugging. They were. They seem to jubilant, they obviously see this as a real turning point in this case,

Speaker 1: 04:32 you are speaking to us during a break in court proceedings. Do you have any idea what's going to happen when you go back into court?

Speaker 2: 04:40 There've been so many twists and turns in this case that I was reluctant to say what would happen in this case prior to this. Now, I certainly have no idea. Obviously prosecutors are going to make the case that their key witness has become far less responsive, that he now has testimonial immunity, so you cannot be a tried and convicted of murder. Based on what he said in court. I'm sure they'll make the case that this is only the first time. This is coming up after literally months of witness statements and interviews by the prosecution side, but this obviously creates a, a huge wrinkle in this case.

Speaker 1: 05:13 I've been speaking with KPBS military reporter, Steve Walsh. She will continue reporting on this court case. Thank you so much, Steve.

Speaker 2: 05:20 Thanks Marie.

Speaker 3: 05:22 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom did what no other governor in the state had done before him. He apologized to California native American people for the history of violence, the state perpetrated against them and he used an important word to describe it. Genocide

Speaker 2: 00:17 coordination, collaboration vigilantes, militia men, federal soldiers working in concert. It's called the genocide. That's what it was. A genocide. No other way to describe it and that's the way it needs to be described in the history books. And so I'm here to say the following, I'm sorry. On behalf of the state of California,

Speaker 1: 00:47 San Diego is home to four tribal groups and more Indian reservations than anywhere else in the country. Joining me with reaction to the governor's apology is Jolie Proudfit, Phd. She has Luiseno, Paiam cool. Each chum and director of the California Indian culture and sovereignty center. Julie, welcome.

Speaker 3: 01:07 Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1: 01:08 What does it mean to you that governor Newsome publicly apologized to native Americans in California?

Speaker 3: 01:14 Well, it means a lot. I appreciate the gesture. It was a long time coming. It is something that I think California native people had expected for many, many years. And we're so glad that it's finally happened. Took basically 40 governors of the state to have this happen. And it's, um, we appreciate it and it's a feeling of finally being seen and um, respect being paid to what has happened to our people. And we hope that this is the first step in a direction that, um, is used to restore some of, uh, the harm that has been done to us by creating some pathways to address some of the issues and the concerns facing our people today.

Speaker 1: 02:04 How important is it that the governor used the word genocide?

Speaker 3: 02:09 We're Gen of side is powerful because it's something that has been denied to California Indians and addressing our history and addressing the experience that we have faced at the hands of the California government. So having governor Newsome use that language really honestly depicts the challenges and the atrocities that California Indian people face and, um, will help us heal and move forward and help others to understand why we've struggled for so long. And the fact that we're still here shows our resiliency, but also under significant, uh, tragedy and duress through the, through acts of genocide.

Speaker 1: 02:56 And what is the legacy of that genocide on native Americans in California?

Speaker 3: 03:00 Well, a California Indians are different than a tribe anywhere else because of the atrocities perpetrated against us from various forms of groups or government. We had, you know, this legacy and history of colonization through the Catholic mission system, then disease and population decline. And then this Mexican period and then the American period with the gold rush and then this period of government sanctioned, um, genocide towards our people. So it's a unique, unique experience. One that it's surprising to many that we survived and many of our populations are now thriving economically, socially, politically. But most of our communities are still struggling with the historical trauma. This legacy of, of genocide is, is, you know, it's many would say it's genetic. It's just in our, it's, you know, a part of our DNA that we need to, um, remove and, and go forward. And so addressing the issue and addressing the history is a first step for us in healing

Speaker 1: 04:20 and addressing that history. You know, how different is the curriculum now taught on native Americans in California from what really happened?

