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The Storming Of The US Capitol

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MATTHEW BOWLER

Local supporters of President Trump protesting in front of the County Administration Building on Jan. 6, 2020.

Local reaction to Wednesday’s insurrection at the US Capitol. Also, the latest on Covid-19 in San Diego county. Plus, Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas want racism to be declared a public health crisis.

Good morning, I’m Annica Colbert and it’s Thursday January 7th.

“1:01 In the middle of the debate .. suddenly we could hear rioters coming to the house floor, guns were drawn.”

“I’m angry …..I’m angry and sad, a little scared”

“The party of Reagan died today, died by suicide. Trump led his supporters toward insurrection. I don’t know how they can put that party back together again.”

“being here tonight is a very very emotional time, I can’t stress it enough – you can hear it in my voice, but despite these emotions it sure as hell isn’t going to stop us because that’s how our democracy moves forward.”

The voices of Representatives Judy Chu of Los Angeles, Nannette Diaz Barragan of Los Angeles, Brad Sherman of San Fernando Valley, and Jimmy Panetta of Northern California respectively. All reacting to the tragic, deadly and historic scene at the US Capitol in Washington DC yesterday. Pro-Trump extremists stormed the capitol building while congress was proceeding with certifying the November 2020 electoral votes.

KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke with Representative Scott Peters of San Diego, who described what happened from inside the building.

Peter’s story is similar to that of several other congressmen and women on capitol hill yesterday. Representative Scott Peters again...

“These people who say we should reject these states certification it’s really anti-democratic in the worst possible way and what’s also happened is it’s given license for these people to bring violence on the government. And what a shame for america what a sad day that this happened to us.”

One person was shot and killed during the riot. Her name was Ashli Babbit. She was a 14-year Air Force veteran, from San Diego. Three other people died of medical emergencies on or around the Capitol grounds, according to DC police.

….San Diego CongressmanJuan Vargas was in his office in DC at the time. He described the situation as “anarchy”.. he told his staff earlier in the day to prepare for the worst as they sheltered in place, not sure of what could be coming.

“It’s unfortunate it’s come to this….but trump incited this. He incited this riot.”

Vargas says he won’t be intimated -- and says san diegans will have their voices heard in d.c.

Representative Mike Levin of San Diego was also there at the capitol in his office and had this to say...

“We can affiliate with a different party. Whatever it is we don’t resort to violence and that’s what we saw today is domestic terrorism. The people who did this need to be held accountable. They need to answer for this.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom cancelled his Wednesday news conference out of [quote] an abundance of caution after pro-trump protestors gathered outside the state capitol. Thankfully there were no major incidents. Newsom says the actions of the extremists in DC were [quote] “reprehensible and an outright assault to our democracy and Democratic institutions.”

In San Diego, about 200 trump supporters gathered outside the county administration building downtown on Wednesday. They echoed unfounded claims of a rigged election. KPBS Reporter Jacob Aere has more….

By the mid-afternoon, the pro-trump group from San Diego had dispersed and later reconvened in Santee in the late afternoon. The group was smaller, with roughly 100 individuals, but the protestors became verbally aggressive.

Some law enforcement arrived at the site of the protest just before 6 pm to investigate conflicts in the area, but no serious violence took place.

And speaking of law enforcement…

The events in Washington yesterday exposed an enormous yet another contrast in the police response between the Black Lives Matter movement protests and Trump Supporters.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego tweeted [quote] ``What if the protesters charging the Capitol, armed, were mainly Black and brown men? What do you think would happen then?''

Juan Vargas concurred with the criticism.

“If these were black lives matters protesters they would’ve cleared everyone the hell outta there.”

Gonzales and Vargas are far from the only ones with those observations.
KPBS’ Max Rivlin-nadler has more.

On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of supporters of President Trump gathered in front of the County Administration Center in San Diego… police presence there was sparse as the event ended peacefully.
But a similarly-sized protest in November in support of the black lives matter movement…. which was also peaceful… was met with dozens of police in riot gear...who ordered the group to disperse…
To Civil Rights activist Shane Harris, the disparate enforcement…. For different causes…. Is typical of law enforcement in San Diego and across the country.
Agencies across the country,not even just in DC and federally, you see sort of this lax approach. Because they’re white, because they’re don’t seem as dangerous, we’re not as concerned about them because of the color of their skin. We’ve seen this across the country and it’s showing itself in America’s capital.
Harris called for investigations at the federal and county level into why police responses have been so vastly different for the two groups.
Max Rivlin-Nadler, KPBS News

Coming up.... We’ll have the latest on covid-19 in San Diego, and a lot more. That’s next, just after this break.

