CLERB supports claims made by misgendered jail beating victim
S1: New recommendations for the sheriff's department on transgender arrestees.
S2: There's Frost. She carried a California driver's license , identifying her as a woman.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. California's low rider advocates work to remove city bans.
S3: If you're targeting low riding by default , you're targeting Mexicans.
S1: And ballets , artwork and cabaret. Coming up on our weekend preview. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The county's Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board or club has given support to several allegations made by a transgender woman beaten while in county jail. The board also advised the sheriff's department to tighten its policy regarding the placement of arrestees according to their gender identification. Christina Frost is suing the county after being beaten last November while in a holding cell occupied by three men. Joining me is San Diego Union-Tribune investigative reporter Jeff McDonald. And Jeff , welcome.
S2: Hello , Maureen.
S1: Christina Frost says she was attacked in a holding cell at San Diego Central Jail while she was sleeping.
S2: So I think , too , it's not clear from the legal complaint. She had a fractured jaw and a bunch of , you know , bruising and abrasions. She was beaten almost unconscious. And the other thing the lawsuit alleges is that the deputies watched it and didn't immediately intervene to stop the attack.
S1: Club says that the beating resulted from a systemic failure by the sheriff's department.
S2: But the sheriff's department is not adequately responding to these findings. So I took that to read as a as a conclusion that despite clear findings over many years on a number of issues , some of these problems keep happening inside the jails.
S2: They do say they work to house them in the appropriate facilities. The way the policy reads now is they should endeavor to house them in the appropriate jail when they are arrested. What Clare is suggesting in the wake of the Frost investigation is that the word should be swapped to schow , meaning the department will be required to place arrestees in facilities that best reflect their gender. It's important to remember that there's frost. She carried a California driver's license , identifying her as a woman. She also was dressed in female clothing. So it's not really clear why the sheriff's department placed her in the men's jail. But she was attacked within hours after being placed into a cell with three men.
S2: The thing to remember is the sheriff , and rightly so , constantly is reviewing and updating its policies and procedures. I mean , this is a six or 800 page document , last I checked. So for them to be updating their policies is is a matter of routine. They're constantly looking at their policies and according to them , of course , trying to do their jobs better. So I didn't see a lot of significance in that. This recommendation is obviously would tie their hands as far as where to house transgender arrestees. It remains to be seen if it'll be implemented by the sheriff's department. Don't forget , the review board is advisory only the department. The sheriff's department is under no obligation to implement or accept the recommendation. So we'll have to see what happens.
S1: Club turned itself around on this case , didn't it ? Right after some harsh criticism from Frost's lawyer.
S2: Yes , that's very interesting. They don't do that very often. I can only remember one recent case where they where they made such a reversal. And that was the case of Elisa Serna , who was she died in Las Colinas jail in 2019. So the the initial complaint investigation , excuse me , looked at ten separate complaints and ruled that they were all either the actions of the deputies were justified or they were unsubstantiated , meaning there wasn't enough evidence to prove or disprove it , or one or two of them were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. And those regarded the medical , the jail , medical issues. The club doesn't have any jurisdiction over the medical staff. The lawyer representing Ms.. Frost called into the clear board and sharply criticized those findings earlier this month before excuse me , last month in June and and criticized Club for basically not doing its job and shirking its responsibility to provide independent oversight of the department. To their credit , they took a second look at it , declined to approve the recommendations that were put forward in June and came back earlier this month with 13 complaints and five of those were sustained is the language they use. That means they found enough evidence to nail down a violation of policy.
S2: The reaction in the frost case has been a little bit muted , I think probably because of the federal lawsuit that's pending in in U.S. district court. Also , there's an election coming with the undersheriff being one of two people in a runoff in the November election. And , you know , while it's not supposed to. Politics are not supposed to influence , you know , the administration of law enforcement or criminal justice. It does seem to affect a lot of what public business gets conducted. So I think for those reasons , the reaction has been a little bit muted and we'll have to see what happens. I think a big question will be how they received this recommendation to require deputies to put transpeople into the cells , into jail cells that conform with the gender identity they put forward.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego Union-Tribune investigative reporter Jeff MacDonald. Jeff , thanks.
