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New SDPD unit to scrutinize use of force by officers

 October 18, 2021 at 3:55 PM PDT

Speaker 1: (00:00)

Uh, force analysis, task force may change police policy,

Speaker 2: (00:04)

Looking at incidents with an eye toward any improvements that can be made to use of force training.

Speaker 1: (00:12)

I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Hyman. This is KPBS mid-day edition. Uh, San Diego clinic examines the mysteries of long COVID.

Speaker 3: (00:28)

It's really challenging. Many of the patients have almost PTSD like symptoms because they've really had a traumatic experience dealing with the chronic illness and the way that it's really impacted their lives.

Speaker 1: (00:41)

Fast food and colonialism inspire a new work of classical music in California, and a conversation about the best frites on film for your Halloween movie. Pleasure that's ahead on midday edition.

Speaker 1: (01:02)

The use of force by police is under scrutiny nationwide, and is now being examined within the San Diego police department. The force analysis unit is made up of San Diego police officers who have been tasked with reviewing each use of force reported by the SDPD. The findings are not intended to discipline individual officers, but rather to examine and possibly change police policies regarding use of force. This is a relatively new unit launched last may and the data is still being collected. Joining me as reported David Hernandez, who covers law enforcement, crime, and public safety for the San Diego union Tribune. And David welcome.

Speaker 2: (01:44)

Hey, thanks for having me. The

Speaker 1: (01:46)

SDPD already has an internal affairs unit and that looks at police use of force events. So how does this unit differ from that? Yeah,

Speaker 2: (01:55)

So, uh, for starters, this unit is going to look at all instances in which officers use force. Um, whereas the internal affairs unit, um, looks mostly at, uh, some cases that either, um, led to complaints from the community or that officials internally decided to, um, investigate. So this force analysis unit we'll look at all of those incidents, uh, regardless of whether they generated a complaint or not. And, um, unlike the, uh, internal affairs unit, they're going to be looking at incidents, uh, with an eye toward any improvements that can be made to use of force training. They, they believe that if there are opportunities to improve, improve the way officers are trained, that that could potentially lead to an overall decrease in the number of times that officers use force.

Speaker 1: (02:50)

So that's the goal of the new task force to reduce the use of force incidents overall?

Speaker 2: (02:55)

Yes. So again, they're going to be looking at any to improve training and, uh, all of that with the goal of reducing the number of times that officers use force when they interact with the public

Speaker 1: (03:10)

And what exactly constitutes use of force by police definition.

Speaker 2: (03:15)

Right? So it could be any time an officer uses pepper spray, a taser or a Baton, um, and certainly their handgun, any of the tools that are on their belt. Um, it also includes anytime that an officer points, um, a handgun at an individual, even if they don't fire the weapon. So those are kind of the more commonly used, um, use of forces. There's also, you know, just going hands on with an individual, um, those times are also considered east

Speaker 1: (03:45)

No, when it comes to pointing a taser or a weapon at an individual that I believe is called a show of force, what are those? And I, I believe that officers are now required to report those,

Speaker 2: (03:58)

Right? So now officers are required to report with the police call a show of force, and that pretty much constitutes anytime an officer has a weapon out, but doesn't use it. Um, and it doesn't just have to be a weapon, but it could include, um, a police dog, for example, if they have a police dog on hand, but don't let the dog loose on a person that is considered a show of force. And, um, like you mentioned that previously wasn't something that, that department tracked, but now officers are required to report those instances. And this force analysis unit we'll look at those incidents of show of force to determine whether they played a role in any way in deescalating a situation,

Speaker 1: (04:45)

Right? Because the police department says that the show of force techniques are designed to deescalate a situation, but that's not always how it's interpreted, is it

Speaker 2: (04:54)

No. So please certainly consider a show of force, a deescalation tactic in certain instances. And they point to cases where an officer might point a taser at someone, and that resolves the situation. And, you know, an officer didn't have to use force, um, some community members, however, pushed back against that because they believe that, uh, pointing a taser, pointing any kind of weapon at someone could escalate a situation, um, you know, using a police dog, for example, could force an individual to want to defend themselves. So there is a little bit of a pushback in that, in that regard.

Speaker 1: (05:32)

Now, what what's been the reaction of the groups representing police officers, such as the San Diego police officers association, are they in favor of this type of, of scrutiny?

