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San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit speaks at a press conference announcing the department’s decision to stop using the carotid restraint method. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit speaks at a press conference announcing the department’s decision to stop using the carotid restraint method. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Life changed drastically in mid-March as the pandemic hit and as public health officials began requiring that people stay home unless they had a good reason for venturing out. 

In the months that followed, San Diego police officers would log far fewer arrests and tickets. But not all groups were impacted equally by the enforcement of the rules in this new environment. 

Kate Nucci analyzed six months worth of SDPD crime data and found that Black San Diegans made up nearly 24 percent of all coronavirus-related offenses. That’s one out of every four people arrested or ticketed. Black San Diegans, however, make up 6.5 percent of the city’s population. That’s about one in 15 residents. 

An SDPD spokesman said the city hasn’t changed much about the way it’s enforced the law since mid-March and couldn’t explain the disproportionately high number of arrests and tickets for Black San Diegans. One activist, on the other hand, said he wasn’t surprised to see the racial disparity in the data, it’s reflective of his and others’ experiences with police. 

Nucci also found that, after the pandemic hit, the total number of reported domestic violence crimes went up. Social workers predicted it would. 

It’s not just COVID … 

Last year, several groups, including VOSD, reviewed police stop data and concluded that SDPD and the Sheriff’s Department were searching Black San DIegans at higher rates, but the searches resulted in lower or roughly the same rate of property seizures compared with other races. 

In May, the Sheriff’s Department said they found no evidence of racial profiling in their own analysis. However, the Union-Tribune reported this weekend that the county applied a statistical test incorrectly

Sheriff’s officials removed a report online and plan to redo that portion of the analysis.

Complaint: Border Patrol Sent Newborn Back to Mexico

A pair of organizations have asked the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate the San Diego Border Patrol sector’s treatment of an asylum-seeking family from Honduras whose newborn was sent to Mexico

A complaint alleges that the family never received the interview they’re entitled to under law in Texas and fled to Tijuana after being “accosted and detained by a group of armed men who attempted to extort them” in Monterrey. But in Tijuana the family continued to fear for their safety, so they attempted to cross into the United States in June. 

Two days after the mother gave birth in Chula Vista, Border Patrol transported her to the border and instructed her to walk back into Mexico, according to the complaint. The child is a U.S. citizen. 

Jewish Family Service and the ACLU are urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exempt pregnant people from the Migrant Protection Protocols, requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico between court hearings, and other fast-track deportation procedures.

Telemarketer: Another GOP Campaign Was Behind Phil Graham Robocalls

This story just keeps getting weirder. 

In June 2018, Phil Graham, a Republican running for the 76th Assembly District, finished the primary in third place after a woman falsely accused him of battery. Even after the Sheriff’s Department cleared Graham of wrongdoing, the allegation turned up in a robocall that reached thousands of potential voters. 

But the source of the robocall wasn’t immediately clear to anyone who heard it, because whoever sent it had spoofed a 619 number linked to a company based in Mexico. 

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission identified a San Diego telemarketer as the culprit. He was hit with a whopping $10 million fine but given the opportunity to defend himself before the agency made a final decision. 

And defend himself he did. In new documents, the telemarketer says he was hired by the family of a rival GOP campaign in the 2018 primary. Companies disguise their phone calls all the time, but it’s all the more serious when an election is involved. 

The telemarketer’s version of how it all went down suggests that one group of Republicans sabotaged another during a hotly contested Assembly race, and likely helped the Democrats flip what had been a traditionally red seat based in North County. 

Politics Roundup

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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