Police Use Of Force, World's Smallest Baby, March For Our Lives
KPBS Midday Edition / May 30, 2019
The California Assembly on Wednesday approved a San Diego lawmaker's bill intended to deter deadly police shootings by restricting when officers can legally open fire. Also, the world's smallest baby born here in San Diego is healthy and home with her family, survivors of the Parkland shooting will be in San Diego Sunday and Tonya Mosley, host of KQED's Truth Be Told podcast, talks the show's role in discussions about race.
Speaker 1: 00:00 After months of negotiations between legislative leaders, police and civil rights groups on Wednesday, California Assembly members past assembly bill three 92 by an overwhelming majority moments before the vote. San Diego Assembly woman, Shirley Weber spoke on the assembly floor asking for her colleagues support. I'm also mostly thankful to two little kids who inspire me every day and their name is Claudia and Julio, my grandsons who are seven and five, because I'd made a commitment that I never want to have that conversation with them. Their life was idealic. They have great friends of all colors. They enjoy life and they believe at this point that they have just as much right and respect as any other child in this nation. And that should never change. If Assembly bill three 92 passes the state Senate, it would give California one of the toughest police use of force standards in the country, changing the standard from reasonable to necessary Los Angeles Times. Reporter, I need a Schaumburg. Aa has been following the story and she joins me now by Skype. Anita, welcome. Thanks jade for having me. Uh, first in that clip we just heard from Shirley Weber, she says she made a commitment not to have that conversation with her grandsons. It's a conversation that had happened in my household. What conversation is she talking about?
Speaker 2: 01:21 You know, uniformly when I, uh, have been covering police shootings for the past few years, African American parents, mothers and fathers, tell me about the conversation and it's really about talking to their children about what to do in an encounter with police officers to avoid violence. And this is not a conversation about manners or, uh, you know, how to be polite that maybe someone else would have with their parents. It's specifically about how to avoid being hurt because there's so much fear in the African American community that something as simple as a traffic stop could lead to something else. So, you know, it's keeping your hands on the wheel at 10 and two, it's not making any sudden movements. It's things like that, that African American parents, I think you would know better than I, but almost uniformly feel that they need to teach their children in order to keep them safe and police encounters.
Speaker 1: 02:15 Absolutely. Manda I know there's hope that this bill will change that the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, which uh, you know, a few members abstained from that. Were you surprised that it was so, uh, received so well that there was so much support?
Speaker 2: 02:30 I was not because the police unions have dropped their opposition and the governor and the leadership of both houses have signed on. So it's really a, at this point it would take something big to derail this bill from becoming law
Speaker 1: 02:45 and some black lives matter groups and victim's families withdrew their support for the bill last week. What were their criticisms of the compromise? Bill
Speaker 2: 02:56 comes down to some of the families and there's lot of division on this be in, in the families that have lost a loved one to police violence. Many, many still support this and I just want to be clear on that. But for some families that work with black lives matter in Los Angeles and a northern California group called Debug, they really feel that because the wording and the legislation has become vague, some of the definitions have been removed, like for, for necessary what necessary is not defined. That what we'll have to happen is that there will have to be a fatal police shooting that goes to the courts before we start to decipher what this law means. And having lost someone to an incident like that, they just didn't feel that they could sign onto something that's going to cause another family to go through that before we know what it means.
Speaker 1: 03:45 And you also spoke to Cif Johnson, the uncle of Oscar grant, the unarmed black man killed by a Bart police officer back in 2009 in Oakland. Uh, and he has a different perspective. Uh, what did he have to say?
Speaker 2: 03:58 He, he does a cfs is very much in favor in this bill, this bill in a very, very strong supporter and believes that uh, it will ultimately make a very big difference and that it's a first step bill that takes us down a path that, you know, as he put it, we haven't seen anything like this in 10 years in California. Nothing's, nothing's made it this far. And to uh, not support it because it is imperfect is, is not his path. He wants to support it because he feels it does create stricter standards.
