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Oceanside police to update use of force policy

 November 11, 2021 at 9:09 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, November 11th.

Oceanside gets a yes to mandatory de-escalation policy for police.
More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….######

There’s now new rules for public comments at county board of supervisor meetings. Supervisors nathan fletcher and nora vargas say behavior by some members of the public has grown worse, especially in the last few weeks. It culminated with a man hurling insults at supervisors.. and a racist term at public health officer wilma wooten. Fletcher says freedom of speech will be respected, but new rules must be put into place.

public comment will always remain a feature of local government. the ability of folks to come down and dissent and disagree will always remain a feature of local government.”

The new rules, which forbid loud, disruptive behavior, passed by a vote of three to one. they go into effect immediately.


The sheriff’s Emergency Vehicle Operations Center opened on (WEDNESDAY) in South Bay. This state of the art facility will help both cadets and current emergency responders learn important driving maneuvers to protect both themselves and the public in emergency situations. The 40 acre facility cost about 32 million dollars to build and created nearly 300 jobs.


Santa Ana winds are expected today and tomorrow. Wind speeds are expected upwards of 45 miles per hour through the region’s mountains and canyons. Temperatures west of the mountains will be 10 to 20 degrees above normal. According to the national weather service, these conditions will heighten wildfire risks to potentially near-critical levels. The Santa Ana conditions are expected to be over by Friday afternoon into saturday.


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

Community members asked Oceanside’s chief of police to commit to a mandatory de-escalation policy at a meeting Tuesday night. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne has more.

Oceanside’s current police de escalation policy reads,

“When interacting with persons in crisis and situations in which the use of force is likely, and when feasible, officers should use de-escalation strategies.”

The word “should” does not make the policy mandatory.

In San Diego and La Mesa’s police de-escalation policies, it says de-escalation “shall” be used .

Oceanside’s chief of police Fred Armijo was put on the spot when he was asked one question…

Are you willing to change the de-escalation policy of the Oceanside police department?

To which he answered…

“Let me be as direct as you deserve, the answer is yes….

“We have committed to change “should” to “shall”.

Armijo says the change will go into effect in 30 days and police officers will need to pass a written test on the new policy changes.


San Diego is getting closer to a new map of city council districts. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen takes a closer look at the debate over where to draw the lines.

AB: The city's redistricting commission is homing in on two maps — one drawn by the commission chair and another drawn by activists. Among them is Jen LaBarbera, education and advocacy manager at San Diego Pride. She says the community-drawn map satisfies a number of concerns — reuniting neighborhoods that are currently split into two or more districts, and creating more districts that empower minorities.

JL: Four of our nine districts are majority people of color, if you combine Black, Asian and Latinx voters, with one of our districts being about 50/50.

AB: Commissioners opposed to that map say it dilutes the voting power of coastal communities. Commissioners hope to strike a compromise on Saturday.


The county public defender’s office has named the 25-most remarkable teens in san diego. nominations came from the community and the awards honor accomplishments in areas that include leadership, performing arts, and social justice.

KPBS education reporter m.g. Perez introduces us to one of them.

17-year old EE-Lan Jin-itch has been named one of the 25 remarkable teens in San Diego. He’s a junior at San Diego Jewish Academy and the son of Mexican immigrants. He directed and produced a documentary on injustice at the Mexican border. He says communities like San Ysidro suffer from higher than normal rates of asthma and he calls it environmental racism.

SOT: “Whether it be pollution or things like that that ruin the environment that’s directly affecting them because of decisions made by the government.”

This is the third year the San Diego County Public Defender’s office has issued the teen awards.


This week the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced they’re seeking emergency approval for booster doses of their vaccine for people 18 and older.

Meanwhile the White House announced that at least 900-thousand children between the ages of 5 to 11 have already gotten their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

While the latest national milestone is encouraging, concern is growing here in California as COVID hospitalizations are rising in regions with lower vaccination rates, namely in places like Riverside and San Bernardino county.

The spike in cases ahead of the holiday season combined with the ongoing issue of waning efficacy continues to give residents pause about how the fight against COVID-19 is going and what’s ahead.

With answers to some of our most pressing pandemic questions is Dr. Eric Topol, the Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla. He spoke with KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon. Here’s that interview.

Speaker 2: (00:56)


Speaker 1: (00:57)

You explain Pfizer's latest request for emergency use booster authorization from the FDA and how does this differ from prior steps in the authorization process?

Speaker 2: (01:08)

Well, the only authorization they received so far are for people over 65 and those who have immunocompromised or comorbidity vulnerable status. Now they're trying to widen that and expanding it to everyone. 18 years of age and older other countries have given authorization as such for example, Canada, New Zealand, many others, but the us has not come down in the age criteria as low as 18. And Pfizer has data now to support them,

Speaker 1: (01:39)

Should people go and seek out their booster shots and how should they determine how to go about getting additional doses?

