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LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

A Police Shooting In San Diego

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The shooting victim is 25-year-old San Diego resident Leonardo Hurtado Ibarra who officers recognized from a wanted poster, according to a police statement. He is in a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Also on KPBS’ San Diego News Matters podcast: Antibodies aren’t the body's only weapons against the coronavirus, the San Diego VA is removing suicidal veterans from a life-saving drug and transitioning them to a controversial nasal spray and more local news you need.

San Diego police officers shot a 25 year old man Saturday night.

Crowds quickly gathered at the site of the shooting in downtown San Diego to protest police violence.

The San Diego Police Department has identified the man as city resident Leonardo Hurtado Ibarra.

As of Sunday evening, Ibarra was in the intensive care unit of a local hospital with life threatening injuries. Protests over the incident continued through the weekend.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Saturday near 6th Avenue and B Street downtown.

A police press release says two uniformed officers noticed Ibarra exiting a building, and recognized him from a recent wanted flier for a robbery because of distinctive face tattoos.

According to the police press release, When officers attempted to contact Ibarra, he drew a firearm and pointed it at one of the officers, prompting them to fire their weapons,

Activists called for transparency around the shooting. And within 24 hours, the police department released dash cam and body camera footage of the shooting. It’s hard to see exactly what happens in the video, but Ibarra first runs then appears to turn to point something at the officers.

The news release went on to say that reviews will also be conducted by the department’s internal affairs unit, its shooting review board and the city’s Community Review Board on Police Practices. The FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office will also be monitoring the investigation.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered bars that have opened in seven California counties to immediately close.

He also urged bars in eight other counties to do the same, saying the coronavirus was rapidly spreading in some parts of the state.

The counties under the mandatory bar closure order are: Los Angeles, Fresno, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Imperial and Tulare.
State officials asked eight other counties — including Santa Clara, Sacramento, and Riverside — to issue local health orders closing bars.
San Diego County is not on either list, but we are seeing a spike in cases.

On Sunday, County Health officials reported 497 new COVID-19 cases. That’s the highest daily tally of cases in the county since the pandemic began. Sunday marked the seventh time in eight days that health authorities reported more than 300 new COVID-19 cases.

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From KPBS, I’m Kinsee Morlan and you’re listening to San Diego News Matters, a podcast powered by our reporters, producers and editors.

It’s Monday, June 29.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

The San Diego Police Department recently released a new policy requiring officers to use de-escalation techniques.

It came after two years of work, and it was hustled to the finish line by recent police protests.

KPBS reporter Claire Trageser talked to experts and activists about the new policy, who say it's not actually groundbreaking.

SOT
"I don't see anything revolutionary or radical in either policy."

Kevin Davis is a use of force expert and trainer who has worked in law enforcement for 38 years.

SOT con't
"They are average policies, they fit in industry standards in terms of use of force, de-escalation, and the duty of an officer to intervene."

Davis also says the wording is favorable to police officers by including the caveat that de-escalation be used "when safe and reasonable to do so."

But Darwin Fishman with the Racial Justice Coalition says those disclaimers diminish the policy to the point of making it meaningless.

SOT
"It's toothless. What are the consequences if they don't de-escalate, or don't intervene if they use excessive force?"

He says the policy follows the old model of policing.

SOT
"Officers give commands and if you don't follow, they escalate and use violence."

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Antibodies are not the body's only weapons against the coronavirus.

Salk scientists say there are special immune agents -- called T Cells -- that can be activated in the lung more easily than previously thought.

That’s according to Salk immuno-biologist Susan Kaech (Kehk)

There are T Cells, specifically these memory T cells that are able to live for a long period of time after the first infection

KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Chatlani reports

Our bodies have biological warriors, like antibodies which can fight a virus. And, we also have -- T cells. When the body faces a pathogen, these white blood cells flare up and get rid of the cells that are infected, so the body can stay healthy, says Salk immunobiologist Susan Kaech (kech).

When these T cells see the bits and pieces of the virus, that actually activates them. And then they have the ability to expand and multiply.

T Cells haven't been highly studied in organs like the lung, where respiratory diseases - like coronavirus- thrive. Kaech found that in studies of the influenza virus in mice, lung T Cells could recognize the virus and be re- activated more easily than previously thought.

A lot of the vaccines that we get such as the childhood vaccines...the protection they provide are largely based on antibodies. But in some cases we know the antibodies may not be enough

One negative side effect of TCells is that they could kill too many cells in the body. So now her team is focusing on how these cells could be safely used in vaccine design.

What happens after someone tests positive for COVID-19 at a restaurant?

It happened earlier this week at an eatery in Oceanside.

KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke to the owner who is having to make some tough decisions.