Speaker 1: 04:30 And you know, as you mentioned before, one of the major concerns is a lack of definition for the term necessary as the standard for use of force. What are legal experts saying about that?
Speaker 2: 04:42 That we're going to decide it in court? You know, it's interesting, whoever, when you talk to law enforcement, they sort of have one perspective on what that means. And when you talk to civil rights groups, they have a very different perspective on that. What that means and what they all agree is that the judges will decide for us what that means
Speaker 1: 05:00 and assembly bill three 92 is intended to work in tandem with another bill that recently passed the state senate. Remind us of the expectation for these bills working together.
Speaker 2: 05:11 Two 30 actually started out as a countermeasure to 392 so when when two 30 was first introduced in the Senate, it was meant to be an alternative that perhaps more moderate legislators could vote for this and say they were voting for reform and and maybe three 92 would go away. What ended up happening is I'm in sort of another surprise move that bill had all of its use of force language stripped out of it and it became just a training bill. So it's just about setting statewide standards for training and for deescalation and things like that, which does become a vital part of three 92 because of course if you change the standard, you have to retrain all the officers on what that standard is and what the expectations are. So the way it is right now is a two 30 has been joined three 92 which means it can't pass on its own.
Speaker 2: 06:01 It can only pass if three 92 passes and I fully expect them both to pass together. Have there been any conversations around implicit bias? Absolutely. I think that that is absolutely one of the things that you will see in the two 30 training. So I don't know if it'll actually get written into it or if post, which is the cause I don't have a body that does the training world, we'll take care of that. But absolutely the conversation about implicit bias is one that is happening at the capitol and that is an expectation of how officers will be trained. Assembly bill three 92 now heads to the state senate, which is also expected to make amendments. Uh, any indication of what those might be. I think we'll see some kind of delay on implementing three 92 in order to allow the training of officers to catch up.
Speaker 2: 06:50 I think that it will take a couple of years to retrain all of California's officers to whatever standards we end up with. And so you can't really hold them to those standards until they've all been retrained. Any idea of when the next vote might take place, it'll go through all the committees of the Senate again. So, uh, it'll be a ways, but you'll be able to check in with it as it goes through committee because I expect that there'll be some conversations around those as well. I've been speaking to Los Angeles Times reporter and Nita Shabrea. Anita, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks, Jane. I appreciate it.
Speaker 3: 07:22 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 Sabey. The world's tiniest surviving newborn is finally at home with her parents. She was born in December at sharp Mary Birch hospital weighing in at only 8.64 ounces about the weight of an apple. Most extreme premature babies don't live more than a few hours, but say be beat the odds. She left the hospital this month weighing five pounds and doctors say she's doing well. Joining me is Dr. Paul Wazniak, a sharp neonatologist and say, bs primary care physician. Dr Wazniak, welcome to the program. Thank you. Now Seabees parents want to keep the family anonymous, but this is a remarkable story. Who gets the credit for her survival, the medical team or this plucky little baby?
Speaker 2: 00:46 Well, I give most of the credit to the plucky little baby, but it was also an extraordinary medical team at sharp Mary Birch. Um, we always think of the doctors and the nurses, but for a baby, everything begins in utero. And that's why Mary Birch is so unique because there's so many high risk babies delivered there.
Speaker 1: 01:06 Now, Cindy was born at 23 weeks. A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Can you tell us why she was born so early?
Speaker 2: 01:13 Uh, yes. Um, she was born early because of a complication of pregnancy than her mom had. Yeah. The official title Fart as Preeclampsia, which is basically a pregnancy induced hypertension or high blood pressure. Um, the cause of the Preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy, no one knows for sure. They're still searching for cause. And one of the complications of the high blood pressure in the moms is that the baby doesn't grow well. So they knew she wasn't growing well. And then when her blood pressure really shut up, she was admitted by here. Apps attrition's too sharp. Mary Birch, they tried to control the blood pressure with several medications in, could not. So for both the benefit of the mom and the baby, she had to be delivered.