Speaker 2: (01:46)

Well, the booster shot does give edit protection. If you're more than five, six months out from getting the second shot, it's time to think about a booster as you go older in age from 40 to 50 60 putts, you just keep having more risks without the booster. So whether it's necessary in even younger age groups like in the twenties and thirties, that's where it gets to be a little less clear, but I think ideally it would be best if all people consider getting it. It's really a personal choice, particularly in young people, but not really in people who are older.

Speaker 1: (02:21)

And as you mentioned right now, the booster shot is available for people who have underlying conditions and comorbidities, but there are many common underlying conditions here that are often missed. Can you talk about those a bit,

Speaker 2: (02:34)

Right, Jane? Well, there are, uh, no shortage of chronic conditions. Uh, getting down to things like obesity, certainly diabetes, hypertension. There are the list of coexisting conditions is quite extensive, but even people who have no coexisting conditions, particularly as they get past age, 50 and 60, they really ought to go and get a booster right now. What we've seen is that there's some reluctance for people to get that. And I understand that if you've gone through a flu like illness from your second shot, who wants to get a third one, but there's a lot of protection and it's possible that that third shot could take us a long way. It's not just another six months. So I really, I think we should encourage these

Speaker 1: (03:16)

Because data show in terms of how well boosters protect versus severe disease across age groups,

Speaker 2: (03:22)

Hospitalizations, and severe disease, and almost all the data we have comes from Israel. And there they define severe disease as hospitalization, or clear-cut signed that there's a oxygen desaturation in the lungs that is, uh, a burgeoning pneumonia, you know, pretty strict criteria. But if you look at the data that's been published now from Israel, hospitalizations and deaths are suppressed with the booster shots, the deaths primarily occur in people who are age 70 and older, but no one wants to go in the hospital with COVID, particularly if you've already had two vaccine shots. So boosters are smart. Uh, and I really think we should be using them more liberally and accepting them.

Speaker 1: (04:08)

As we mentioned earlier, the white house is set to announce today that 900,000 children aged five to 11 have received their first dose. Are you encouraged by that number?

Speaker 2: (04:20)

Yes, it's a good start. 1 million down and a 27 million to go. That's how many children ages five to 11. There are in the United States. We'll never get the 28 million, but it sure would help a lot to get control of the pandemic to get these kids protected, not just from themselves, but other kids and teachers and staff in schools and adults, but also protecting kids from long. COVID protecting them from, you know, the whole pandemic duration, no less, uh, the issues of getting rid of mask in school and all the things of signs of progress. So we really want to get these kids vaccinated. And interestingly, the paper that came out yesterday in the new England journal was really impressive. 91% protection with this low dose of the Pfizer vaccine, just 10 micrograms, which was accompanied by just remarkable safety data. So I think this is a really great, uh, green light to getting children vaccinated. The safety was a concern in teens, but the dose has been lowered to a third and hopefully we won't see any significant side effects in children as we go forward. And time will tell about that, but the trial looked really a very solid,

Speaker 1: (05:37)

The impact that COVID can have on children was at all trivialized during efforts to get them back into the classroom.

Speaker 2: (05:44)

Well, yes, I mean, I think the idea that schools were closed for such a long period of time, and there were evidence evidence in other countries that they were able to stay open. You know, we've had significant issues here in the U S and certainly in California, we haven't had rapid tests on a daily or frequent basis to help to know whether children and staff and teachers were okay to go in that day, which would be idea. We still don't have them in a nearly all schools that would really help. But, you know, I think if we can get the vaccination rates really high, we can get schools to be one of the safest places there are.

Speaker 1: (06:21)

I think we will eventually see a plateau in vaccination rates among children due to hesitancy, as we've seen with other groups.

Speaker 2: (06:28)

That is a problem. You know, when you have adults that won't get vaccinated, sure is unlikely. They're going to have their children get vaccinated. So we haven't gotten that problem resolved in adults. And that's a serious matter in this country. That's setting us up for trouble. We only have 58% of the population vaccinated, even if we got all the children vaccinated, which is unlikely, we're still left way behind where we need to be to get this pandemic in our rear view mirror.

Speaker 1: (06:55)

And what do you make of the recent increase in hospitalizations here in California?

Speaker 2: (07:00)

Well, we have a few things going on at once. You know, I've already mentioned our vaccination rate is inadequate. It's less in California than in many other states, particularly in new England. And it's just above the national average, but it's just not enough. So those people who are winding up in the hospital are much more likely to be the un-vaccinated, but some are vaccinated who had this week immunity and they would have been much better off if they'd gotten the booster shot, then you have the people who have relaxed the idea, the notion that the pandemic is over, it couldn't be more wrong. So these are the major factors that are contributing to the problem. And I think we're still on the upswing, unfortunately in California and San Diego, because we don't have enough recognition of these three Cardinal issues that are ongoing.