Speaker 2: (05:44)

The police union is actually, um, pretty receptive to this idea. Um, I was curious, you know, how they would react, but, um, I think that they understand that this is something that benefits the community, but also police officers in that, uh, police like officers are less likely to be injured if they are less likely to be engaging in forests. So th they said that they feel like anyway to improve training on use of force is a good one.

Speaker 1: (06:16)

As I understand it, even before the new task force, the city had already been tracking use of force incidents. How long have police been collecting that information and kind of across the board? What did they find?

Speaker 2: (06:29)

Yeah, so it's been now a year since the police department has, has been tracking a use of force. And there were quite a few takeaways. Um, like other studies, um, the data shows that black communities in particular are disproportionately impacted whenever officers use force. Um, they use a greater amount of force on black communities, um, than any other community groups or ethnicities. And, um, some other interesting findings from our review of the police department data was that, you know, the, the most commonly used types of forces were physical strength. So whenever an officer goes hands on with an individual, or actually it just pointing a gun at an individual was also, uh, the second most common use of force.

Speaker 1: (07:22)

Is there any word when we might get the results of the data collected by the force analysis unit?

Speaker 2: (07:27)

So that's a really interesting question because the department said that it's going to be exploring ways to share the data or their findings. Um, they didn't necessarily commit to sharing all of the information that they uncover. So we're going to be keeping an eye on just how much information they release and community groups, including the police commission, even national policing, uh, advocacy groups have called for departments to be pretty transparent about data like this, and to make it accessible. There's no word currently as to when the department will release information, if any, at all. So we're going to be keeping an eye on that.

Speaker 1: (08:11)

Okay. Then I've been speaking with San Diego union Tribune, reporter David Hernandez, David. Thank you.

Speaker 2: (08:18)

Thank you. Again,

Speaker 4: (08:30)

One of the biggest mysteries of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the phenomenon of long COVID months after infection people with lingering COVID symptoms known as long haulers have struggled to regain their health and while patients and doctors alike were initially baffled by these long-term symptoms. A lot has been learned since they were first recorded in patients early in the pandemic, Dr. Lucy Horton is an disease specialist at D who seen the toll long COVID can take on the body. She runs a clinic that specializes in post COVID care and joins us now, Dr. Horton,

Speaker 3: (09:06)

Welcome. Thanks so much for having me,

Speaker 4: (09:08)

Do we know now why some people are afflicted with long COVID as opposed to others?

Speaker 3: (09:13)

It's really a great question. And I think it's one of the biggest challenges that we're facing is we still don't have a great sense of what predisposes some people to developing long. COVID. What we do know is that people who tend to have more symptoms during their acute infection tend to go on to develop long COVID, but there's so much left to be learned.

Speaker 4: (09:37)

What have you been seeing with your patients? I mean, what kinds of treatments work?

Speaker 3: (09:42)

The treatments that work best are those that targets specific symptoms that patients are having. Um, for example, patients who may have developed asthma, like symptoms respond well to asthma medications, patients who have difficulty with their heart rate and blood pressure also known as autonomic dysfunction, they may respond well to medications, specifically targeting that symptom in general, what we think really works best. And what we've seen in our patient cohort is rehabilitation is really kind of the bus that can take the form of pulmonary rehab, physical therapy, even cognitive retraining.

Speaker 4: (10:25)

Is there any kind of consensus as to what factors lead to long-term COVID symptoms?

Speaker 3: (10:30)

That is really such a great question. And it's an active area of research right now, the underlying pathophysiology or mechanisms driving long COVID are still unknown, but we do know that people with long COBIT tend to have ongoing abnormalities in some of their immune and inflammatory responses, similar to what may be seen in chronic viral infections. Um, we know that there is what we call endothelial dysfunction or disruption of the barrier of blood vessels, and that probably contributes to many of the symptoms as well. But I think the majority of us think that it's probably multifactorial and that there's many different things that play leading to all of these different symptoms

Speaker 4: (11:19)

Of your patients, emotionally processed, having to deal with these symptoms for an extended period of time.

Speaker 3: (11:25)

It's really challenging. Many of the patients are facing a lot of emotional distress. Many of them have almost PTSD like symptoms because they've really had a traumatic experience dealing with the chronic illness and the way that it's really impacted their lives. So caring for a patient with long COVID, it's really important to understand kind of their psychosocial stressors and offer them, um, that type of therapy and emotional support resources as well.