Speaker 1: 02:04 Now there's a report that her dad was told to spend some time with his tiny infant right after she was born because she would probably not make it past just a few hours. Is that what happens to most of these extreme premature babies?
Speaker 2: 02:18 Yes and no. Um, fortunately I did meet with the parents before this is airing section in cautioned them. They had a baby at 23 weeks and this tiny size do not make it. And if they wanted everything done for the baby, which the response was yes, if she looks good when she came out. And fortunately Sabey came out with a great heart rate and look good. Many babies at 23 weeks don't make it. The majority don't, uh, some die right in the delivery room. Some die after weeks or months in the hospital, which is very unfortunate. What medical problems did she have in her struggle to live? Yeah. The first, a medical problem we always worry about in the delivery room is how well she can breathe and her size. And at 23 weeks now, no baby breathes well. So to assist the baby, we have to put a tube into the trachea or the windpipe in attached the baby to a machine called a ventilator to help them breathe.
Speaker 2: 03:22 And this is what we did with a Sabey. We were fortunate that our tiniest tube did fit in her because we had never had a baby, obviously as a small, um, at the hospital. And we have, uh, hundreds a year that are near this because we're such a big delivery service but never hurts size. And then the breathing is the, um, initial problem. And we give a medicine in through the tube which goes into the lungs. And what it does is help keep the airways open and uh, let the baby breathe more easily. And years ago we didn't have this, uh, 20 years ago, so it's really been a break through. So I'm really, a lot of the changes in neonatology, he have improved the baby's survival a lot. But overall you have a good prognosis for saying yes, but very guarded. She has, um, you know, some idea image, so she'll be followed very closely for that.
Speaker 2: 04:23 And we'll probably wind up wearing glasses. And if the sharp, uh, Namath high risk infant follow up clinic, she'll be seen every six months for the first couple of years and through most of grade school because we worry about um, vision problems as I mentioned, motor problems, speech delay. And we liked to see the babies and followed them so closely with their pediatrician of course, and intervene if anything is developed because the pediatrician does their exam picks up a lot. But when she comes to the nemesis, high risk clinic, we a do a more developmental exam, much more intensive. What lessons, if any, did sharp Mary Birch learn from this experience? I think we learned a lot. We learned that a baby's this small can do well and can survive. And that's the story the parents wanted to get out to give parents hope. You know, we caution it by the fact that not all babies, the small to um, survive.
Speaker 2: 05:26 And she was lucky to be delivered at a place that did have all the facilities to keep her alive in our team. Learned a lot more about feeding this micro preemie and, uh, the equipment we needed to adapt fart, um, from blood pressure cuffs that you mentioned. The things as simple as the scale. We weigh babies in the delivery room on the bed. There's a built in scale. We wait, or several times in the delivery room could never get a weight. So he brought her down to the Nicu and had to use, you know, the old fashioned almost butcher scales, if you know what I mean, like pediatricians used to have in their office. So we learned that our beds are very expensive when we use everywhere. Um, cannot wait. Uh, any buddy less than 300 grams. So, I mean, we learned the very important things and the sort of goofy things. I've been speaking with Dr. Paul Wazniak, a sharp neonatologist and Sadie's primary care physician, Dr Wazniak. Thank you. Oh my pleasure. Thank you.
Speaker 1: 00:00 Survivors of the Parkland school shooting are finding a recent and tragic connection between San Diego and their experiences at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school last year, two of the survivors are speaking here just one month after the fatal shooting at the Habbat of Poway synagogue. They'll be at the Lawrence Family Jewish community center in La Jolla this coming Sunday, talking about the book, glimmer of hope by the founders of the march for our lives movement, one of the founders of that movement, Brendan Duff joins us to discuss how he and other parkland students are coping and what's new in the movement to reform the nation's gun laws. And Brendan [inaudible], welcome to the program.