San Diego county public health officials reported more than 3800 new infections on Wednesday and 37 new deaths.

Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed California give stimulus checks of 600 dollars to the state’s lowest income population. Anyone making less than 30-thousand a year would be eligible for the state stimulus check. It’s estimated that 4-million people in california would be eligible. And the pool of eligibility includes some undocumented immigrants living in California who file state taxes. Newsom also asked the state legislature to extend the moratorium on evictions.

San Diego county leaders are vowing to counter the effects of a history of systemic racism. KPBS health reporter Tarryn Mento says elected officials are pushing for a plan to combat long-standing health disparities highlighted by covid-19.

County data shows Hispanic, Black and Pacific Islander residents are hit harder by the coronavirus. Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Nora Vargas are calling to declare racism that created those inequities as a public health crisis.
Vargas says the measure to go before the board next Tuesday will help address past discriminatory policies in housing, education and criminal justice that contributed to poor health outcomes.
00:02:57:27 “We’re establishing a commitment to disrupt and dismantle oppressive systems and we take the necessary steps to ensure that we remove barriers that prevent diversity, and equity and inclusion.”
Vargas and Fletcher’s motion would ask county staff to collect community input on existing county policies, better use data to identify gaps in programming and incorporate an equity impact statement for any future recommendations before the board. Staff would return in 90 days with a framework to move forward. Tarryn Mento. KPBS News.

That story from KPBS Health reporter, Tarryn Mento.

California hospitals in regions with strained ICU capacity will have to delay some non-essential surgeries under a state order issued Tuesday. CapRadio’s health care reporter Sammy Caiola has more.

Under the new rule, medical services such as non-urgent spinal surgeries or carpal tunnel release procedures will be temporarily delayed.
But only people who live in certain parts of the state are affected. The rule applies to regions where the aggregate ICU capacity is zero at local hospitals, and only in counties within those regions where ICU capacity is at less than 10%

Currently, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California are the only two regions where this rule would apply. The idea is by delaying these surgeries, more resources will be available to sick COVID patients. According to the new rule cancer procedures, heart surgeries and other operations for life-threatening conditions should continue. SOC

A La Mesa police officer who fired a beanbag round that hit a black woman in the head will not face criminal charges. The announcement came from the district attorney’s office on wednesday. The DA’s office review concluded that Detective Eric Knudsom used reasonable force when he fired on Leslie Furcon, a 59 year old black San Diegian. Furcon was attending a protest on May 30th, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, as well as following the controversial arrest of Amaurie Johnson in La Mesa.

According to the DA's findings, Knudson believed Furcron had thrown a rock, though the object was later revealed to be an aluminum can. Video footage showed the can landed about a third of the way between Furcron and a group of San Diego County sheriff's deputies.


According to the US Veteran’s administration, more vets have now died from COVID than died in combat in the last two wars….

A new law will provide emergency aid for homeless vets during the pandemic.

KPBS military reporter steve walsh reports.

The new law will temporarily loosen up the rules for providing services and outreach to homeless veterans, including raising the amount the VA can pay landlords in places like pricy San Diego. Congressman Mike Levin is one of the bill’s sponsors.
“The monthly rent payments has not be adequate for a community like ours. We know roughly a quarter of those VASH vouchers are going unused.”
Those homeless vouchers were going unused in San Diego, even before the pandemic. Price was one of the issues. Lack of outreach was another, Levin says.
“They could choose to provide services that they could not before.”
The new law comes as the VA says 6,772 patients have died from COVID-19, more than the number of troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Steve Walsh KPBS News

In the midst of the busy news day that was Wednesday - another event made news. A Superior Court judge ruled that Proposition B, the 2012 pension reform bill is invalid.

KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen says thousands of city workers will soon be entitled to stronger retirement benefits.

AB: Prop B eliminated pensions for all new city employees except police officers. In 2018 the state Supreme Court ruled the city violated state labor laws when it placed the measure on the ballot. But it stopped short of invalidating the measure. A Superior Court judge Tuesday did just that. Mayor Todd Gloria says the ruling is a vindication for him and others who opposed Prop B from the beginning.
TG: And I look forward to the opportunity of working with city leaders as well our employees to figure out a path forward that will put this issue to rest and allow us to focus on the many other issues that demand attention here at City Hall.
AB: Prop B supporters, including the Lincoln Club and City Councilman Chris Cate, denounced Tuesday's ruling, but none has yet said whether they plan to appeal.

That story from KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen.

….That’s it for the podcast today. For the latest news you can tune in to KPBS radio at 89.5 FM for any breaking coverage, and as always you can find all the live streams and latest news at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert, thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.