Speaker 4: (11:58)

Is there any sense that long haul COVID symptoms will one day go away

Speaker 3: (12:02)

Optimistic that the majority of patients will have a meaningful recovery based on what we know of other kind of chronic post viral syndromes from other types of viruses, but in reality, we just don't know for sure. And we know that some patients have had symptoms now for the better part of a year and a half with not a lot of recovery. And so there probably will be some who continue to have symptoms for the rest of their life, but since this is such a new virus, and we've only known it for less than two years, it's really hard to say, do we need,

Speaker 4: (12:38)

What percentage of patients infected with COVID end up suffering from long-term symptoms?

Speaker 3: (12:43)

It's roughly 10 to 30%. And it tends to be more in patients who actually had milder COVID, who were not hospitalized, who are not in the ICU.

Speaker 4: (12:56)

Does vaccination lower the chance of long haul symptoms at all

Speaker 3: (13:00)

Really wonderful question. And there are some emerging research that vaccination may help prevent long COVID. There was recently a study published in the Lancet journal of infectious diseases, where they were actually looking at, um, how vaccine would prevent, uh, breakthrough infections. But what's interesting is, um, in monitoring the patient cohort, they track them out to a month after their infection. And they did find that those who were fully vaccinated, so had received both doses of the MRNs vaccine, uh, were less likely to still have symptoms after a month. So that's suggestive that the vaccine does in fact, help prevent development of long COVID. Does it

Speaker 4: (13:47)

Have any role in the treatment of long haul COVID

Speaker 3: (13:50)

This is again, something that we're just getting kind of preliminary, um, evidence of now, um, there's some emerging, um, studies coming out, um, showing that, um, those who receive vaccination that had a higher chance of having complete remission of their symptoms about almost twice, that, of those who are unvaccinated,

Speaker 4: (14:15)

How has our, our understanding of how COVID can affect the body long-term, uh, change since the beginning of the pandemic,

Speaker 3: (14:24)

We know so much more about the myriad of symptoms. I think we're better able to diagnose it better, able to understand who may benefit from specific therapies. Um, we're learning that COVID seems to unmask, um, other conditions. And so we're seeing a lot of our patients now being diagnosed with things like asthma or reflux or apnea. So we're able to, um, look for and ask the right questions to understand, um, the whole range of symptoms that patients are having. Um, and I think we know a lot more too about, um, the role that rehab and therapy can play, um, in this condition. But honestly, I still think we're at the tip of the iceberg in terms of, um, the full knowledge and understanding of long COVID.

Speaker 4: (15:17)

I've been speaking with Dr. Lucy Horton and infectious disease specialist at UCLA health. Dr. Horton, thank you very much for joining us.

Speaker 3: (15:25)

Thank you so much.

Speaker 1: (15:33)

This is KPBS day edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann earlier this month, governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have decriminalized jaywalking when no cars are present. The bill was aimed at tackling racial disparities and how jaywalking laws are enforced KPBS. Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen looks at how those disparities exist in San Diego.

Speaker 5: (16:00)

Wait, we've all done it. You're trying to cross the street, but the light is taking forever or maybe the nearest crosswalk is an absurdly long detour, no cars around. So you look both ways and jaywalk most of the time it's harmless, and most of the time getting a ticket for jaywalking. Isn't a big concern. That's not how things played out for Robert Don Moyer. Well, I think

Speaker 6: (16:22)

It was, I think it was May 3rd. Uh, I was coming back from the dentist. It was midday and I, um, walked across the street here.

Speaker 5: (16:31)

Don Moyer says he wasn't jaywalking. He was in the crosswalk and says he made it to the other side of Robinson avenue in Hillcrest before the red hand signal went from flashing to solid. But at San Diego police officer says he was jaywalking and wrote him a ticket. She told him police were stepping up jaywalking enforcement because of a rise in pedestrian collisions. I didn't want to be

Speaker 6: (16:53)

Debated, but I said, gee, I, I, I haven't seen much of that, particularly in the daytime here. Uh, I have seen lots of people blatantly running red lights, and I've almost been hit on a number of occasions by people blatantly running led red lights when I had the right to cross. And I've learned to be very,

Speaker 5: (17:11)

Very cautious, Don Moyer plans on contesting, his ticket and a trial next year, bogus or not. His jaywalking ticket was one of more than 5,000 given to pedestrians in San Diego since 2015. And those tickets disproportionately targeted black people, 16% of the tickets went to blacks, even though they make up only 6% of the city's population. Similar racial disparities exist in cities across California

Speaker 3: (17:38)

Are disproportionately affected by almost every type of criminalization.