Speaker 2: 00:41 Thank you so much for having me, Morgan. It's a pleasure.
Speaker 1: 00:43 Now, this event was actually planned before there was that shooting in Poway. When you heard about the shooting at the synagogue, what was your reaction?
Speaker 2: 00:52 I mean, it's devastating. It's, it's in so many ways. It's, it's discouraging because, you know, we spent over a year now advocating and on a national level just trying to do whatever we can do anything within our power to prevent this from happening to other communities. And it's especially in such a tragic way as it did in San Diego where it was clearly a direct attack. And, um, when talking to survivors, when talking to people of other communities that have gone through the same thing, every single person says the same thing. I just wish that I could stand up and make other people realize how important this is before it happens to them, which is absolutely heartbreaking. It's something that every single one of us in March for our lives has said from the start. We wish that we had paid more attention to this from the beginning and we wish that we had gotten involved before it affected us directly.
Speaker 1: 01:38 No, of course this, this shooting took place here in California, a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. How do you reconcile that fact? Is that discouraging?
Speaker 2: 01:48 It's, it's a bit discouraging to hear that, um, you know, that that's something people will go to immediately and say, well, you know, they have strict gun laws so this is pointless. Why are we still talking about this? We should be redirecting the attention elsewhere, but I think that we still need to look at what's going on in, in surrounding states, what's going on in specific other areas of the country. Because you know, there's things like gun trafficking and illegal purchase, Straw man purchases and blue poles where people are getting guns from other states. People are going elsewhere to go through these means. Um, and it's really just a reminder that we need to act with the urgency that this issue deserves on a national level as well.
Speaker 1: 02:22 Now your book, the Movement Book Really Glimmer of hope is a collection of essays by survivors of the Parkland shooting from various perspectives. But it also acts as a manual for how to build movements. What are some of the biggest lessons you learned becoming a part of the march of our lives movement?
Speaker 2: 02:39 The biggest thing that I've taken away is that you don't have to be able to do it all. You know, I'm, you know, you don't have to be this expert in every single field and be able to do this all on your own. We are, the power of our movement came from the, like the different skills that we all brought to the table, um, as students just trying to do our best. So I think that that's been the biggest lesson for me is, you know, in order to be good at something and in order to create change and be effective, you know, of course you have to be passionate, but you don't have to have every single skill set. You know, you can find other people that, that work well with you and in order to create the most attention that you can.
Speaker 1: 03:14 Well, the reaction from students from the recent stem school shooting in Colorado has kind of been the opposite of parklands reaction. Many of them angrily got up and left a gun reform rally and they started chanting mental health, mental health. And instead of sitting down and listening and listening to the need for tighter gun laws, is there a reason to think this youth movement may be splitting along political lines?
Speaker 2: 03:39 I think a lot of people will point to the mental health argument, um, as sort of a detraction from that, from the gun argument. And I think a lot of people will just focus on guns while not acknowledging that we can improve. I'm not telehealth significantly. Um, so I think yes, we see a little bit of a split, but you know, who's to say that we can't accomplish both? I think that there's room for improvement in both, uh, measures in both mental health and uh, gun reform. Yes.
Speaker 1: 04:06 Now I understand you're back in Parkland for the summer after being away at college. What's it like to be back there?
Speaker 2: 04:12 I was actually just talking to my mom about this. They called minutes ago, but it's bittersweet in a lot of ways. Um, I was talking about a really minor way in which I have like a march for our lives, bumper sticker and, and never again bumper sticker on my car and everything. And up in North Carolina, it definitely stands out and people ask questions about it and, and you know, I see some looks sometimes, but I'm here. It's, it fits back in with everything. And I was talking about how, you know, it's nice to not stand out. It's nice to be in a community that understands and a community that kind of went through this together. And, but at the same time, it's a constant reminder. Every single time you come back, you cannot get away from it. You drive by the school and you see the flowers and everything in the beautiful garden they've created. And it's bittersweet because it's, you know, that people are working hard to memorialize the people that they loved so much and, and rightfully so, but at the same time, you remember why that's even there in the first place.
