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Shortly after Jamie Wilson and her son began fighting the San Diego Police Department’s policy for collecting DNA from minors, her son ended up in the state’s gang database.

In March 2016, Wilson’s 17-year-old son, a minor referred to as “P.D.” in court documents, was detained. Officers found an unloaded gun. According to court records, the gun was registered to one of the fathers of a boy P.D. was with. In June 2016, a juvenile court judge dismissed the charges and said police lacked probable cause to search P.D.’s bag. But, police had collected DNA from P.D. and other teens who were with him.

This February, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties filed a lawsuit on behalf of Wilson and P.D. It argued, among other things, the police department’s policy of collecting DNA from minors who have not been convicted of a crime is unconstitutional.

After that lawsuit, P.S. found himself in the gang database.

“Nine months of not getting in any trouble — he hasn’t done anything wrong — and then weeks after we filed the lawsuit and did the press conference, they feel like he needs to be documented as a gang member?” Wilson told Kelly Davis.

A Police Department spokesman said he couldn’t comment on the case, or confirm or deny that P.D.’s name was entered into the database, known as CalGang.

City Won’t Seize Rec Center Dollars Yet

This week, our Andy Keatts dug into a curious dilemma at City Hall.

Recreation councils across the city manage a lot of money collected for programs and recreation centers. But these are private groups.

The city attorney recently decided the city should not be depositing money into the bank accounts of private entities. They don’t have controls in place to protect against things like conflicts of interest in contracting — at least not like other city funds.

The move was on to seize the funds but at a City Council meeting Tuesday, it became clear that a majority of Council was unwilling to do that. The recreation councils include some of the most engaged people in the city and they were worried the city was fixing something that wasn’t broken. The Council tabled the issue for another month.

But they will have to do something by the end of the year. The recreation councils need to be re-authorized. The city attorney warned that there could be an interruption of recreation center services if nothing is done.

The Anatomy of a Sewage Spill

Earlier this year, 900,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a broken sewer line into a creek in East County. There have been two dozen other sewage spills so far this year, but this one was by far the largest. The sewage came from a broken county sewer line. It went into Los Coches Creek, then into San Diego River and then out into the Pacific Ocean.

We talked to one family that lives along Los Coches Creek and they reported seeing and smelling the mixture of rainwater and raw human waste as it passed by their house and flooded the backyard where their daughter plays.

In late March, after the broken pipe had been fixed, the county dispatched a contractor to disinfect the backyard, but it didn’t do the same sort of remediation anywhere else along the creek.

Outbreak Updates

A 20th person died in San Diego County from the hepatitis A outbreak. Over 500 people have been sickened by the virus. San Diego is also exporting the liver disease to other states. Cases in Arizona and Colorado have been tied San Diego’s outbreak.

Meanwhile, there’s another pathogen — E. coli bacteria — that has sickened about 300 Marines in San Diego.

The origin of both outbreaks is unknown.

Tear Down That Fourth Wall

Our Kinsee Morlan explores the world of “immersive theater” — shows in which audiences experience storytelling by roaming through theatrical worlds. One local show, “Waking La Llorona,” is perhaps understandably expensive to run. It’s a one-on-one, 30-minute experience that’s tailored to each guest based on a short questionnaire at the start of the play. Story details are changed if people are sensitive to certain things. Tickets are priced at $63 each, but paying actors a fair price for their time is expensive, and the show’s leader said they simply can’t circulate enough people through the show each night to make a good profit, so it’s also being funded with grants and fundraising.

Morlan, in her weekly Culture Report newsletter, also has more to say about the local art scene. Check it out.

In Other News

• The state’s gasoline tax is going up 12 cents per gallon today. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay 12 cents more than yesterday. You’ll pay 12 cents more than you would have but the switch to the winter blend of gas is also happening. It’s cheaper to produce and normally provides a bit of a break. It may not be enough to offset the 12 cents but it’s not clear how much all the people who rushed to fill up yesterday saved.

• San Diego Christian College can’t account for $20 million. Part of the problem could be that its chief financial officer lives 500 miles away. (inewsource)

The battle between San Diego-based Qualcomm and Apple is escalating and not in a good way for the local tech company. Qualcomm’s share price tumbled Tuesday on a report that Apple is thinking about making iPhones without any chips from Qualcomm. Bloomberg recently explained the fight between the two tech companies.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is overruling city staff and releasing the names of people who make public records requests. Someone in the city had argued that it made sense to keep secret the name of people who requested public records. The mayor rightly saw how nonsensical that was. (Union-Tribune)

The city has $17 million left over from last year that it may use to soften budget cuts next year. (Union-Tribune)

Eric Arundel, a homeless man who sued the city for issuing violations against homeless people by citing a rule intended to target trash dumpsters, has died. Kelly Davis remembers him this way, “Eric was a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit challenging restrictions on sleeping on the street. He told me how he’d push his sleeping bag as close as possible to the side of a building so as not to take up any space. He didn’t want to make trouble or attract attention. He just wanted to sleep.”

San Diego State University, perhaps taking a cue from the city, is struggling to enforce a policy meant to deter homeless people from sleeping in the library but is confusing students who also nap there while trying to study. (Daily Aztec)

Ry Rivard

Ry Rivard was formerly a reporter for Voice of San Diego. He wrote about water and power.

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