Speaker 5: (17:42)

And Rios is an attorney and executive director of uprise theater, a non-profit that educates people on their legal. She says the disparities are proof of racial bias among San Diego police officers. Black people are also overrepresented in the homeless community, which she says is a frequent target of jaywalking tickets. And blacks are more likely to live in neighborhoods that lacks safe and abundant crosswalks.

Speaker 3: (18:06)

So when you're dealing with a landscape that doesn't have safe areas for you to cross the street, anyway, Jay walking is going to become acceptable or the norm the true issue is that the community doesn't have the appropriate support for, for pedestrian travel,

Speaker 5: (18:24)

Racial justice, activists like Rios have been trying to decriminalize jaywalking in California for years, they say jaywalking laws, only punish behavior. That's usually logical and safe, but the latest effort at decriminalization failed this month with governor Gavin Newsome's veto of AB 1238, that bill would have legalized jaywalking as long as there's no oncoming traffic. It was opposed by law enforcement groups who said it would encourage unsafe pedestrian behavior and the California coalition for children's safety and health here's that group's program directors. Steve Barrow speaking at a Senate committee hearing in June

Speaker 7: (19:01)

Children growing up understanding how to appropriately get through our really busy streets. And that is adhering to red lights crossing at the crosswalks, not jaywalking and, uh, paying attention to all the pedestrian traffic safety laws.

Speaker 5: (19:18)

Robert Don Moyer, who's white and works as a university. Professor acknowledges he has privileges that others who get jaywalking tickets probably don't have, he can take time off work to fight his ticket in court. And he knew to look up the exact California vehicle code violation to see if it matches what really happened. He's ambivalent about whether jaywalking should be legalized, but he doesn't think tickets and fines are an effective way to protect pedestrians. You know, like

Speaker 6: (19:45)

Help it wonder where they trying to beef up revenue. I mean, I, I don't mean I'm not accusing because I don't really know, but it was certainly a thought that crossed my mind, particularly when I saw the amount of

Speaker 5: (19:57)

We'll check it, that amount he'll have to pay. If he loses in court $197.

Speaker 1: (20:03)

Joining me is KPBS Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen it Andrew. Welcome.

Speaker 5: (20:08)

Hi Maureen. Thanks. It

Speaker 1: (20:09)

Seems a crossing in the middle of an empty street would be very different from a pedestrian dodging traffic to run across the street. So would both actions though, make you liable for a jaywalking?

Speaker 5: (20:21)

Yes. Under current law, it doesn't matter if the streets are completely empty or if it's rush hour and they're full of cars. Both are, can get you a ticket. If an officer catches you and chooses to write you a ticket, as opposed to maybe giving you a warning. And in reporting this story, I actually spoke with a small number of people who shared their experiences of getting tickets for jaywalking. One of them was a young man who got a ticket while he was walking home from a bar in Pacific beach. Uh, it pretty late at night, and there were no cars around whatsoever. It was also on, uh, an intersection where there's not a lot of through traffic. It certainly begs the question who is this harming, you know, and, and what's the severity of that harm and is a ticket of around $200 can measure it with that harm. There was another young woman that I spoke with who was ticketed for jaywalking, and she was allowed to do community service. Judges can allow that as an alternative to a fine, if you can prove it would be an undue financial burden on you. Uh, and her community service ironically, was picking up trash on the side of the road, which kind of put her in danger of getting hit by a car, which ostensibly is what jaywalking criminalization is meant to deter people from doing

Speaker 1: (21:28)

Some advocates claim. Jaywalking tickets can be used as a form of harassment. Why is that?

Speaker 5: (21:34)

Well, Anne Rios, who you heard from in, uh, my story formerly worked for a nonprofit called think dignity, which advocates for people experiencing homelessness and often represents them and defends them in court. And she put jaywalking in the same category as a crime like encroachments, which is blocking the public right of way. You know, police can issue tickets to unsheltered people who might be staying in tents on the sidewalk. And she describes these crimes as tools by police to keep homeless people out of certain areas because they're undesirable. Police can also use jaywalking as a pretext to question an individual that they may be a suspect is involved in other kinds of criminal activities. They can use it to initiate. What's called a consent search where the police officer lacks a warrant. They lack probable cause to actually search someone. But if a person doesn't know that they can refuse to be searched by the police, they may just agree to it. And police may find drugs or other kinds of contraband. So jaywalking, like other kinds of minor traffic violations or other sort of quality of life crimes can become a Dragnet for police essentially to target different types of people or different communities

