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Hate crimes rising in San Diego

 February 4, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Speaker 1: (00:04)

Good morning. I'm Anica Colbert. It's Friday, February 4th. Hate crimes are on the rise more on that next, but first let's do the headlines.

Speaker 1: (00:19)

San Diego county public officials reported more than 3000 new COVID 19 cases yesterday and 22 additional deaths. Officials are warning that even though it looks like the Aron surges on the decline, the death toll is rising that's because hospitalizations and deaths tend to happen after a spiking cases, county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten as lab confirmed cases are only a portion of the actual cases in the county. Especially as people start relying on at home tests, which don't get reported to the county, California energy officials are putting their decision to revise rules about the solar market on hold indefinitely. CPU C president Alice Reynolds says hurry, C needs more time to consider the changes that could upend the market. Critics say the current system subsidizes rich Californians who have solar panels, solar advocates. However, say the proposed changes will stop the adoption of rooftop, solar and hurt the state's chances at mating greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Speaker 1: (01:20)

The state auditor will leased a report yesterday that says the Sheriff's department didn't do enough to prevent the high number of deaths in county jails. The report was released on sheriff bill Gore's last day in office. The audit found that between 2006 and twenty twenty, a hundred and eighty five people died in county jails. That's one of the highest counts in the state. The report says there were serious problems with how the department provides medical and mental healthcare, which likely contributed to the in custody deaths. In a statement, the Sheriff's department says it'll consider every recommendation by the state auditor from K PBS or listening to San Diego news. Now stay with me for more of the local news. You need Hate crimes have increased sharply in San Diego and across the country in recent years, and as KPBS, race and equity reporter Christina Kim reports, early findings show the trend grew even worse in 2021 hate is

Speaker 2: (02:22)

On the rise in San Diego. And the examples are everywhere. Just last weekend. City of Coronado, director of recreation and golf services, Roger Miller and his wife, Sandra Miller were filmed after allegedly hurling anti-Asian racist slurs towards an Asian American couple while shopping in orange county. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (02:42)

Americas afraid.

Speaker 2: (02:45)

Roger Miller is currently on administrative leave, pending an independent investigation by the city of Coronado. His wife was fired from her job at a school in Temecula. We know that

Speaker 4: (02:55)

That's just the tip of the iceberg for how others

Speaker 2: (02:57)

Feel around town. Jason PIO is a Coronado resident and CEO and president of the Asian business association in San Diego. He was disturbed by Miller's behavior and the city's response.

Speaker 5: (03:08)

You know, this doesn't come out of nowhere. It's not out of a vacuum that, you know, people must have, have heard his actions and what he had done in the past

Speaker 2: (03:16)

Pogi has lived in San Diego county, his whole life. He says the past few years have changed how he sees the region,

Speaker 5: (03:22)

Not the San Diego. I know. Um, and, and what I grew up in. So it's, uh, really dis disheartening

Speaker 2: (03:27)

In the city of San Diego. The number of hate crimes reported by the San Diego police department, nearly doubled last year. District attorney summer Stephan says her office prosecuted 30 hate crime cases in 2021 and received around 300 reports of hate incidents.

Speaker 4: (03:42)

We definitely saw a rise in hate crimes, even as compared with 2020, which was already quite an increase, but we, we saw an even wider increase in 2021 and a race based hate crimes. Top

Speaker 2: (04:00)

The list. This uptick in hate and hate crimes is not just happening locally. Brian Levin director of the center for the study of hate and extremism at Cal state San Bernardino says hate crimes and major us cities went up 46% in 2021. So

Speaker 6: (04:15)

Nationally for instance, New York, LA uh, Chicago hit century highs along with some other places, but we also saw places like San Diego while not hitting a century high, hit a high, not seen in over a decade.

Speaker 2: (04:31)

Nationwide race based hate crimes are still primarily directed against black Americans. So in

Speaker 6: (04:37)

Most cities anti-black is going to be the high and anti-black has been the highest nationally, as long as we've been collecting

Speaker 2: (04:46)

Data. But over the past few years, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased. The most, that number went up a whopping 339% nationwide in 20 21, 11 says major events and political rhetoric contribute to spikes and hate

Speaker 6: (05:02)

Stereotypes and bigotries that are directed against various groups. Particularly racial groups really get anchored in 2020 anti-Asian with respect to COVID anti-black with respect to, uh, the George Floyd

Speaker 2: (05:19)

Lynching here in San Diego, the da office found that 12% of all hate crimes reported to them in 2021 were against Asian Americans. Stephan says, this is likely an under count. And they only capture a snapshot of the impact. Hate has on a community hate

Speaker 4: (05:34)

Crimes, have a ripple effect. They don't just make someone feel unsafe and terrorized who is the direct victim. They make everyone in the, that shares the identity. The race of that individual also feel

Speaker 2: (05:51)

Unsafe. That feeling of not being safe is something that POEO has been hearing from local Asian business owners. And it's taking a toll on him too.