Speaker 1: 05:01 What message Brendan, are you and Sophie you going to bring to San Diego on Sunday?
Speaker 2: 05:05 I think solidarity is a huge thing for this, for this event specifically. You know, a lot of times we go to communities that aren't necessarily impacted by gun violence that heavily. Um, and we urge them to take action before it happens. Now in San Diego, the situation's a little bit different where it has already happened. And specifically, um, at the JCC where we'll, at least speaking, it's right, the community that was affected. So it's, it's, it's understandable that I think solidarity is a huge, is a huge cornerstone of what we're going to be talking about. You know, we, we can stand in solidarity with each other and uplift each other and hopefully keep this fight going.
Speaker 1: 05:43 Brendan Duff and former Parkland students, Sophie Whitney will be here Sunday at the Lawrence Family Jewish community center. The event is free and open to the public. And Brendan, thank you so much.
Speaker 2: 05:55 Okay. Thanks so much for having me, man. Appreciate it. [inaudible]
Speaker 3: 05:58 [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 It's like an eye opening advice column except Kq Edis truth be told is a podcast for people of color by people of color. The show examines issues of race in a safe space with inquiries from listeners and experts known as wise ones. Tanya Moseley is the host of truth be told, and she joined us to talk about how her show is helping people embrace who they are. One episode at a time. Tanya, thanks so much for joining us today. Thanks for having me. Jade, you spend a lot of time talking about issues around race. Uh, what kind of issues around race or are we talking about here? That's a pretty broad
Speaker 2: 00:34 spectrum is. So our podcast is for people of Color, by people of color. And as you said, that's really broad. So we're talking about black, Brown, indigenous and Asian folks. And we're talking about the day to day, uh, interactions that people of color have, maybe some of the issues that they're dealing with in their daily lives. Um, we're talking about how that all play comes into play, um, in neighborhoods and communities. And so it is very broad, but it's very specific based on the questions that people sent to us. And they wanted us to unpack an answer with experts who we call wise ones.
Speaker 1: 01:13 You all pull questions in from listening sessions and from such a large pool of issues and inquiries. How do you decide what gets
Speaker 2: 01:21 disgust on truth be told? It's interesting. We had a couple of listening sessions and we, uh, gathered questions from folks who attended those sessions and it's, they all kind of fell into several different categories. Home Life, home and family life, workplace dilemmas, um, societal issues around race and racism. And based on that, there were some commonalities in the questions that people were asking us. So they might've asked us in different ways, but they were the same question. For example, our first episode is about joy and, uh, we received from several people this question, is it okay to feel joy when there's so much turmoil happening in the world? And how do I feel joy when there's so much happening in the world? Let's take a listen to that clip.
Speaker 1: 02:07 Uh, my question is, is it okay to feel huge, phenomenal, amazing joy when it seems like the rest of the world is burning. And Tonya, you heard this question echoed by many people in your listening sessions. How is the experience she describes unique to people of color?
Speaker 2: 02:28 I think it's a human question. It's a question that we all at some point in our lives have. But for people of color, there's the added pressures of day to day life. Perhaps you're in communities where you're, you're hearing and you're listening to news stories about things happening in your community and with your people. So the woman who asked that question, she's Muslim. Um, she deals with a lot of um, Islamophobia. She's like very touched by that in a deep and profound way. There are systemic issues around racism that people deal with in the day to day, their family issues that people deal with. Perhaps you're doing well in your day to day life, but maybe family members aren't doing as well. And those are things that are sort of unique to the people of color experience. And so we wanted to unpack that and say, you know what? It is okay at a time when there's so much turmoil happening in the world.