Speaker 1: (22:45)

Report recently on how San Diego is nowhere near reaching its goal of zero auto deaths and injuries is jaywalking. One of the reasons why

Speaker 5: (22:56)

It's certainly the case that pedestrians may miscalculate how fast a car is approaching on a street. If they're jaywalking and they may get hit and seriously injured or even killed, if that's the case, police often attribute the death to jaywalking alone. They will say the pedestrian was at fault. They may not factor into account. Other things like how fast the person was driving, whether they may have been looking at the phone while they were driving, or if they're distracted. In other ways, those things are really hard to prove and may get left out of the conversation. Particularly if the pedestrian is dead or if they're hospitalized before the police can question them, they never get to tell their side of the story. The other factor I think is that urban planners are really starting to see jaywalking is a symptom of poor pedestrian infrastructure. So if walking to the nearest crosswalk is going to add five or 10 minutes to your trip, it's a kind of logical thing. And as I said in the start of this story, most of us have done this before. And that's why advocates for safer streets. See the criminalization of jaywalking is just ineffective at protecting pedestrians, especially when you compare it to say for infrastructure like streetlights crosswalks and traffic calming to just slow down cars.

Speaker 1: (24:04)

And is this lack of pedestrian infrastructure, a problem in San Diego?

Speaker 5: (24:09)

Absolutely. You know, you can put a number on it, even at these are factored into the city's infrastructure deficit, how much the city needs to add and, um, repair streetlights or, um, other types of, uh, you know, crosswalks, things like that. You wouldn't know necessarily that it's actually legal to cross the street in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. I live in university Heights, which is, as far as San Diego goes a fairly privileged area. And we don't even have, you know, marked crosswalks that a lot of the intersections or stop signs to, uh, either ask cars to slow down or stop. And in places like, uh, city Heights or Southeast San Diego, where, you know, that have been historically under invested in not only do they lack crosswalks, they may also lack sidewalks. So pedestrian infrastructure is absolutely a problem. And it's a result of decades of the city, public officials and our budgets prioritizing the speed of cars and the convenience of driving over the safety of everyone on the road. So

Speaker 1: (25:07)

Because the decriminalization bill was not signed into law, jaywalking can still get you, as you mentioned, a very expensive ticket in California. Is there any effort on the local level to cut down on the number of jaywalking tickets issued?

Speaker 5: (25:21)

Well, mayor Todd, Gloria has said or said earlier this year that he wants to work with advocates to define what pretext stops are and clarify when they can be used by police. Um, as I mentioned, jaywalking is, is often grouped into those types of criminal statutes that police can use as a pretext stop. It's unclear. However, whether jaywalking would be a part of that conversation or if it would, you know, any action that, uh, mayor Gloria May ultimately take would impact jaywalking tickets. The mayor could direct police to deprioritize citing pedestrian violations, um, and prioritize motorists. Instead, I I've looked at the data and there are actually many more jaywalking tickets issued over the last five years than, um, citations for, uh, say motorists, not, uh, yielding to pedestrians or exercising due care when pedestrians are present, the city attorney's office could also decline to prosecute jaywalking tickets because they handle misdemeanors and infractions. And so, you know, they could use their prosecutorial discretion to just say, these are not crimes that we believe are important to prosecute, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Honestly,

Speaker 1: (26:29)

I've been speaking with KPBS, Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen, Andrew. Thank you.

Speaker 5: (26:33)

Thank you, Maureen.

Speaker 1: (26:41)

A piece of classical music is examining California's colonial history and our state's long and complex relationship with Mexico. Gabriela Ortiz is a Grammy award-winning composer, she's from Mexico, but she's a familiar presence in California's classical music scene. She's gotten high profile commissions from the LA Philharmonic, the long beach opera and the OHI festival. The new flute concerto is called me colonial California. Now a lot of things can inspire a piece of music, dramatic vistas, broken hearts, but as KQBD Chloe Veltman tells us this new piece is inspired by a California fast food chain.

Speaker 8: (27:24)

The new flute concerto is part of an event exploring the legacy of El Camino reality, the colonial name for the ancient byway dotted with missions that stretched from the Mexican border to Northern California. These ringing sounds aren't really meant to evoke the bells of the old Camina rail missions. At least not directly

Speaker 9: (27:47)

The weight crispy bacon and fluffy eggs might just be better. There's only one delicious breeze and the way of the perfect dream farewell. As soon as you wake the Tsuneo gets hosted breakfast burritos only at taco bell.