Speaker 3: 04:29 We have a long ways to go. The California curriculum process is in its early stages in addressing California Indians. And you know, we still struggle with some of the, um, racist and, um, the ineffective ways in telling California history through trying to, you know, sugarcoat it using language like the Indians wandered to the missions. We didn't wander to the missions. We were held captive at these places. We were made slaves, indentured servitude. These are, um, very different episodes then wandering to the mission. So I think it's important for all of California citizens and children to learn the honest and truthful history and, you know, understand that this is a difficult history. So we have to make sure that we're, um, approaching this thoughtfully grade by grade. Uh, right now we still teach in the fourth grade in California, the mission history, which is very much sugarcoated, um, using very, uh, culturally insensitive language.

Speaker 3: 05:47 And so I think if we're going to look at history, we have to be honest and we have to create in partnership with cultural leaders, tribal educators, curriculum writers are tribal governments, really good high quality education so that we not only teach all of our citizens and our children the truth, but we do phone away so that we never repeat this type of atrocities again. We have 109 federally recognized tribes in California. We have, I think it's a little over 80 tribes seeking recognition. We have the two largest urban Indian populations of, of any urban population in the u s residing in California. So we have to tell that story holistically and accurately and that's going to take a large investment by the state government.

Speaker 1: 06:42 And you know, the governor mentioned an apology, but is that enough? Uh, what about reparations?

Speaker 3: 06:47 It's a step in the right direction. I, I am completely, I'm appreciative of the apology and especially the way it was done. He did that in, in a formal meeting with tribal leaders face to face and to use the language that he used and to own the atrocities. And to own the language and what did happen to us, which was an act of genocide. So I appreciate that. I believe that's a step in the right direction and it's the first step in a series of activities that need to happen to provide for that reconciliation. You know, I'd love to see, I'd love to see an investment in our curriculum are real investment. I would love to see a formal recognition of land acknowledgement at all public spaces, places, parks, museum. In fact, um, I know that assemblyman Ramos has, is putting together, um, a bill, um, that I've assisted him with on providing formal landing, not acknowledgement in those public spaces so that Californians and visitors to California know exactly who's landed there on. And that's, that's really important to move away from eraser and to recognize how we all benefit from this beautiful place that we call California, which is home to so many a California native people. And you know, there's just a number of things that this governor and the governor's that will follow him can do. Um, and Matt's going to take some real resources and it's going to take working collaboratively with our tribal nations, with our native peoples to make sure that we're on a trajectory for success and for healing.

Speaker 1: 08:34 I've been speaking to Jolie Proudfit. She is Luiseno Paiam cool. Each him and director of the California Indian culture and sovereignty center. Joey, thank you very much.

Speaker 3: 08:45 Thank you.

Speaker 4: 08:47 Uh.

Speaker 1: 00:00 In late 2016 San Diego joined about 100 cities nationwide that use a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter. Two and a half years later, KPBS reporter John Carroll looks at how ShotSpotter is working

Speaker 2: 00:15 for the ShotSpotter system was launched. The only way police knew to respond to a shots fired was if they happen to be in the area or from people calling nine one one San Diego police, Lieutenant Sean Takiyuchi

Speaker 3: 00:27 when the community doesn't call us and notify us that there's a situation going on, you know, either through nine one one or the non emergency line. We won't know about it.

Speaker 2: 00:35 With ShotSpotter, they're notified within a minute of a gun being used. Sensors mounted on light poles triangulate the sound, giving police a precise location of where the gunfire happened. But ShotSpotter is controversial in the neighborhoods where it's deployed. Community activist, Bishop Cornelius Bowser's says the system was installed with no community input.

Speaker 1: 00:55 That's not the way you build trust.

Speaker 2: 00:57 And Bowzer says there's another problem with shot spotter. He says it's been used to monitor conversations in other cities where it's deployed. Takiyuchi says the system does not capture conversations. The city is in the middle of a four year million dollar contract with ShotSpotter. Bowzer says that money would better be spent on programs that prevent violence. Takiyuchi disagrees

Speaker 3: 01:18 if gunfire were to erupt and we get to a location where no nine one one calls received and there is an individual that's been shot and we're able to render first aid and were able to save that person's life. I think the system has paid for itself

Speaker 2: 01:30 in the area where ShotSpotter is now deployed, there were an average of four murders a year in the years leading up to its installation. Over the last two and a half years, there haven't been any, whether that has anything to do with ShotSpotter is anyone's guess.

