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Consequences for police misconduct

 March 9, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday, March 9th.

We look into why some police officers who’ve committed misconduct haven't faced consequences.

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


A 20-22 Teacher of the Year from National City is now accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old former student.

Jaqueline Ma was arrested Tuesday at Lincoln Acres Elementary School.. a day after a parent told National City police they suspected Ma of sexually abusing their child.

Ma posted bail, and will be arraigned on March 14th in Chula Vista.


The first Naloxone vending machine has been installed in San Diego County.

It’s part of the county’s effort to battle fatal opioid overdoses.

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses by restoring normal breathing.

The new Naloxone vending machine is at the McAlister South Bay Regional Recovery Center in Chula Vista.

You don’t have to be a member of the center to use it.

It will dispense the opioid overdose medication for free.

More vending machines are scheduled to be installed across the county.


The ending of emergency food benefits this month amounts to nearly eight-million fewer meals each month for San Diego County residents in need.

That's according to recently published research by the San Diego Hunger Coalition.

As of last June, nearly one in four San Diego County residents were nutrition insecure, or unable to pay for three healthy meals a day.

According to the hunger coalition, county households will see a

minimum of a 95-dollars reduction in their CalFresh benefits, with some monthly

reductions as high as 250-dollars.

But, some CalFresh households may be eligible to increase the benefits they

receive by contacting San Diego Hunger Coalition partner agencies or

the county.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


San Diego police have released almost 100 records of officer misconduct, but a third are missing what discipline the officers received.

Reporter Gustavo Solis tells us about the impacts that could have.

A warning, this story contains graphic sounds.

In 2019, the San Diego Police Department’s procedure for carotid (CAR-ah-tid) restraints was that they should be applied for no longer than 15 seconds. In December of that year, Officer Dillon Fuston held one for 38 seconds. Police body camera shows another officer telling Fuston to stop. But he kept going. Let him go. Let him go The man he stopped doesn’t know why officers want him in handcuffs. Fuston doesn’t introduce himself or tell the man why they want to question him. According to police documents, the man tried to head-butt Fuston. Stay right there. Put your hands behind your back. Why, I didn’t do anything. Internal affairs investigators said Fuston’s choke hold created a substantial risk for bodily injury. But we don’t know if Fuston was disciplined at all. Earlier this year, the San Diego Police Department made 93 misconduct cases available to the public. Every case was investigated by internal affairs. And investigators concluded that officers did something wrong.  But one third of those cases – including Fuston’s – don’t have any disciplinary records. That doesn’t actually mean that these officers were not disciplined. It just means we don’t have records. There are multiple reasons why the public doesn’t have access to those records. Retired La Mesa Police Captain Dan Willis says there may not be a paper trail because the punishment was not severe. “The most reasonable explanation is it was less than formal. Maybe the guy had to take a class, maybe he had to do some different training. Maybe he just got scolded by the lieutenant.” San Diego Police Department Captain Jeff Jordon oversees the records department. He didn’t make anyone available for an interview. But he did respond to questions via email. Jordon says that the police department has different retention periods for different disciplinary actions. For example, the department keeps written warnings for two years before deleting them. That explains missing discipline records from older cases. But not newer cases. David Loy is the legal director of the First Amendment Coalition. He says another reason for missing records is that officers quit or retired before getting in trouble. David Loy, First Amendment Coalition “Historically that has been somewhat of a common loophole where officers might resign to avoid a finding or avoid some disciplinary sanction.” Whatever the reason for the missing discipline, we know that Fuston left the force in 2022 and now works for the Sheriff’s Department. It’s unclear why he left and what disciplinary records - if any - the Sheriff’s department had access to. They say they check personnel files and history from previous employers. This lack of accountability creates tension between the San Diego Police Department and communities of color. Abraham Jarvis has several open complaints against SDPD officers. He is only 18 years old and has lost count of how many times he’s been pulled over. Abfraham Jarvis, Southeast San Diego “Hmm. I’d say approximately 14 to 15 times. Yea.” It’s gotten to the point that he’s afraid to drive. “When it first started happening, I was scared to drive again. I was scared to drive. I would take the freeways just to get my little brother from my auntie’s house because I didn’t want to take the roads where they could pull me over. It’s been tough.” His mother, Evelia Jarvis, doesn’t think the department is taking their complaints seriously. She also believes her son would be safer from police outside of San Diego. So Abraham is going to join the Army. Evelia Jarvis, mother “When we discussed that, I just felt it was going to be safer for him to get out of southeast San Diego.” Jarvis says it was a hard decision to make.“Of course, no one wants to see their child leave. But this is going to benefit my child. And just the fear, the fear of knowing that anytime he’s out and about they can do anything and get away with it and ask questions later, it is what it is. They don’t get a consequence.” She’s always respected the police, but their treatment of her son has changed that. She respects the ones doing their job, but not the ones harassing her child. Gustavo Solis, KPBS News.

TAG: This story was reported with inewsource, an independent funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS.


It’s one of the most beautiful areas in San Diego… and now the future of De Anza Cove is starting to come into focus.