S2: Hey , you bet. Thank you.
S1: Earlier this year , community organizers in National City announced that low rider cruising events were cancelled over high proposed costs. Elsewhere in California , cruising bans have generated fierce debate over whether or not they unfairly target Hispanic culture. Now , Mexican-American lowrider enthusiasts are working to roll back such bans. The California Report's Mary Franklyn Hagen has this story from San Jose , which recently scrapped its decades old cruising ban.
S4: On a warm Friday night just south of downtown San Jose. It's easy to tell which house belongs to Anthony Perez.
S5: Working on the 64 of his friends.
S4: Azure Aqua Chevy Impala is spilling out of the driveway into the sidewalk and oldies are echoing from a turntable. Perez works in government welfare during the day , but his passions are rare. Vinyl and his 1962 two door hardtop Impala white with red interior. And tonight , we're headed to Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose.
S5: As you can see , I mean , you're in here. You get behind this big old wheel and you go slow. Weather is perfect. What else ? You know , it doesn't get much better than that for me.
S4: The Impala is a boat of a car and people give delighted double takes. As we pass.
S5: See , it's like a carnival ride.
S4: We barely break 25 miles an hour , and it kind of feels like we're in our own parade.
S5: Everybody's your friend when you're driving this.
S4: For the most part , when people talk about cruising , they describe laid back Sunday afternoons and low key family friendly outings. This is why lowriders , like Perez , say the cruising ban wasn't about keeping roadways safer.
S5: There is existing laws for not blocking traffic or driving recklessly.
S4: Jose Fernandez is part of a lowrider group that worked to overturn the ban. She says it was an impressive force.
S1: You instinctively grow up looking over your shoulder because you are you are identifying yourself within the culture. You are identifying yourself as being Latin.
S3: Its origins are in the barrio experience of the southwestern region of the United States.
S4: John , yoa is a professor of history and anthropology at San Francisco State University.
S3: If you're targeting low riding by default , you're targeting Mexicans.
S4: Yoa actually teaches a class on the history of low riding as part of his school's Latina Latino studies program.
S3: If we talk about low riding in its origins , then very quickly we can talk about the criminalization of an aesthetic , systemic racism , stereotyping , stripping people of their civil liberties for expressing themselves under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
S4: Still , some law enforcement in San Jose aren't happy with the repeal. The police department wouldn't make Chief Anthony Mada available for an interview , but right before the city council voted to repeal , he told them about his concerns with lowrider gatherings during celebrations like Cinco de Mayo.
S5: Fortunately , there's individuals in cars that take over shopping center and do loiter. They do drink , drugs are there and there's violence. And it does impact our community , impacted our business.
S4: Elsewhere in California , Sacramento's cruising ban has also come down recently , and organizers in San Diego County's national city are working towards their own repeal. There's also a move in the state legislature to protect cruising statewide. For Americans , cars have always represented freedom in self-expression. Lou , writers are part of this history.
S5: Oh , there he is.
S4: Anthony Perez says low riding is so much more than just a hobby.
S5: So my mom and my dad cruising. So I guess it's in my blood.
S4: It's part of his origin story.
S5: My mom was out cruising with her friends and my dad was out cruising with his friends and they stopped the Jack in the box and they met and the rest was history.
S4: So Perez says he was born to be behind the wheel. And Mary Franklin Harvin in San Jose. And.
