911 dispatcher’s role in hate crime prosecutions
Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Monday, May 2nd>>>>
9-1-1 operators and prosecuting hate crimes
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######
The navy said Friday that commander Jared Severson is no longer leading the naval submarine training facility in San Diego.
The navy cited a "loss of confidence" in his ability to command, based on the findings of an investigation.
No details were disclosed regarding the investigation.
The navy says severson has been reassigned to a submarine squadron.
The facility's executive officer, commander chris lindahl has assumed command of the sub training facility.
The facility is located at naval base point loma... it provides training for submarine and surface sailors.
The San Diego county sheriff’s department held a weapons collection event in Encinitas yesterday. It's called Guns for Gift Cards. A total of 162 unwanted firearms were turned in. And participants got 100 dollars in gift cards for handguns and rifles and 200 for assault weapons. The Sheriff’s department says if any guns collected are found to be stolen, the original owners will be contacted. The rest are destroyed.
The OC marathon took place Sunday, returning for the first time in-person since 2019. Dylan Marx of Lemon Grove placed second in the men’s division. He previously ran for two years at San Diego Mesa college. The race's 15 charity partners were expected to raise a total of
$500,000 through the event said race publicist Dan Cruz.
From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.
Stay with me for more of the local news you need.
Hate incidents are on the rise in San Diego… yet they continue to be difficult to prosecute. KPBS race and equity reporter Cristina Kim found that 911 dispatchers can help make a hate crime case.
A warning, this story uses 911 tape discussing violence and hatred.
San Diego Police department this is Celia…
Hi there’s some guys with baseball bats beating gay guys up in the park….
That’s a 911 call placed in (July 29) 2006 … from just outside Balboa Park on the second night of San Diego’s Pride festival.
More Sounds… of what’s was seen…
When three people brutally attacked six men leaving one with severe head injuries…while yelling homophobic slurs… here’s another call from the night.
they’re carrying a baseball bat … and yelling antigay things…
The attackers including a minor… were ultimately charged with hate crimes
The recorded 911 calls served as key evidence for prosecutors… who needed to show hate motivated the attacks…
Which is why more than 15 years later…. Deputy District Attorney Abigail Dillon … is playing these tapes for over a dozen of San Diego County’s 911 dispatchers…. At a training…. All about hate crimes.
“Some of you might be thinking…you have a different role to play. ”
But, Dillon says, the role dispatchers play is very important in collecting evidence for hate crimes.
The details that a dispatcher is able to get from someone who is on scene witnessing it as it happened or the victim of the crime itself or even the suspect. I can't emphasize enough how important that information gathering can be and how critical that evidence can be.
In the city of San Diego City alone.. Hate crimes increased by 77 percent in 2021 from the previous year, according to the police department.
But even though the District Attorney’s office received around 300 reports of hate crimes, they only prosecuted 30 cases…
Dillon says hate crimes are very difficult to prosecute
it requires us to prove that the perpetrators act. was motivated in whole or in part because of a bias.
And that's why Dillon trains 911 dispatchers—because the questions they ask can be pivotal in proving bias…
We want dispatchers to be aware of kind of the difficulties of what we have to prove for purposes of hate crimes, what's required so that that's in the back of their mind as they're asking for additional details from witnesses or victims or suspects who call 9-1-1.
She plays 911 calls to show the kinds of questions they can ask…like in the attack at Pride, where the callers said the attackers were saying anti-gay slurs. Dispatchers can also ask whether anyone was displaying known hate symbols, or even get details from suspects.
That’s what the dispatcher did when talking to the man who shot four people at a Poway Synagogue in 2019. He got his motive.
Why you do it?
Because the jewish people are destroying the white race and something had to be done.
Christina Newton is a first year 911 dispatcher for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. After going through the training, She says she’s thinking about her job differently.
I'll be asking a lot more follow up questions, a lot more clarifying questions, just trying to determine if there are other types of crimes within some of our more standard calls.
She says it was good to hear she can help hate crime prosecution.
Speaker 2: it's this kind of crime that you think people don't get charged for or, you know, victims don't get justice in a way so it was nice to hear that there are ways to do that..
Dillon says prosecuting more hate crimes is an integral part of how the region must address growing hate.
I think that by prosecuting hate crimes, we in turn are sending a message that this is not acceptable, that we don't want this in our community. That hatred is something that needs to be eradicated.
So she’s making sure dispatchers are ready every time they answer a call.
End with more phone ringing noise?
Fr Cristina Kim. KPBS News.
About 35 people sleep in a homeless encampment on magnolia avenue in east county. it has been there on and off for the last three years... the camp borders multiple jurisdictions from the unincorporated county where it is now - to el cajon and even santee.
kpbs reporter matt hoffman has more.