12;22;16;24
Tuesday we found out immediately closed

Cameron Braselton says earlier this week two of his employees at Mission Avenue Bar and Grill in Oceanside tested positive for COVID-19-

12;21;30;23
Both asymptomatic

Braselton didn't have to close, but decided to temporarily shut his doors to do some deep cleaning.. He thinks the "new normal" will be restaurants closing and sanitizing after positive cases.. But is that sustainable?

12;31;41;05
I feel safe doing that, and i feel like it's the responsible thing to do and ya cost us a week in sales i'm having to pay for all these tests having to pay for someone to come in to disinfect. You can only do that so much

This is not considered a COVID-19 outbreak as that's three or more cases, but that could change. Braselton is having the rest of his staff tested right now and plans to reopen once they all have negative test results.

***
A federal panel of judges ruled last week that the Trump administration's use of Pentagon money to build the border wall is unconstitutional.

But KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler tells us that doesn't necessarily mean that ongoing construction will stop.

The ninth circuit court of appeals ruled that the administration illegally sidestepped Congress when it redirected 2.5 billion dollars from military construction projects.

That money funded a section of border wall that's currently under construction in the Otay Mountain Wilderness. It's the first new section of border wall in San Diego county in decades.

Vicki Gaubeca is the director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the construction.

Gaubeca: We will continue this fight, even if it's built our next step will be to push for it to be torn down and for the parts of the border and our border communities to be restored, especially in areas where there has been a lot environmental damage already.

The Supreme Court had already stayed any lower court's rulings on the matter. It will now decide whether it wants to review the decision.

President Trump had visited completed parts of the border wall extension earlier this week in Arizona.

***

Our partners at inewsource recently reported that the San Diego VA is taking suicidal veterans off a life-saving drug and transitioning them to a controversial nasal spray.

Now inewsource investigative reporter Brad Racino has found the VA is lying about its reasons.

JOHAN: "My temperament is not the best. I'm angry. I am full of rage." (:07)

RACINO: Tom Johan is a 73-year-old Air Force veteran whose depression and suicidal thoughts have plagued him for decades. He has tried medications, electroconvulsive therapy and other treatments. Nothing helped until he found ketamine. The Ramona vet says the drug was like a rebirth.

JOHAN: "My mind was refreshed. I could think. I had compassion. I could see colors. I wasn't afraid to be around people." (:10)


RACINO: Ketamine is an effective and rapid treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts. Which is why the San Diego VA has for years sent dozens of high-risk veterans like Johan to the Kadima Neuropsychiatry Institute. The La Jolla clinic is run by a recognized expert in ketamine treatment, Dr. David Feifel.

JOHAN: "That man to me, is an anointed man directly from God." (:05)

RACINO: But an inewsource investigation found the VA recently began pulling those vets from Feifel's care... with little to no warning ... to put them on a nasal spray called Spravato. The alternative drug is not working for the vets and in some cases increasing their suicidal thoughts. The VA decision sparked one veteran suicide in October.

JOHAN: "If anybody cared about us, the only time would be if 10 of us kill ourselves at one time." (:08)

RACINO: We asked the San Diego VA why it made this decision. The agency's responses were conflicting ... and false. At first the VA claimed it could offer similar services at its La Jolla Hospital. Records we obtained show that isn't true.

RACINO: The VA also said they had talked about a transition plan with the vets, whose lives would be upended by this decision. Emails and interviews with veterans and the Kadima staff don't back that up. Those who've tried and failed the VA's treatments are now desperate to return to Feifel's care, but the VA is saying no.

STIRLING: "Vets are patients who are captured patients, they can't leave, they can't go to a hospital down the street." (:08)

RACINO: Dwight Stirling is the CEO of the Center for Law and Military Policy, a nonprofit think tank in Huntington Beach.

STIRLING: "Here we take the vets who are hurt the most as a result of their service and we put them into a system on the hospital side where they have no right to hold their doctors to account whatsoever."(:16)

RACINO: Last week, the VA abruptly gave a different reason for switching from ketamine to Spravato. It said Kadima gave ketamine through an injection and not an IV. Because that's not what the VA had authorized, the clinic can't treat the veterans. The agency's records show that isn't true. VA psychiatrists and its top administrators have repeatedly authorized injections at Kadima.

STIRLING: "It's clear to me that the VA has been caught in a lie. And they are doing exactly what they always do in such a situation, which is to try to get the reporter who has them caught off their backs." (:18)

RACINO: The House Veterans Affairs Committee is looking into what's happening in San Diego, and local members of Congress are aware of the situation. But veterans like Johan continue to come forward hoping someone will take action. Stirling, the think tank CEO, says he expects nothing will change unless Congress threatens the VA budget.

STIRLING: "And so it's the population that we should be caring about the most. We have a system where we care about them the least." (:08)

RACINO: The VA will not respond to questions about its contradictory or false statements and is continuing with a plan to remove all veterans from Kadima by the end of September.

inewsource investigative reporter Brad Racino. INEWSOURCE is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS.

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That’s all for today. Thanks for listening.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.