Speaker 1: 01:44 And for more on this shot spotter technology reporter John Carol spoke with Alison Saint John. So how would the four neighborhoods pick the ones where they install this technology?

Speaker 2: 01:54 They used data collected by folks in the city to determine where the most gunshot calls happened over a given amount of time. And that turned out to be the four neighborhoods in southeast, which is a feral Valencia Park, Lincoln Park and Skyline Paradise Hills. And that's where they decided to put the ShotSpotter.

Speaker 1: 02:14 Couldn't help wondering if the technology might pick up other things that sounded like gunshots such as fireworks or a car backfiring. Does do they have a lot of false alarms?

Speaker 2: 02:24 They probably do. We don't get that information because the sounds when they are triggered are sent directly to the ShotSpotter technicians. It's proprietary technology. They say that they have these folks, uh, who are highly trained that are listening. Uh, and so presumably they have been trained in the ability to discern between a gunshot or a backfiring car or a hammer hitting a nail or any other sharp percussive sound.

Speaker 1: 02:55 And just to be clear, we're talking about audio recordings. There's no video connected this, right?

Speaker 2: 02:59 That's correct. This is just audio. Um, there are some cities that have married up video cameras on light poles with the ShotSpotter as viewers. And listeners of KPBS may know, we now have a system in San Diego where there is video on light poles, but currently the two systems are not being used in conjunction. Well, have the attitude in the neighborhood being reassured by the police when they're told no, they're not recording anything other than gunshots or are people still pretty suspicious of that? To hear community activists like Bishop Cornelius Bowzer tell it, they're still quite suspicious. Uh, he mentioned to me during our interview that um, audio had been used of conversations in other cities, uh, and had been used in certain criminal cases. The San Diego Police Department here says that is not the case. It does not capture conversations. So did you have a chance to have a demonstration of the technology?

Speaker 2: 04:00 Did you, could you hear how it worked? No, you can't do that. They're very guarded about the operation. They wouldn't even tell us where the sensing devices are. A, my photographer and I had to drive around the neighborhoods and look for them and we ended up finding quite a few. You found them? What do they look like? There's a couple of different kinds of devices, but the main one is sort of a, a square with like sort of a rounded off top that looks like it has vents on it. Uh, and as I say, they're placed at least 30 feet up on light poles. So now the community does have a good point that that's $250,000 a year. Couldn't they hire a full time person on the street, a cop on the beat who would be around more building trust rather than spending it on this technology?

Speaker 2: 04:46 What are the police departments say when you say that? Well, that is the contention of at least Bishop Bowzer that uh, the money could better be used for that. Just to make a quick point of clarification, the first year of the system, uh, the $250,000 or so it cost, uh, that money where came from drug seizure money through the district attorney's office. Since then, it's been a budgeted item within San Diego's budget. Uh, but you were also asking about what community activists are saying about that. They say that the money could better be used to fund programs and that might include personnel that would prevent the violence from happening in the first place. But I guess perhaps local residents would, would not like to have more cops on the beat in their neighborhoods that might be less intrusive to have the technology there. I think that, uh, would be the way some people would feel.

Speaker 2: 05:39 In addition, uh, Lieutenant Sean talk a youtube was San Diego PD framed it this way to me, he said, whatever money is spent, you can't really put a price on a human life and if this can save just one life, then it's certainly worth it. I understand that the police say their response times are much faster than if there were alerted by even just a neighbor calling nine one one. How does that work? So leading up to the time when ShotSpotter was put into place, police didn't know if there were shots fired unless there happened to be some officers in the neighborhood and they heard it or folks called nine one one with ShotSpotter, the sound of an explosion of a gunshot triggers the system. It immediately goes to the ShotSpotter folks, uh, in their technology center. They listen, they interpret very quickly, and they get an alert to the police department within one minute.