Speaker 10: (28:00)

You see the logo of taco bell. It's a bell that reminds you that the missions, but in a very modern or public way.

Speaker 8: (28:12)

Yep. You heard right over a zoom call from her home in Mexico city composer. Gabriela Ortiz tells me the fast food chain founded by an American named Glen bell in California in the 1960s. Partly inspired her new work. Now

Speaker 10: (28:27)

Taco bell is really Mexican food, but it's not American too. It's becoming something new. And this is the point.

Speaker 8: (28:40)

This postmodern Omar's to California's fast food culture. Isn't all that farfetched, taco bells, crispy chicken sandwich tacos, or cheesy Fiesta potatoes come from a hodgepodge of influences. And what we know is El Camino Royale is really just a mixed up fantasy of an idealized California.

Speaker 11: (28:59)

So the mission, uh, past becomes kind of the founding story of the Anglos. Roberta

Speaker 8: (29:04)

[inaudible] as a history professor at Santa Clara university, he says white people in Southern California at the turn of the last century, came up with a notion of a so-called Royal road as a way of romanticizing the past.

Speaker 11: (29:18)

It was a past which emphasized heroic missionaries, happy contented Indians, Fandangos all over the place, you know, wonderful Ranchos and, and sort of a Lotus land of, of contentment and bliss, where everybody was, was happy.

Speaker 8: (29:33)

Cinco. It says the automobile association soon glommed on to this idea as a way to get people to go on road trips up and down the California coast, they

Speaker 11: (29:41)

Began to push the notion that the missions were located a day's journey from each other, you know, which kind of, when you think about it, it makes them motels rather than what they actually were. Agents of assimilation of the native peoples,

Speaker 8: (29:55)

The absurdity of all of this isn't lost on composer, Gabriela Ortiz in writing, and you can share out, she says she was inspired by the taco bell sign, as well as other bits of California architecture influenced however questionably by El Camino Dao.

Speaker 10: (30:09)

So it was interesting in this dialogue that goes on comms between us and Mexico and how your another California and see Mexico, or how Mexico says California.

Speaker 8: (30:22)

The title of Ortiz's concerto is the colonial California Arno. It's a reference to the colonial California now architectural style, which borrows from the historic missions by way of California

Speaker 10: (30:33)

[inaudible] architecture

Speaker 8: (30:38)

As the daughter of an architect or teas knows about the subject. Intimately. This section of the concerto is titled mission revival, nostalgia. It references a similar style to colonial California. Now that became popular north of the border, The easygoing triplets on flute, harp and vibraphone evoke Californian, sentimental feelings about the white stucco walls, stone, arches, and red clay tile roofs of the old mission buildings. You can see a more modern riff on the style today in places like the Andalusia building in Santa Barbara and the Stanford university campus. And in the section titled Maurisco ornaments, a curlicue solo flute line tanged with Arabic sounding scales alludes to the intricate Morrish style embellishments that can be found on some 20th century, California and in Mexican buildings, the Alcazar theater in San Francisco and the shrine auditorium in LA. A good examples of the style

Speaker 12: (31:43)

Does the cultural appropriation going on on both sides. So American architects stole things from Spain and Mexico and then Mexican steel, the fake, so to speak

Speaker 8: (31:55)

That's Lewis oil. He's an emeritus professor of architecture at California state Polytechnic university Pomona. He comes from Tijuana.

Speaker 12: (32:03)

The fake has been built in California. We steal it and we build it for cheaper in Mexico.

Speaker 8: (32:09)

It says architectural history can tell us a lot about how cultures collide,

Speaker 12: (32:14)

Lynn's do talk and what we put in them and how we use them. There's another language that gets examined.

Speaker 8: (32:22)

The concerto ends just as it begins with a haunting flute passage After making fun of the copycat architectural back and forth between Mexico and the U S composer, Gabriela Ortiz evokes an era before all those mission style buildings appeared. And now a musical instrument expresses the spirit of pre-colonial times better than the flute with its deep indigenous roots For the California report. I'm Chloe Veltman,

Speaker 4: (33:06)

You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen Kavanaugh, it's Halloween season. So we are gathering our midday movies crew to recommend some appropriate viewing options. Every one defines har differently. So these selections reflect some very different options. Joining me today is KPBS arts reporter and cinema junkie host Beth Amando and movie Wallace's podcaster. Yazdi put Paavola welcome to you both. Thank you. Thank you. All right. So we're, we're looking to pick one new film, one old film, and one series to binge on first, let's start with new Beth. What do you recommend?