S1: And. This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. For our weekend preview , our options range from folk art to the ballet and cabaret to what's that called , Comic-Con. Joining me with all the details is KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. And welcome , Julia. Hi , Maureen. Thanks for having me. A new exhibition opens at the main gay museum this weekend. Tell us about this is our story. Yeah , this is subtitled American Vernacular Art from the Kaplan Collection. It's an exhibition of works by artists who didn't study in the traditional academic setting. So they're practicing their artwork as a part of their ordinary life. And the show features work from a range of American artists , including some living artists. And when you look at centuries and centuries of folk art and self-taught artists , the way that we view traditional historical folk art versus how we see artists that are self-identifying in that way. Now , that's really fascinating to me. And one of the artists in the show is John Bach , who built these remarkable pieces of furniture out of repurposed metals. And this exhibition will open on Saturday. The main gates open from 10 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday in Balboa Park. And there Nikita's sample collection is also still on view , as is the Moses exhibition of paper bag sculptural hats. So City Ballet of San Diego kicks off a new season this weekend with a performance called On the Move Reimagined. What do we know about this ? The City Ballet said that this is about the evolution in classical ballet , how traditional works are constantly being updated and revived. And this is something that City Ballet does so well. So they're taking a bunch of classics like The Lilac Fairy Variation from The Sleeping Beauty. There's the Origin of Martha and the Willies from Giselle , and there's the Curse of the Firebird piece and many more. And they're reviving them with new choreography , and they're also presenting new work from company choreographer Geoffrey Gonzalez. It's a premiere of Boudoir set to Mozart's Ina Cline and Act Music. And that program just kicked off last night. And they have two more performances tonight and Saturday at 730. And this is at the Torrey Pines Performing Arts Center in Del Mar. Well , here's a classic , but definitely not a classical ballet. Cygnet Theatre just opened their production of the musical Cabaret. What can you tell us about this show ? Yeah , the musical was first produced in 1966. It's based on a stage play and a novel , but it's set in the early 1930s Berlin as the Nazis began their rise to power. And it all revolves around the seedy nightclub , the Kit Kat Club. It's a pretty beloved musical. And we're listening to the tune Perfectly Marvelous. This is from the nineties Broadway cast recording of the show , this perfectly marvelous girl in this perfectly wonderful place. As I lifted a glass to the start of a marvelous year before I knew it , she called on The Tonight Show has a couple of special features. Theater on tap your ticket to tonight's 8:00 performance also gets you into this craft beer event. So that's starting at seven with discounts on drinks and after the performance is their Friday forum. It's a discussion with the cast and the director , Sean Murray , right after the show and Cabaret will be on stage at the Cygnet Theatre through September 4th. Now some visual art and you're recommending Trash Slam Gallery in South Park. What's opening this weekend ? Artist Kathryn Brannick is opening an exhibition of illustrations from her forthcoming graphic novel series The Awakenings. The Awakenings are these creatures that she's invented. They're autobiographical , and they're also inspired by the toll of childhood trauma to things like dissociative amnesia. But these creatures are somewhere between beautiful and grotesque. Some I describe as kind of fish like or the illustration is like this looping letter , like shape with beautiful designs , and then you'll see a claw or teeth or something to remind you that it's a creature. The reception for Kathryn Brannick is from 7 to 10 on Saturday , and they'll also be an artist talk and a screening of an animation short at 8:00. Speaking of creatures , it's Comic-Con and you've published a roundup of offsite events that don't require a Comic-Con badge. What's a highlight for you ? I'll point you to what's going on at the downtown library. It's the comic conference for educators and librarians. This is free and it's open to the public as well as Comic-Con attendees. But the non badge holders. Do you need to RSVP in advance for any of the panels ? If you do have a Comic-Con badge , you can just walk in. There's a lot of great stuff in there and you don't have to be a librarian or a teacher to get anything out. Of this , but there is a set of panels about banned and challenged books that seems really essential right now. This is Mary Elizabeth II today , who is one of the original co-founders of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore , and she's helped coordinate the conference. We're seeing attacks on library content. We're seeing attacks on bookstore content and having something where people can talk about best practices and how to respond and how to keep works available to readers is topical and importantly necessary. Today at 4:00 is bans off our books. That has cartoonist Jeff Smith and other writers and artists who've had their work banned along with some scholars , some librarians. And then Saturday at 3:00 is intellectual freedom for educators. And of course , after you're done at the CCL , you can walk around and check out all the cosplay. The library is right next to the public Petco Park Activation Zone , which is a big hub of offsite , no badge activity for Comic-Con. And you can find details on these and more arts events and sign up for Julia's weekly KPBS Arts newsletter at KPBS Dawgs Arts. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Julia , thanks. Thank you , Maureen. Have a good weekend.