Speaker 2: 06:36 Not only is it an alert, but it's far more precise than people calling in and saying, well, I think I heard some gunshots around here. Well, you know that that's not exactly precise. So this tells them right down to within a few feet of where the actual gunfire happened. So apart from helping to decrease response times, does it help the police figure out who fired the shot and an incident? They would say yes. The contention is that they are able to get there quickly enough that they could potentially capture someone either in the act or having just committed the act. Uh, in addition to that, they make the point that evidence is better preserved with the spot shotter because people don't have time to either disturb it or destroy it. So like shell casings and things like that, they can get there quickly enough where they, they can see the scene and it's not disturbed. Finally, you mentioned that there's no murders in the areas where it's installed. Presumably there were some incidents, but just nobody died. Is that right? That is right. The police department makes the point that they are not willing to draw a correlation between ShotSpotter and that statistic. Um, however, it's interesting. Thanks for that report, John. Thank you. That's Kbb as reporter John Carroll.

Speaker 4: 07:55 Oh.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Congress is considering legislation to encourage outdoor therapy for veterans with injuries or posttraumatic stress. The bipartisan bill would require the VA to coordinate with the interior department and other agencies to establish recreation and treatment programs on public lands. Volunteer groups. They're already running similar programs in national parks and researchers are trying to measure their medical impact from Miami. Maria Bakula Pulau reports from the American Home Front project

Speaker 2: 00:30 on a clear sunny day. We take a boat ride with a group of veterans and their family members to dock at Buka Cheetah key part of the Biscayne National Park. They will spend the afternoon doing maintenance and cleanup work. Alright, you guys, all the kids. You guys are on the trash detail, right? Leading today's efforts is Joshua Moreno and archeologists with the park and a veteran himself only take 40 folks court able bodied and willing and excited to help. They have an outlet for that energy that whatever they may be dealing with. This provides a positive outlet. Jacqueline crew set is the associate director of the National Parks Conservation Association, a citizen Advocacy Group. She helped organize the outing, not just to fix up the park but also to help these veterans.

Speaker 3: 01:19 There is therapeutic value. We feel it in ourselves as human beings. Our veterans talk about it, you know, walking the trail, walking off the war is a common phrase.

Speaker 2: 01:29 Cruise set is among a group of advocates around the country who want nature activities like this recognized as part of therapy for PTSD and other issues veterans face. So far it has been a hard sell.

Speaker 3: 01:44 It's always easier to have a pill be paid for through insurance, VA or otherwise. Then to have a park prescription, uh, recognized and valued as therapy.

Speaker 2: 02:01 But a growing number of scientists are trying to quantify that value. Greg Brian with the National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah is doing research where he takes a veterans and active duty service members out into nature for two week retreats. They were fitbit's into other monitors and Brian says, therapists talk with them every day about how they're feeling.

Speaker 4: 02:26 There's still a large knowledge gap, um, related to non medical based, uh, interventions. And so that's an important next step to increase the quality of that scientific research that we'd can better understand the ways in which, uh, outdoor activities.

Speaker 2: 02:46 Several veterans said the excursion of Biscayne National Park was helpful to them. The veterans demolish a 30 foot wooden bridge damaged by Hurricane Irma. There is laughter, enthusiasm, sweat and comradery.

Speaker 5: 03:02 Yeah, I'll pull that one off. Yeah. Yeah. Put off. There it is. That's one way of doing it. My name is Derek [inaudible]. Did one combat tour to Iraq, a humanitarian tour to Haiti after the earthquake. Yeah. My wife saw me as this hard charger soldier took on anything to Nan being somebody's spending days on my couch was not working.