Speaker 5: (05:59)

It's very heavy hearing it. You know, as much as we have in the last couple years here

Speaker 2: (06:03)

Still PA appreciates that the issue is being tracked and hopes. It inspires people to action.

Speaker 5: (06:09)

We need allies across the board, in every community. We need people standing up for us and being in solidarity with our

Speaker 2: (06:17)

Kim KPBS news,

Speaker 1: (06:26)

The San Diego police department is spending more than it budgeted on overtime. KPBS. Metro reporter, Andrew Bowen says that's once again, drawing attention to the police, his role in responding to homelessness,

Speaker 7: (06:40)

S D P D attributes its overspending on overtime to arise in 9 1, 1 calls and violent crime and a shortage of officers. But there's also near universal agreement that police spend too much time managing the homelessness crisis city council, president Sean ELO Rivera says right now, police have to show up to pretty much every call about homelessness. Even when the situation is unlikely to get violent. He says police presence might be necessary sometimes, but if not, let's

Speaker 8: (07:10)

Free them up to do, to do the work that they're tasked with, which is again, more than they than they should be tasked with. And to, to me, that would be a, a way of expanding overall, uh, capacity, uh, without necessarily increasing the size of

Speaker 7: (07:24)

The force. San Diego does have a new mobile crisis response team that gets sent to mental health drug, or alcohol related emergencies. But police chief David Nite says it's too small to give any meaningful relief to the demands on officers. Meanwhile, police overtime is expected to be almost 7 million over budget by the end of June, Andrew Bo and KPBS news,

Speaker 1: (07:51)

A bill banning the sale of ghost guns at the Delmar fairgrounds is making its way through the state legislature, KPBS reporter. Katie L Verrado spoke to the local assembly member who authored the bill

Speaker 9: (08:03)

Assembly. Bill three 11 would make it illegal to sell untraceable ghost gun kits and parts at the Delmar fairgrounds assembly member. Chris ward wrote the bill

Speaker 8: (08:12)

Just in a couple of years, as much as one third of those, uh, guns illegally held and recovered by law enforcement locally. Our ghost guns

Speaker 9: (08:20)

Ward says initially the bill Bann ghost gun sales on all state lands, but when it became clear, it would be too challenging to enforce. He amended it to apply only to the Delmar fairgrounds, which he says aren't covered by city and county ghost gun laws. So

Speaker 10: (08:35)

This all feels very much like political theater by people that have already been kind of proven to be anti-gun zealots.

Speaker 9: (08:42)

Michael Schwartz is the executive director of the San Diego gun owners pack. He says, there's already plenty of laws on the books that make ghost guns illegal. And this one won't deter criminals.

Speaker 10: (08:53)

I can guarantee there will be

Speaker 11: (08:54)


Speaker 3: (08:55)

kitty Alvarado, KPBS news

Speaker 1: (09:02)

Coming up COVID 19 vaccines may soon be available for little kids, also a state program to help farm workers failed. Plus community college students across the state have a new lifeline to stay in school. Those stories along with the preview of the annual human rights watch film festival are next just after the break. Pfizer applied for vaccine approval for children ages six months to five years earlier this week, Dr. Eric Topel is director of the scripts research translational Institute in the Hoya. He spoke with K PBS midday edition host J Heman about vaccines for this age group.

Speaker 12: (09:58)

This is a bit complicated because we already know that Pfizer's two dose regimen for children. Ages two to five was not protective. Um, however, it was found to be protective for children six months to two years. Can you explain what you know about why they are still applying for approval? Right.

Speaker 11: (10:15)

Well, this is little complicated Jade because the adult dose was 30 micrograms of the mRNA, and that was also the dose, um, that was used in teens. And then when they used the dose for five to 11 year olds, they dropped it down to 10. And then when they tried to go from babies to age five, they dropped it down to three. So what happened was they went down too low, which is great for safety. I mean, it's excellent, but it really wasn't enough of the exposure, uh, of the spike mRNA, uh, for, particularly for ages two to five. So a third dose is ongoing to rev that up and that probably will be all that's needed to give really strong protection, but we're only gonna see those data in the weeks ahead.