Reporter John Carroll has more on a new proposal, just released by the city.

The new proposal comes in the form of a draft to the overall Mission Bay Park Master Plan.  It reimagines how the 505-acre De Anza Cove recreation area will be laid out.  If the current proposal holds, part of the Campland on the Bay property would be restored to wetlands, but there would still be dozens of acres set aside for camping.  The major change from past plans is the addition and restoration of wetlands.  San Diego Planning Director Heidi Vonblum says that’s important for habitat, and to prepare for sea level rise. “Making sure that we have a sustainable, resilient plan for the future for this area, so that it can continue to provide these opportunities for a lifetime of generations to come.” The public comment period is open until April 20th.  We have a link to where you can contribute your thoughts on our website,  KPBS dot org.  JC, KPBS News.


The Army shelved its 19-80s-era “Be all you can be” slogan in 2001,opting for a millennial-focused “Army of One.”

Now, with recruiting numbers down, the Army is reaching into its recent past and resurrecting its classic campaign.

Military reporter Andrew Dyer has more.

(Reporter) You might remember the Army’s “Be all you can be” slogan from the service’s 1980s and 90s ad campaigns. On Wednesday, the service formally re-introduced the slogan for a new generation of recruits. The Army’s commanding general of its Training and Doctrine Command Gen. Gary Brito was in San Diego for a junior ROTC recruiting event. Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command “Be all you can be truly represents an opportunity – possibilities – for all young men and women out there.” (Reporter) The Army fell short of its recruiting goal last year by 25 percent. Brito rejected the notion that some Defense Department policies – characterized as “woke” by some Republican lawmakers – impact recruiting. Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command “We are not a ‘woke’ Army. We’re an Army that represents all of America.” (Reporter) Brito said the Army is on track to meet its recruiting goal for 2023. Andrew Dyer, KPBS News. (Music outro).


Coming up.... We have details on the San Diego Latino Film Festival, as it marks a major milestone this year. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


Next month, a new leader will take command of San Diego’s Salk Institute.

Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge tells us more about Jerry Joyce.

Walk down the hall that leads to the president’s office of the Salk Institute and you see six photographs on the wall. They are the six Nobel Laureates who did their life-science research at Salk. President-designate Gerald Joyce – everyone calls him Jerry – says they are a symbol of the Institute's laser focused vision. “The faculty and other scientists at Salk focus intently on science. As important as the teaching mission is, that’s not what we do here. As important as the clinical mission is, that’s not what we do here. We are 100 percent focused on scientific discovery.”“ A native of Kansas, Joyce came to San Diego to get his PhD from UC San Diego. He has been a faculty member at Salk Institute since 2017. He says despite Salk’s past accomplishments and its global reputation, it’s about all about what science comes next. One example… “We now see a union of biological systems with new technology, especially computational technology to harvest big data and use that as a guide to experiments and hypothesis formation.” That big data will play a huge role in Salk’s effort to map the 90 billion neurons of the human brain, funded by the biggest grant in Institute history. SOQ.


International Women’s Day was marked in San Diego with several events, including a downtown rally in support of women half a world away.

Reporter Melissa Mae has the story.

MM: Wednesday’s rally was to support Iranian (IH-rahn-ee-an) women. Organizers call it the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement. MM: BiBi (BEE-BEE) Kasrai (KASS-rah-ee) is a spokesperson for the San Diego Iranians (IH-rahn-ee-ans) Group. BK “It's a day of solidarity of women who give life. Our slogan is Women Life Freedom. Women want a good life. They want freedom and they want unity and support of the world. And on this day we are counting on you to be our support because women of Iran are not only fighting for their own rights but they're fighting for your rights as well.” MM: The group has held thirty rallies since a woman named Masah (MAH-sah) Amini (AH-mean-ee) died in the custody of Iranian  (IH-rahn-ee-an) police last year.  MM: They say they will continue to be the voice of the women of Iran (IH-rahn). Melissa Mae KPBS News.


The San Diego Latino Film Festival has a big birthday this month.

It celebrates its 30th year of showcasing diverse Latin-X voices from around the globe.

It will be screening 160 films over 11 days at AMC Mission Valley and Digital Gym Cinema starting today through March 19th.

My colleague Beth Accomando previews the festival with its founder Ethan Van Thillo, and exhibitions director Moises Esparza.

TAG: That was Ethan Van Thillo and Moises Esparza, speaking with K-P-B-S film critic Beth Accomando.

The San Diego Latino Film Festival runs through the 19th.


And one more story before you go… San Diego firefighters are out and about at intersections today… and all for a good cause.

Grab your dollars and change on your way out the door this morning if you want to support the Burn Institute’s 19th Annual firefighter boot drive.

Each year, hundreds of uniformed firefighters from departments across the county come together to fill their boots with donations for burn prevention education programs, and burn survivor support programs.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great Thursday.

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San Diego police have released almost 100 records of officer misconduct, but a third are missing what discipline the officers received. In other news, a new leader will soon take command of San Diego’s Salk Institute. Plus, we have details on the San Diego Latino Film Festival as it marks a major milestone this year.