On January 10, 2018, I was the first to publish 2017 homicide statistics for America’s 50 biggest cities. San Diego had the lowest murder rate, 1/27th of St. Louis’s.
With the rest of the country going crazy, San Diego is doubling down on what has been working well for it in 21st Century. From USA Today:
Amid growing calls nationwide to “defund the police” in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, California’s second largest city is doing the opposite.
The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 late Monday to increase funding for its police department after nearly 10 hours of public comment that included some residents demanding to reduce police funding, NBC 7 San Diego reported.
And it’s going to prosecute George Floyd Memorial Undocumented Shoppers on a mass scale. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The FBI and prosecutors in San Diego vow to go after rioters responsible for thefts and destruction following protests.
By KRISTINA DAVIS
JUNE 5, 20206 AM
For more than an hour, a large crowd descended unchecked on the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center Saturday night in a free-for-all looting spree — smashing windows, lighting fires and grabbing anything they could get their hands on.
Then they fled — arms and cars full — as police in riot gear advanced on the parking lot in a choreographed move not necessarily meant to make mass arrests, but to re-establish order.
The arrests will come later, or at least that’s the plan.
Investigators now have in front of them what is sure to be a long process of trying to identify those who took part in the devastation throughout La Mesa, and to a smaller extent downtown San Diego, where protests over the in-custody death of George Floyd were staged before rioting broke out.
This week, La Mesa police, the District Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office said the illegal acts won’t be overlooked.
“Protesting is an inalienable right recognized by the U.S. Constitution. Rioting is a crime,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan. “As District Attorney, it is my responsibility to prosecute those who choose violence, looting or lawlessness to harm our community.” …
Civil rights activists and black community leaders have publicly condemned the destruction.
“I greatly appreciate these investigations,” said the Rev. Shane Harris, president of the advocacy group The People’s Alliance for Justice.
“(Looters) are using George Floyd’s name to do it, and that’s a disgrace and it takes the focus off of our fight for justice and equality. We want reform, and the way to get reform is through conversation, legislation and demonstration, not through looting and rioting.”
The FBI has put out a nationwide call for tips, photos and videos to help identify “violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law.” La Mesa police has put out a similar request locally and provided tip lines for the public: (619) 667-7532 or [email protected]
Much of the looting was caught on camera, one way or another. Television crews live-streamed the scene at La Mesa Springs, Grossmont Center mall and elsewhere, while both witnesses and participants posted their own videos on social media. However, subpoenas or search warrants may be necessary for authorities to access material that isn’t already public.
The unrest was also captured on a broad, yet patchy, network of private and public surveillance cameras.
In the city of San Diego, streetlight cameras cover large swaths of downtown. A CVS Pharmacy and 7-Eleven were among the businesses there targeted by looters on Sunday night.
There are no external security cameras at La Mesa Springs, said Cheri Eckis, who manages the shopping center for the firm Meissner Jacquet. However, many tenants, such as Vons, have their own systems inside their businesses.
Down the street, there were no outside surveillance cameras at Union Bank and Chase when people broke inside and torched the buildings. Days later, investigators with the Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were still working to sift through the asbestos-laden ashes in hopes of finding internal cameras that survived the blaze, said sheriff’s bomb/arson Sgt. Greg Hampton.
“It’s going to be a while,” Hampton said of the process. “We are hopeful.”