Speaker 13: (33:43)

Well, I decided I wanted to recommend something that revisits kind of familiar territory, but gives it a fresh spin. So shutter is showcasing a film called the medium, which is a Thai horror film, and essentially it's a possession tale. So we've seen a lot of these movies about evil spirits and demons possessing someone and then an exorcism, but generally speaking, these exorcism films deal with the Catholic church and a priest. So this puts us in Thailand and the rituals and ceremonies are completely different. The sense of how demons or evil spirits exist in the world has a different sensibility. So it feels like you're kind of getting a familiar story, but with a very fresh perspective. And I just thought it was

Speaker 4: (34:30)

Great. Yazdi uh, what about you? What's a, what do you recommend as a new horror film?

Speaker 14: (34:35)

So my pick is a movie from 2017 and it's by the director Yorgos Lanthimos, who has made a career out of making films, which are oddly disquieting and disturbing. He made movies such as dark tooth and the lobster. And then more recently the favorite, which one, a whole bunch of Oscars. I think the killing of a sacred deer was somewhat under appreciated when it was released. And what I really like about this film is that it creates its own observed roots, but then sticks by those rules and sees it through to the end. And, uh, nominally, the movie is about this very famous cardiac surgeon played by Colin Farrell and his wife played by Nicole Kidman and, uh, they have their kids and unbeknownst to his wife, the husband starts befriending this teenage boy who we find out has a relationship to his past. And very soon strange things start happening to his kids. And so this movie sits squarely in the area of children and peril sort of paying for your past sins, but more than anything else, this movie just made me so uncomfortable. And so unnerved genuinely unnerved that I think it takes some degree of skill to do that.

Speaker 13: (35:54)

The other thing about that film is it taps into a different aspect of horror that sometimes gets focused on. So a lot of horror films are about jump scares. This is about building dread, which is a much more, I think, effective means of horror and much more disturbing and uncomfortable.

Speaker 4: (36:12)

And I think it's, I mean, I would say it's kind of rare these days. So many horror movies come out and it is sort of just, it's a slasher flick or something along those lines, and they've not taken the time to really develop the storyline. There's not enough a large investment in that. I don't think, I mean, I don't know. What do you guys think? Yeah. I mean, I think

Speaker 13: (36:31)

More works best if you care about the characters, um, because that's where you really get the tension and the discomfort. If you're not invested in the characters or care about them, to some degree, there's no tension because you just don't care what happens to them. So I think building the sense of dread takes a lot more craft. And for me personally, it's a more disquieting sense of horror that lingers with me long after I've left the

Speaker 4: (36:56)

Theater. Yazdi where can listeners catch a kid, the killing of a sacred deer

Speaker 14: (37:02)

It's streaming right now on Netflix.

Speaker 4: (37:04)

Ah, okay. So, so now let's, let's move on to old, uh, Beth, what's your recommendation for an old movie?

Speaker 13: (37:11)

Sure. Because there's an excellent new Candyman film out right now that taps into the original film. I am going to suggest that people go check out the original 1992 Candyman if only for Tony Todd's incredible performance, but the new Candyman, unlike the Halloween kills film, which is out now really understands how to build on the previous film, take the mythology of it, expand on it, make it more contemporary, make it tap into our current events in a really effective way. And going back to see the original one makes the new one even better. So I highly recommend going back. This is based on a Clive Barker story. It has an excellent score by Philip Glass. It was directed by Bernard rose and it really is an exceptional horror film. And one of the first to give us an iconic black horror figure in it. And Tony Todd is just fabulous.

Speaker 4: (38:08)

Yazdi what's your recommendation for an old film for Halloween season?

Speaker 14: (38:13)

I kind of, from my old older movie Peck, I went to David Cronenberg, who is another master of, uh, creating films, which genuinely unsettled you. And, you know, he's, he's done more than a share of making or complex stunning describing movies. And I really liked the fly because this was a movie which was released in 1986. It's based on a short story from, uh, 1957, uh, which was subsequently in 1958, made into a movie. And this is his dream make of that movie. To me, at least it was my first introduction to body horror in that we are so used to being obviously attached to our body and, you know, being, being who we are and to see somebody's body disintegrate or to see really unexpected things happen to somebody's body can be very, very unsettling. And this movie is like a masterclass and it's about, uh, this, uh, eccentric scientist, uh, uh, played by Jeff Goldblum who after a bungled experiment, uh, starts to mutate into this human fly kind of hybrid creature. And, you know, Cronenberg is that peak form and the movie has this psychosexual undertone. And at the same time, it very deliberately gets very close to, you know, as, as the transformation is happening, it gets very close to the body. And I remember just being so shaken by that movie when I watched it. And it's interesting, the new Candyman movie also taps into some of those body horror issues. But, uh, for me, the flier is kind of the epitome of that.