Speaker 2: 03:30 Oh, geese had a hard time getting past his army memories, especially from Haiti, where he saw the earthquakes, immediate aftermath. He's now a platoon leader with the mission continues a nonprofit that helps veterans adjust to life at home. [inaudible] son Donovan, a mature 13 year old is by his dad's side helping carry planks of wood away.

Speaker 5: 03:53 How's my father? And he feels free to do what he wants because in the military you had to do what you ere general did. He's game more with veterans. This is helping our communities.

Speaker 2: 04:05 This idea of nature as part of therapy for veterans is gaining a lot of momentum. In November, the University of Utah will hold a symposium to build on the research and encourage more funding to go into it. I'm Maria buckle up below in Miami.

Speaker 1: 04:24 This story was produced by the American Home Front project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veteran's funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting.

Speaker 6: 04:35 Ah.

Speaker 1: 00:00 Imperial Valley is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the victory of hometown boy Andy Ruiz Jr as the new heavyweight boxing champion of the world. A parade in rallies plan through the town on Saturday. Ruiz's upset victory over British fighter Anthony Joshua earlier this month makes him the first Mexican American heavyweight champ.

Speaker 2: 00:22 Joshua looks so tired. [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:31 victory has prompted a wave of cross border pride and Imperial County and Mexico. Joining me is Freddy to Ross's, he's a former boxer, an expert in the Imperial Valley boxing scene. He's also an advocate for nonprofit youth boxing programs. And Freddy, welcome to the program. Thanks for having me. Thank you. Now the boxing world is shocked by Andy Ruiz victory over the unbeaten and more athletic looking. Anthony. Joshua, were you shocked?

Speaker 3: 01:02 I was shocked at how it happened, but I wasn't shot that. I'm the one I've known Andy, you know, most of his life and if you've seen how hard he's worked and how naturally gifted he is with his hand speed and movement. And if you understand boxing, then you know, it's not that big of an upset in the boxing world. But the knockout in the way that it happened after being dropped in the south was definitely a shock. That was an eye opener there.

Speaker 1: 01:28 You first met Andy a race when he was nine and boxed at a gym in El Centro at that time. Did anything stand out to you about him?

Speaker 3: 01:37 When I first saw Andie Rees, I'm, I met his dad and his dad would parade him around, you know, just like, oh look at my son, you know, and he was a little chubby kid and we wouldn't be like, okay, well what, what, what can he do? And then he would just start shadow boxing and doing meds and hitting the bag. And it was just amazing to see, um, someone of that physique with that ability, like so athletic and fast and powerful. I mean, he just amazed everybody he would show his skill set to at that age.

Speaker 1: 02:07 Your stories about rubies always mentioned his extra weight and the fact that he doesn't look like the kind of guy we expect to win in the ring. How do you think his appearance has affected his career?

Speaker 3: 02:18 You know what? I think in the beginning it definitely, um, put him at the, you know, at the worst end of things because of how he looked and people not really knowing who he was or knowing his background because he's one of the most experienced, probably the most experienced heavyweights out there right now. He's been boxing since he was six. That's 24 years of his life. Um, but now that he's where he's at, I think now it's going to benefit him because he looks like your home boy next door, you know, he looks like your buddy down the street and people love that. People love that, that authentic, you know, culture background that Andy brings and his looks just add more, more spice to the table man. So I think it's going to benefit him now even more that he's on top.

Speaker 1: 02:59 What other kinds

Speaker 3: 03:00 of challenges would a boxer from the imperial valley like Ruiz face in getting to the level that he's now at? You know, one thing that the imperial valley needs a lot is funding and allow more programs for, for a youth boxing because there's so much talent right here. Like any other border town, but like any other border towns, a lot of talent leaves to Mexico or to the nearest big city. Like for us being, you know, the Coachella valley or Los Angeles area where most of our telling goes to. But if the funding was here and the city back this up, we would have way more world champions and we do and barely our second world champion in the history of boxing. The last one being manual Ortiz back in the forties and 50s

Speaker 1: 03:41 can you describe me? What is the boxing scene like in Imperial Valley?