Speaker 12: (11:03)

So then what do you make of this?

Speaker 11: (11:05)

Well, this is unusual because typically you'd have all the data secure and done reviewed before there would be an approval, but it looks like the interest here is because there's a lot of children younger than age five who are getting sick. Some of them actually in the hospital, the idea is to get them at least started with their first dose because by the time the third dose data will be ready and it's likely it'll be, uh, quite good that they would be on their way towards the third dose. To me, Jada would be better if it was to just a two dose, uh, program of course, and they started out with a higher dose, but I give, I give 'em credit because they were trying to not, you know, give too much, this is what happened essentially in the teens where we saw, even though it was rare, the myocarditis issue, because they didn't drop the dose down. Whereas in the five to 11 age group, the kids did incredibly well and worldwide, there's like 11 cases of myocarditis out of, you know, 10 million plus kids. And those, all those cases recovered fully. So it is a lot about this dose story and here, the compensation is a third dose. Uh, another way to go for it. Would've been just reload with somewhat higher dose, um, uh, for the young children.

Speaker 12: (12:22)

What do you think the risk is in moving forward with this request?

Speaker 11: (12:26)

I don't think there's any risk because the safety is there's a non-issue the real issue is will the third provide the immune protection that we have seen in all the other age groups? I think it's very likely, but, um, this is, this is not typical. It's because we're in a, a pandemic. And recently, uh, as you know, we had the highest number of children, both infected and hospitalized, uh, in, in the whole pandemic. So in, in a way, this is a response to a crisis.

Speaker 12: (12:56)

Can you remind us what the company found in terms of side effects for the vaccine, for children as young as six months? Well,

Speaker 11: (13:03)

For young children, the only side effects were the typical ones that we seen, which is the soreness in the arm. And, uh, you know, occasional fevers, chill, you know, what we call reactogenic. So the, these are minor transient side effects. So that's why the, you know, the, the vaccines were tolerated incredibly well throughout all, uh, children at all ages,

Speaker 12: (13:26)

The issue of childcare and the impact of this on working parents has been a huge issue during the pandemic. How do you see vaccinating? This population affect families with kids in daycare?

Speaker 11: (13:36)

Well, the uptake in children overall, including teens has been very low and it's really unfortunate. There's a lot of reasons why it helps. One is it of course, helps to protect those children from getting infection. But of course, it's also the network of all the people that they connect with, whether it's a daycare or preschool or, or school, you know, it helps to keep that fully functional and prevent the spread that uh, can occur.

Speaker 1: (14:00)

And that was Dr. Eric Topel director of the scripts research translational Institute in LA Hoya. He was speaking with KPBS midday edition host Jade. Henman A state program made over $900,000 available to Imperial county farm workers. But as I knew, source investigative reporter, Jennifer Bowman explains most of the money wasn't spent for

Speaker 13: (14:30)

Nearly a year. Imperial county was part of housing for the harvest. The state program helps farm more exposed to COVID 19 with isolation and financial assistance. Local, Dr. Tia VO provided the services under a county agreement with his nonprofit, but that abruptly ended after federal officials searched Vos offices, for reasons that have not been disclosed. The county looked for a new vendor, but was unsuccessful less than 4% of its funding was used for KPBS. I'm I new source investigative reporter,

Speaker 1: (15:03)

Jennifer Bowman, I new source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS Community college students across the state have been given a lifeline to stay in school. The California community college board of governors has approved an updated pass, no pass grading policy to discourage students from dropping out. Students will now have until their last day in class in a semester to decide whether they want a letter or grade or a pass, no pass grade. Adrian Gonzalez is vice president of student affairs at San Diego's Miramar college. If in

Speaker 14: (15:39)

A normal situation, they would've gotten an a, but because of everything they're dealing with, you know, they're struggling, maybe getting a C this allowed them to say, Hey, I'll take it as a pass, no pass and not have to worry about the pressures of the a B or see on

Speaker 1: (15:52)

My transcript. The change in grading policy does not mean a change at four year universities that require traditional grading. The museum of photographic arts in Balboa park is hosting its 12th annual human rights watch film festival through Tuesday. The event will be virtual this year feature dream five films about issues ranging from foster youth to immigration reform. Besides streaming the films festival Watchers will also get a chance for Q and as with filmmakers. Jennifer Ned Bosky is the deputy director of the human rights watch film festival. She spoke with K PBS midday edition host, Maureen Kavanaugh about the films here's that interview? Well, the film

Speaker 15: (16:33)

Festival is streaming it's underway. And the film on the divide is actually first on the list. Tell us what this film is

Speaker 16: (16:40)

About on the divide is a film that centers, the stories of the Latinx community in McAllen, Texas. This is an area where there's about a 250 mile swath of land. However, there's only one remaining abortion clinic. And this is for many people, especially folks living in poverty and with other limited access, um, this is where they pick up things like birth control. So when abortion clinics are closing in Texas, it really has an impact on every member of this community on whatever side of what they call the divide. They stand

Speaker 15: (17:12)

That's here from the trailer.