SUPERVISOR JOEL ANDERSON IS PUTTING TOGETHER A PLAN TO HAVE THE COUNTY WORK TOGETHER WITH EL CAJON AND SANTEE TO HELP GET PEOPLE INTO HOUSING.. JUST IN RECENT WEEKS COUNTY EFFORTS HAVE RESULTED IN ABOUT 60 PEOPLE FINDING SOME TYPE OF HOUSING, LARGELY THROUGH HOTEL VOUCHERS.. ANDERSON SAYS WORKING TOGETHER WILL TAKE MORE TIME, BUT SAYS IT’S A MORE PERMANENT SOLUTION–
NOW WILL SOME PEOPLE STILL KEEP MOVING OF COURSE THEY WILL - BUT IF EL CAJON IS OUT HERE WITH US, IF SANTEE IS OUT HERE WITH US AND WE’RE A UNITED FRONT THEN WE’RE GOING TO SOLVE IT
SUPERVISOR ANDERSON’S PLAN REQUIRES BUY-IN FROM NEARBY CITIES.. SOME ARE ASKING WHY THE COUNTY CAN’T JUST CLEAR PEOPLE OUT OF THIS AREA.. OFFICIALS POINT TO CASE LAW THAT SAYS THEY CAN’T CRIMINALIZE HOMELESSNESS WITHOUT FIRST PROVIDING SHELTER OPTIONS.. AND THERE ARE A VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF SHELTER BEDS IN THIS AREA.. THE COUNTY IS MAKING MONEY AVAILABLE TO MAKE MORE OF THEM. MH KPBS NEWS.
TAG: the county says they will continue to have staff visit the encampment to offer hygiene kits and help people connect with resources, like cal-fresh. they say they will also continue to do clean ups in the area.
San Diego public transit projects are getting nearly 14 million dollars from the federal government. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says that's due to a return of Congressional earmarks.
AB: Earmarks are when members of Congress give a project or program money as part of a larger spending bill. They returned this year after being banned for more than a decade. Among the local earmarks: 10 million to help stabilize the Del Mar bluffs and plan for moving the COASTER tracks inland. Coleen Clementson of the regional planning agency SANDAG says it's a fraction of the project's total cost.
CC: Hopefully we'll have some local funds to put toward that. We'll be looking for state funds as well on all these projects. But this is like a down payment on what needs to be done here.
AB: Congress approved just under 5,000 earmarks totaling 9 billion dollars in the spending bill approved last month. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news.
The trial in the nearly decade-long Navy corruption case was sidelined for a week over missteps by prosecutors. KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh says the judge plans to get proceedings back on track.
It’s often dubbed the Fat Leonard probe, after the nickname of Malaysian contractor Leonard Francis, who has already been convicted of bribing dozens of Navy officials. After nine weeks, the case was stalled this week while Judge Janis Sammartino looked into whether prosecutors improperly withheld evidence from the defense. Rachel VanLandingham is a law professor at LA’s Southwestern Law School.
“The Defense has indicated, they may ask for a mistrial. I would be highly surprised to see a mistrial because, again, the judge has a chance to fashion appropriate remedy that falls short of a mistrial.”
VanLandingham says the judge could limit the testimony of future witnesses. The last five former Naval officers implicated in the probe are on trial in a case that began in 2013, when Leonard was arrested in San Diego and charged with bilking the Navy out of millions. Steve Walsh KPBS News.
Coming up.... Childcare providers in San Diego are struggling to make money, worsening an already tough situation. We’ll have that story, and more, next after the break.
California is helping Tijuana understand where the Mexican city might be having issues with air pollution. KPBS Environment Reporter Erik Anderson has details.
The border city is getting 50 low cost air pollution monitors thanks to a grant from the U-S Environmental Protection Agency. Tijuana was interested after U-S money paid for a similar air quality monitoring effort in Mexicali. The California Air Resources Board’s Ryan Atencio says the devices will be connected to WiFi so officials can track pollution in real time.
“They’re looking at places like fire stations, and schools and universities, other public institutions and in terms of geography and location….they’re looking at places and areas where they think there will be excess emissions.”
The U-S agencies paid for the monitors in Mexico because they say pollution doesn’t stop at the border.
Erik Anderson KPBS News
San Diego’s already bleak childcare landscape could get even worse. KPBS reporter Claire Trageser says that’s because less than a quarter of childcare providers are making a profit.
Meanwhile, 78% of providers are either losing money or just breaking even. The results come from a survey of 900 childcare providers done by the Nonprofit Institute at University of San Diego.
Kim McDougal, the executive director of the YMCA Childcare Resource Service, says she was “heartbroken” to see the results.
“We are clearly propping up our childcare industry on the backs of people that are not able to move themselves forward economically, yet they're continuing to provide this critical service.”
McDougal says the situation will only become more dire if public money can’t be found to help providers at risk of going out of business.
Claire Trageser, KPBS News
Over the weekend, book lovers have been on a joy ride across the County as the San Diego Book Crawl returned in person.
KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez has more on the event for literary lovers.
11 independent booksellers from Coronado to Del Mar have their doors open offering a wide variety of titles and prizes, too.
COVID killed in-person book sales for almost two years. Now owners are determined to bring back business and remind readers why their shops offer the real deals.
The event is coordinated by the Library Foundation of San Diego. Scott eh-RIG burr-JESS is the public engagement manager…
“think back to all the books you love that were recommended to you. How many of those books were recommended by an algorithm versus how many were recommended by a librarian or a bookseller you trust.”
Banned books are a big draw for crawlers at many of the shops…which are open through the end of business Monday. Follow at S-D-BOOK-CRAWL on Instagram for all the locations.
MGP KPBS News
That’s it for the podcast today. 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.