Speaker 3: 03:46 You know what, it's pretty active. It's very active. A lot of kids, almost everybody grows up boxing here. I mean if, if you haven't then you know someone that has, you know, but the lack of funding after a certain age is what kind of gets to everybody and, and eventually they ended up just looking for other careers or other sports. And it's unfortunate because we do have a lot of talent here, but it's just that the funding isn't here, but the, but the boxing community here for being such a small valley, it's pretty big. We have a lot of great amateur fighters here in the valley.

Speaker 1: 04:15 You mentioned, uh, Andrew Ease is natural talent that you saw early on, but you also mentioned this championing of him by his father. What was his family support like?

Speaker 3: 04:28 Um, yeah. You know what? I get asked that question a lot about what separates Andy from all these other local boxers and number one, hands down, it has to be that Andy has always had a huge, tremendous support system within his family, mainly his father that has been like a shadow to him. Put it this way. I've never seen Andy and Nazi his dad there ever, ever. And it's just something that I think in a sport where you don't have a team or three or four or five, six coaches, your, your family support comes firsthand and is definitely what got him to,

Speaker 1: 04:58 is that now, now as you say, Andy's victories is bound to encourage a lot of local kids get involved in boxing. But let me just mention this, there's been a lot of warnings about the impact of boxing on brain health. Are you concerned kids may be endangering their longterm health by taking up this sport? No, because if done right, if done correctly, um, there's a lot more benefits to it. You know, studies have showed that football's worse and a lot of other, even cycling is a lot worse than, than the traumatic injuries that come from boxing. Um, and studies have shown that year after year, which, which surprises me that you would think that schools would offer at least some sort of boxing classes. Maybe not fights, but classes, because we're in 2019 and bullying is still an issue, yet they still allow such a brutal sport like wrestling. These kids are getting slammed in the head, choked out as a sport, nothing against wrestling. I'm just saying that in the combat roles in the combat sport world, how was boxing? At least the part of it not

Speaker 3: 05:58 allowed in schools, but wrestling is that, that to me is crazy, but I don't think there's anything to worry about. Boxing has been around for over a hundred years and, and it's, it's been doing great, you know, and, and, um, I don't think that that it'll affect anybody in the long run, if done correctly. Of course,

Speaker 1: 06:14 we've been talking about how big a deal this is. Andy Ruiz wins the heavyweight championship of the world and he's from imperial valley, but he is the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent. So what would you say his wind means to the Mexican community?

Speaker 3: 06:32 It's huge. You know, because we have, we've had champions in every division. You know, when you, when you go down to as light as you know, flyweight up until you know, Walter middle, super middle. Um, I think we've had a champion in every division now except cruiserweight which is a division right under heavyweight. Um, but it's huge. It's huge because I was a void that many experts thought we'll never get fields by that, by the Mexican American or Mexican community because we're just not built that big. You know, we're not built that big at all. And the ones that are are, you know, they're freak of nature and they're doing other sports. But I think it's huge in the sense that nobody, even boxing experts, enthusiastic historians ever thought it'd be possible.

Speaker 1: 07:12 Are you looking forward to a rematch between Ruiz, Ruiz and Joshua?

Speaker 3: 07:16 I am. I'm actually looking forward to attended as well. It just came out today that Anthony Joshua has chosen Madison square garden again for the rematch, which is, which is great news. It will be on neutral turf once again.

Speaker 1: 07:27 And when is that supposed to happen? Do we know yet?

Speaker 3: 07:29 Um, they're saying they're, they're shooting. Um, November, December of this year. He wants his immediate rematch to happen asap. So they have a clause, which they did take, you know, when it happened. And from what I heard, Anthony wants it immediately.

Speaker 1: 07:42 Okay. So we'll have to be watching for that. I've been speaking with former boxer and imperial valley boxing coach Freddy to Roz, US Freddy. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It was a joy.

KPBS Midday Edition podcast branding

KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.