Speaker 17: (17:17)

Two, three years ago, Texas had 41 abortion facilities on October. The third, only seven in the state of Texas could legally perform an abortion.

Speaker 18: (17:28)

This is a clinic that has been closed down because of the new loss implemented by the state of Texas. The illegal abortions will take place. Women can hemorrhage to death.

Speaker 15: (17:41)

Why is this your opening movie

Speaker 16: (17:43)

Selection? You know, certainly women across the country and families across the country have so much at stake right now while there's a huge amount of support across the country for women to have the right to choose. Um, this film really shows that obviously the question is really complicated, but also there's a lot of common ground to be found the discussion on abortion. Isn't always a black and white issue. This film really shows that there's a huge, great area where people, including people of faith really understand and are empathizing with how difficult these choices are to make and how profound and important it is that women are able to decide what is best for their bodies and families. Another

Speaker 15: (18:22)

Film featured in the human rights watch film festival is possible cells. What does this movie highlight?

Speaker 16: (18:29)

We're thrilled to be hosting the world premier of this film possible selves, which is the first documentary of its kind to focus on the stories of foster youth, telling their own stories in the United States. It's impossible for foster youth to speak out to the press without approval from a judge. And so this film is really remarkable as it lifts up a lot of, or organizations and individuals in California that are supporting foster youth as they go ahead and reach their goal of graduating from college.

Speaker 15: (18:57)

Here's a clip from the film.

Speaker 19: (18:59)

It's like a foster children has like, you know, damaged goods. No one really wanted. And I don't know, once I became one, it's like my whole active, just shifted, you know, is that if that's what everyone will think of as foster child, then how can they ever see the qualities that they possess? How can they ever see that they might be a great dancer or a gifted musician?

Speaker 15: (19:23)

When we see documentaries about foster children, it usually focuses on the foster system itself. But as you say, this film concentrates on the stories of the foster kids themselves, how does that change the story that's

Speaker 16: (19:37)

Told? You know, it's so important that we're able to hear from the perspectives of foster youth, what their lives are like. And this film really it's, it's so important for the public to understand that foster youth are in their they're in your kids' schools. They might be your, your kid or the best friend of your child. They're important members of the community. And they're really trying hard to overcome the odds to reach their goals, be educated in college, to be able to work and support themselves. But the films also focuses on teens that are coming of age and aging out of the foster care system. And we at human rights watch really want the people to understand that watch this film, that foster youth need more support, and that can look like becoming a foster parent or just becoming a mentor and an ally to foster youth in your community. Tell

Speaker 15: (20:29)

Us a little about some of the other films being streamed. There's one called fruits of labor.

Speaker 16: (20:34)

That's right. Fruits of labor tells the story of an incredible young woman who is living outside of Los Angeles. Her story is one that's not unique to many members of the California and San Diego area. As she's in high school, her mother is threatened with deportation. And because of the fear of having her mother taken away, this young teenager ends up having to work multiple jobs to support her siblings and her mother financially. So she's working in the strawberry fields in the morning, going to high school and then working packing plant at night. And the film actually is co-written by Ashley, the film subject, and she'll be part of the Q and a. So we really hope folks get to meet her and hear her story. Where can

Speaker 15: (21:17)

People go to stream the films during the festival?

Speaker 16: (21:20)

The films are available to stream online at w F F the films will be online from February 2nd, all the way through the eighth. And tickets start at just $9 for the individual film, 35 for a whole festival pass. And I do wanna mention that we don't want the cost of the ticket to be a barrier so people can email And we'll go ahead and send you some free codes.

Speaker 1: (21:51)

And that was Jennifer Alki, the deputy director of the human rights watch film festival. She was speaking with KPBS midday edition, host Maureen Kavanaugh, And that's it for the podcast today, as always, you can find more San news I'm man Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a wonderful weekend.

Early findings show hate crimes are on the rise in recent years both in the San Diego region and across the country. In 2021, the trend only worsened. Also, the San Diego Police Department is spending more than it budgeted on overtime. Plus, a preview of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival happening at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.