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Rebuilding Trust Between Police And The LGBTQ Community

Cover image for podcast episode

A float carrying participants in the San Diego Pride Parade waits its turn on Normal Street, July 13, 2013.

KRISTAN LIEB

The San Diego Police Department released new procedures this week for interactions between police and transgender and nonbinary people. Meanwhile, security cameras are poised to go up all over downtown Oceanside. Plus, a look at the San Diego Arab Film Festival and our KPBS Weekend Arts Preview.

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday June 4th

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New Police guidance for dealing with the LGBTQ community

But first... let’s do the headlines….

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The California Occupational Safety Board voted on Thursday that mask wearing will continue to be mandatory at work after June 15, unless all employees are vaccinated. Business leaders say the conflicting guidelines are problematic. Jerry Sanders is President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“They’re going to have a lot of people coming in there who have listened to the Governor saying you don’t need to wear a mask and listened to the CDC, which says you don’t have to wear a mask and then Cal-OSHA is saying you do. It’s so confusing."

The good news is -- if everyone at work has had the shot or shots -- masks can go.

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Just under 2-million San Diegans have now gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, but it remains unclear if a third booster shot for variants will be needed in the near future. Professor Shane Crotty of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology says the need for booster shots will partly depend on local infection rates and some areas will continue to see pockets of outbreaks.

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“Housing is a human right.”

The county’s eviction moratorium, which was passed in May, is now in effect. But at a press conference on Thursday activists demanded the state do more to hold landlords accountable, Despite the ban, some tenants are still facing landlords trying to evict them. The moratorium on evictions will continue for 60 days after the state reopens on June 15th.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

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

This week is the first week of Pride Month and the San Diego Police Department has released new procedures for interacting with transgender and nonbinary people. But many of the LGBTQ community believe there's more work to be done to rebuild trust with police. KPBS Race and Equity Reporter Cristina Kim has more.

“Glad that they are making these policies public and glad they are pushing it forward”
Fernando Lopez applauds the Police Department’s newly released procedures...which include using people’s preferred pronouns and booking individuals in facilities that align with their gender identity.
But as the Executive Director of SD Pride, Lopez is quick to say that this is just one step on the road toward equitable treatment.
L3: Fernando López, San Diego Pride
“I am really looking forward to listening to the LGBTQ+ Black community members that are leading the healing and safer communities work that we are doing which is looking at those policy reform recommendations for our organization, for those elected officials and for the law enforcement agencies themselves. Right now, that work is not complete.”
Charlie Brown is an Black gay activist, who organized protests last summer. He says the LGBTQ community still has scars from decades of police mistreatment
L3: Charlie Brown, Activist
“I mean let’s face it San Diego Police Department had a lot of building of trust to do with the LGBTQ+ community and they have to take a step back and work on the relationship.”
“And trust is going to take a while, you know people are afraid of the police.”
Meanwhile, with San Diego Pride due to kick off later this month, Lopez says the future of police at SD Pride remains unclear.
But one thing that they wants\ to make sure stays the same … is honoring the history of Pride. It began after Black and Latino Trans people fought back against a police raid at in 1960 at New York City’s Stonewall Inn.
L3: Fernando López, San Diego Pride
Our origins are literally in response to state-sanctioned police violence that often gets ignored and …. >
“And yes celebrate queer joy, but that queer joy is in pursuit of justice.”
SD Pride will be hosting the annual Spirit of Stonewall on July 16th. For more information visit sdpride.org.
Cristina Kim. KPBS News.

And that was KPBS’ Cristina Kim

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Oceanside’s city council has approved police security cameras in the downtown area. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne has this story.

“it’s no secret that the city of oceanside has been expanding by building beachfront resorts, new restaurants and breweries are popping up, that could make this the next hot spot destination for tourists and visitors. but with that come added security measures.. so now oceanside police dept has requested the installation of security cameras here in downtown oceanside.”
At Wednesday's City Council meeting, the contract to purchase and install 54 surveillance cameras in the city’s downtown area was approved.
The cameras are intended to help monitor crime in the area and local businesses.
“Were about 20 officers short and we we have a number of incidents that have occurred downtown. We thought it was a great idea to put these video surveillance cameras up in the downtown area and then we can see what's going on, especially when things happen.”
Isabella Vansant works at So Cal Trading Company in Downtown Oceanside and supports the installation of the cameras.
ISABELLA VANSANT
“Someone followed me from the train into the store and eventually tried stealing things. By the time the cops came he had already ran off and so there was nothing we could really do about it besides give a description.”
But not everyone agrees with the installation of the cameras.
This Oceanside resident who did not want to share her name said the cameras are an invasion of privacy.
“It’s ok for businesses but I think in people’s privacy I’m really opposed to it because that means you’re tracking me, where I go, what I do. And I really think that it could be limited. There are some places that maybe we should have more security but i think as far as privacy rights walking down the street , I’m against it.”
Oceanside Police Department said citizens should not be concerned about privacy because the footage will not be monitored daily and will only be saved for one year.
The cameras are costing the city $497,000 that will be paid through the Measure X budget approved last year.
In Oceanside, TT KPBS News.

And that was KPBS North County Reporter Tania Thorne in Oceanside.

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absenteeism was up, and grades were down during the pandemic school year according to the San Diego Unified School District.. KPBS Education Reporter Joe Hong explains who struggled the most, and how the district will help students recover.

Overall attendance at San Diego Unified was down this year with Black and Latinx students as well as English Learners and students with disabilities seeing the biggest declines. School Board President Richard Barrera says this trend should reverse as students return to campus. But the district will also invest in counseling services to help students get re-engaged in learning.
BARRERA.mp400:01:57:17RICHARD BARRERA /// SD UNIFIED BOARD PRESIDENTStudents first of all were not feeling engaged in their classes, and then with all the other stress that’s going on in their lives and their families’ lives, unfortunately it’s not surprising that we saw a decrease in attendance and a decrease in chronic absenteeism.
Chronic absenteeism rates nearly doubled for some student groups in the district. The number of Students missing at least 10% of the school year shot up 10 percentage points for Black students and 11 percentage points for English Learners.
English Learners also had disproportionately lower grades during the pandemic. Barrera said the district will focus on teacher training to replicate its pre-pandemic successes with English Learners.
BARRERA.mp400:05:40:14Developing the capacity of the classroom teacher to support English Learners has been a strategy that’s shown to have really positive outcomes, in for instance reducing the number of long-term English Learners.
Finally, Barrera says he is confident that both a return to in-person instruction and more focused efforts will remediate academic losses across all grade levels and student groups. Joe Hong, KPBS News.

And that was KPBS Education Reporter Joe Hong

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Coming up.... we have a look at the San Diego Arab Film Festival, as well as our weekend preview for local arts events happening soon. All of that next, just after the break.

The San Diego Arab Film festival kicks off in person and with online events this saturday. kpbs film critic beth accomando previews the festival, which opens and closes with palestinian films…

The San Diego Arab Film Festival launches its 10th year this Saturday at the museum of photographic arts and continues through june 19th with online and in person screenings.

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And before you go, if you’re looking for some local arts events this weekend, KPBS arts editor Julia Dixon-Evans has her top picks in her weekend preview…

That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

San Diego News Now podcast branding

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.