By Doug Porter
An incident at San Diego’s historically black Lincoln High School on Friday involved students being tased and pepper sprayed by police from two agencies.
Students say police involvement was an overreaction to horseplay. The parent of a student who was jailed claims the arrest is revenge by the authorities. The ACLU says they are deeply concerned about what happened and are investigating.
The police say one officer suffered a concussion and has been placed on administrative leave. A cell-phone video shows the seemingly unharmed officer tasing a student laying face down on the ground.
At an event Saturday night, [SDUSD Superintendent Cindy] Marten said surveillance video of the incident exists, which she will fight to release it as soon as possible. Zintz said school police are working with SDPD and the San Diego County District Attorney’s office to determine when the video can be released, and she imagined it would be “next week some time.”
Six people — a school police officer and five students — were among those taken to various hospitals due to the melee. Multiple students said the situation began when a group started “play fighting” at lunch. Officials could not confirm how the fight began, but they said at most, six students were actually involved. Between 70 and 100 others were bystanders to the fight.
One of the students, sophomore Jesse Duncan, was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall for felony assault on a police officer.
Jesse Duncan is the son of Brandon Duncan, a San Diego rapper known as Tiny Doo. Brandon Duncan, who has no criminal record, made headlines after he was jailed on a gang conspiracy charge over his rap lyrics. A judge tossed the case out.
On Friday, Brandon Duncan told 10News he believes the police singled out his son.
“I think it has everything to do with me and nothing to do with my kids,” Duncan said, adding that his son is a 3.0 student with no criminal record who wants to study criminal justice.
The ACLU statement included the following:
The fact is, at this moment, the public does not know what happened and should not rush to judgment.
No matter what happened, though, a school campus has again become the scene of a large police action. The anger and frustration of students at police action on campus does not arise in a vacuum. This incident emerges from the context of over-policing in schools and communities of color.
That context requires an open, fair, and transparent investigation into numerous issues beyond the precise facts of what happened at Lincoln yesterday…
Kamala Harris Gets the Nod
California Democrats gathered in San Jose over the weekend to assess and bless (or not) candidates and issues in the upcoming election. Not on the agenda (by rule) was the 800-pound gorilla in the room, namely the passion displayed by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
From the Mercury-News:
If the convention crowd, which is packed with vociferous Sanders backers, is any indication, Clinton might have as much to fear from her party’s left wing — seething over her ties to Wall Street banks — as she does from the Republicans’ eventual nominee.
One candidate uniting the convention was California State Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was the first statewide candidate in a competitive primary to win the party’s endorsement since 2010.
In her speech to 3,200 attendees, Harris looked and sounded like a U.S. Senator, calling the GOP presidential campaign “a race to the bottom, a race to anger, a race to blame, a race to fan the flames of nativism in our country.”
She said Republican Donald Trump’s cry to “Make America Great Again,” begs the question: “for who?” The Republicans, she said forcefully, want to reverse gains in civil rights, voting rights, marriage equality, humane immigration policies, labor rights and environmental protections.
“They promise to go back to a time when even a victim of sexual assault did not have the right to choose. But the stakes are too high in this election. We are not going back to that back alley,” Harris said to rousing applause.
Her best line (h/t strategist Sean Clegg): “We the people understand our unity is our strength and our diversity is our power.” (Memo I to Hillary Clinton – see, it’s about “us,” not about you.)
‘Least Qualified’ VP Biden at the Oscars
Sunday’s broadcast of the Oscars saw a 6% decline in viewers from last year, continuing a ratings slide dating back to 2006.
Comedian Chris Rock hosted the evening, using sarcasm and pointed commentary in response to the lack of diversity among the evening’s nominees. For the second year in a row, every acting nominee was white, a development leading to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash on social media.
From the Associated Press:
He went on to call the Oscars the “White People’s Choice Awards,” and noted that if they had nominated potential hosts, “I wouldn’t have this job.
The big winner of the evening was Mad Max: Fury Road, with six Oscars. Best picture went to Spotlight, the drama about Boston Globe reporters chasing down a story on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor for his portrayal of Hugh Glass, a 19th-century American frontiersman in The Revenant, and made a powerful acceptance speech about climate change.
But it was Joe and the Lady who stole the show…
From ABC News:
After close to 30 seconds of standing applause, Biden thanked the crowd.
“I’m the least qualified man here tonight, thank you,” Biden said.
While introducing Lady Gaga to sing her nominated song “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” Biden asked the audience and those watching the show to sign on to the pledge at the “It’s On Us” website.
“Let’s change the culture,” Biden said. “We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man like the survivors here tonight ever have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’”
On This Day: 1288 – Scotland established this day as one when a woman could propose marriage to a man. In the event that he refused the proposal he was required to pay a fine. 1940 – Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Oscar. She won Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Mammy in “Gone with the Wind.” 1972 – Jack Anderson revealed a memo written by ITT’s Washington lobbyist, Dita Beard, that connected ITT’s funding of part of the Republican National Convention. The GOP gathering was subsequently moved from San Diego to Miami. (I was very disappointed!)
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