Speaker 4: (40:01)

I remember seeing it and it made my skin crawl the internet

Speaker 13: (40:06)

Just as it should.

Speaker 4: (40:08)

Oh my goodness. All right. Let's move to a, a binge-worthy series. Um, what would you guys recommend for something that's binge-worthy

Speaker 13: (40:17)

For me, hands down, I would go to mine hunter, which is a David Fincher series. Sadly, it kind of ended without a resolution and there's still possible talk of it being finished, but this is based on a true story of these guys in the FBI who started the behavioral science division, which is to kind of make sense out of serial killers. And what I love about this film is that the most disturbing scenes tend to be the interviews with the serial killers, which are taking place inside prisons, mostly nothing overtly scary, no gory scenes of murders, sometimes not even talking about the murders, but it's just this entering a mind of somebody who is capable of these horrific crimes and realizing just kind of like how different they are in terms of how they perceive the world. Those scenes are just chilling. I mean, you can feel like the hairs on your arms, you know, raise and you get goosebumps because you're you feel like you're witnessing something truly terrifying and because it's rooted in the real world, it's even more scary. So I, I love that series

Speaker 4: (41:28)

And that's all the signs of a good series to binge watch, especially if you're going binge watch a horror series. Um, mind hunter is on Netflix as is your pick Yazdi tell me about it.

Speaker 14: (41:38)

Yeah. So my pick is a series which hardly requires more publicity. It's the one that everybody's watching right now. And it, a squid game squid game within 15 days of being dropped on Netflix became their most watched show ever, which is incredible considering their past with a number of remarkable Veld regarded well watch series. And yes, you know, squid game is kind of battle Royal or hunger games meets Agatha Christie's and then there were none,

Speaker 15: (42:10)


Speaker 14: (42:17)

Yes, it is brutal and violent and exceptionally entertaining.

Speaker 14: (42:26)

But I think if you set all that entertainment pieces aside, what remains still in the series is what interests me, which is, it has a few things to say about class, about racial hierarchy in Korea, about capitalism, of course. And you know, in that way, it is similar to the film parasite, which won a whole bunch of awards a couple of years ago. But I think the reason why this series is really resonated worldwide, not just in the U S and Korea, but worldwide, I think is because the idea of, you know, whole bunch of people who are forced to play a game to which they may not necessarily know all the rules very well as a consequence of which many of them can die, I think is draws a lot of parallel to the whole pandemic experience we are going through right now, where we are sort of trying to be, we're trying to understand where we are and we didn't know how to play the rules of the pandemic.

Speaker 14: (43:24)

And people were just, you know, seemingly dying, you know, without reason. So I think it's kind of tapped into our state of being right now. And I just loved how the series as well put together as it is. It takes a lot of time with building these characters and peels them layer by layer. So you understand them. And then it uses a lot of genius in terms of how even those very beloved characters get dispatched. So, you know, I can't wait to watch it again. I'm not a big horror fan. I'm scared of core and so forth, but in spite of that, I've watched it. And I like everybody else on the planet. I am quite thrilled with it.

Speaker 4: (44:08)

I am three episodes in on squid games. It's intense. And the parallels that you can draw from it are really the true horror in it, for sure. But, uh, I really appreciate you guys as pics and your, your suggestions. Well, thank

Speaker 14: (44:24)

You. Thank you much.

Speaker 16: (44:27)


The Force Analysis Unit is tasked with reviewing use of force incidents with the aim of improving training and decreasing future incidents. Plus, mounting evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccine could help lessen “long COVID” symptoms. Meanwhile, earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have decriminalized jaywalking when no cars are present. The bill was aimed at tackling racial disparities in how jaywalking laws are enforced. And, a piece of classical music is examining California's colonial history and our state's long and complex relationship with Mexico. Finally, it's Halloween season so we are gathering our Midday Movies crew to recommend some appropriate viewing options.