Speaker 2: 03:21 It's okay to actually be happy and joyful and sit in that joy. Um, you don't always have to be mirrored down by all the things that are around you. It's okay to take that time and do that. And you know, some of these questions and issues are deep. Is there ever a challenge in digging into all of the layers of these issues? I'll say that they're issues that if you're a person of color, if you're a black woman, for instance, I'm a black woman. Um, these are issues that you're thinking about every single day. So it's not a complicated thing because there are on your minds, it's almost like a release to be able to have a place where you can talk about it freely. And in one of your first episodes, you tackle something called colonized desire. Tell me what is that? Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2: 04:09 So colonized desire is basically when I'm a person of color, uh, maybe desires whiteness. So they desire the colonizer and it goes even a step further than that. Perhaps they think that whiteness is the ultimate, the ultimate in intellect, the ultimate in the physical attraction, and also really to the detriment of their own views of, of their, of who they are. So if I'm a black woman for instance, and I believe that white men are the ultimate, then, um, that is at the detriment of my own sense of self worth. And another subject that you talk about on the show is authenticity. Can you tell me about that? Right, right. So we received a question from someone who's Mexican American and she was talking about her experiences of not feeling enough when she was around other Mexican women. Perhaps because she doesn't speak the language or her accent is different because she was born and raised here in California. And so we take on that idea of am I enough? And I think that no matter who you are, if you're black, if you're Asian, there's been some point in your life, whether it was with other black or Asian folks or with white folks where you're kind of put in this position of having to prove your authenticity, your blackness, your Asianist, your Mexicanness. Here's a clip from Mala Munoz of Los [inaudible] podcast, talking about her experience being a Latin x in the context of what it means to be enough on your show.
Speaker 1: 05:37 Parents would not speak Spanish in front of their kids because their kids would get beat in school. I'm put in special Ed, so there's a very specific reason why my dad did not grow up speaking Spanish. And then that trickles down to where we are today. That is a Latin x experience that is a Mexican American Chicano experience. It's not inauthentic. It's not unmet. Second, it's anti Latin x. It is. That is right. So I am and you know, as you said before Tanya, you know, whether it's a Latin x experience or you lost a hand at black card revoked, there seems to always be challenges to if you are authentic or are you enough as a person of color. What did you learn from people about their experiences in that particular episode?
Speaker 2: 06:22 Man, I really love that clip by Mala because what it really peeled back from me was um, a deep self reflection on my place in society and my idea of who I am and my blackness. And so when she said like this is who I am, it is a specific experience rooted in based on what my parents went through and my grandparents went through. And so it is unique and I can't really compare myself to other people of Color, for instance, other black people who might come from other places. Like I am uniquely African American. And so like I walked away from it thinking about not only her story, but all of our stories and how sometimes we're put in this place where we're thinking about where we sit and compare to what society tells us we should be when we really should be thinking about like it is unique to be unique in the United States and it's a unique experience as a person of color in the United States that's different from anywhere else in the world.
Speaker 2: 07:20 What do you hope people will take away from your podcast? I really want people to walk away wanting to have more conversations with each other around racism and the impacts of racism in our society, and when I say with each other, it is great to have these discussions with white people, but it's also great. I mean, I loved having these discussions with other people of color. It's something I don't do enough. Of course, I talk about it with my family and oftentimes I'm talking about it with my white friends because they're eager to learn, but I love being able to sit down with an Asian American woman and have an authentic discussion about the impacts of racism on desire or being able to talk with Mala about am I enough in her living in as a Latin x woman in California? It was so powerful and it really opened up my world thinking about the experiences that they go through and that I go through and how we can kind of collectively work together to to really fight racism.
Speaker 1: 08:21 Very insightful. Tanya Moseley, host of Kq Edis podcast, truth be told, Tanya, thank you so much for joining us,
Speaker 2: 08:28 Jay. Thank you for having me.