Speaker 1: (07:50)

There are places in the world where COVID is currently surging like Eastern Europe. For example, what's driving the surge there and could the U S see the same as holidays and winter approach

Speaker 2: (08:01)

Eastern and central Europe have very low vaccination rate, but what's even more concerning than the Eastern central Europe's status is that in Western Europe, almost every country has considerably higher vaccination rates and more recent vaccination than the us. So they have less evidence of waning and higher people protected. And we are seeing really high rates of COVID in those countries, countries like Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway. I mean, the list goes on. That's a horrible sign because these countries are better off than we are. So we should have a wake up call that we are in for trouble, uh, because we're lower vaccinated. We have more waning with people reluctant to get boosters. We have been thinking that, you know, the mask and mitigation is unnecessary when in fact it's actually quite necessary to get through this. So we were not taking heat again. And that's a problem.

That was Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla. He was speaking with KPBS Midday Edition host Jade Hindmon.


Coming up, for this veterans day we’re bringing stories of American veterans, from American Veterans. We’ll have more on that next, just after the break.

This veterans day, we bring you the story of an American veteran. It's part of a series of veteran stories from the American homefront.

Army specialist Shoshana Johnson was traveling in a convoy in iraq in 2003, when her vehicle was attacked. Iraqi forces killed 11 soldiers in her company and captured six, including johnson. she was held for 22 days, becoming the first black female prisoner of war in american history. here's her story, told in her own voice.

Speaker 1: (00:00)

There's a vehicle, a civilian vehicle that pulls in front of us. I think it was a dump truck or tow truck or something. And we ended up going to the side of the road and I jumped out the vehicle here comes Saren Riley Hernandez comes flying out of the vehicle and we go underneath the vehicle to take cover and return fire, I think is not even a minute underneath the vehicle. I get shot both my legs. Then Hernandez gets hit in the arm. Sergeant Riley says his weapon is jammed. And I hand in mine and I remember I gave it to him flat down, which is totally wrong. It gets dirt in the mechanism. And of course it wouldn't fire after that. Next thing you know, Saren Riley says, you know, we're going to have to surrender. It's part of the Geneva convention. You're supposed to separate the male from the female, but as the only female I'm I'm alone most of the time, and it's hard.

Speaker 1: (00:59)

Um, the only human contact you have is, you know, my guards or the doctor would come in to look at my leg, sitting there alone, having to think about everything. I went through, every thing I had ever done wrong in my life and apologize to God. Um, and you know, thought about my daughter and God willing. If I got to go home, what would I do? What myself and I thought of those who I knew were dead and wondered about the rest of them. They started moving us from prisons to homes. And that's very scary because the military was checking prisons. You can't go and check every house in a city. So it was beginning, harder to find us and the dread start setting in. I remember the night before we, they had given us this really cool meal with soda and chocolate, and I was thinking, it's the last meal they're going to kill us. This is your last, you know, but Nope, the Marines came to the rescue on Palm Sunday. I thought I was fine. And I kept saying it, I'm fine. I'm fine. My aunt, my family said, no, you're not, no, you're not.

Speaker 1: (02:16)

I was different. They expect you to come home the way he left and that's not possible. You're not the same person. My parents were like, your daughter comes to us, talking about mommy, cries all the time and stuff. So they guilted me into being more diligent about my care. I get excellent care. And, and I still have issues. I've been hospitalized three times in El Paso. They keep a military wing. We are all like housed together and get our treatment together and so forth. And I think that does more for me than the actual therapy. And the doctors is that structure of that military life back, that

Speaker 2: (02:59)

Really helps more than anything because they understand like nobody else. I wouldn't change going in the military, being a soldier for anything in the world. The only thing I would change is that day. If I could go back and unring that bell and have all of us come home, that's the one thing I would change.

that's shoshana johnson, recorded by insignia films for gbh boston. you can hear more on the pbs series "american veteran" and the podcast "american veteran, unforgettable stories."

This excerpt was produced by the american homefront project.

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.

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At a Tuesday night meeting, community members demanded Oceanside's chief of police make a policy to de-escalate potential violent encounters mandatory, rather than suggested – changing the word ‘should’ de-escalate to ‘shall’. Meanwhile, the San Diego Redistricting Commission is honing in on two new City Council district maps as they race to meet a mid-December deadline. Plus, this veterans day we bring you the story of army specialist Shoshana Johnson, as part of a series of stories from the American Homefront Project.