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Thousand of San Diego students rally for climate action

S1: Youth Demand Climate Action in Chula Vista.

S2: What gives me hope for our generation is the fact that so many young people are active and so many young people care about these issues.

S1: I’m Jade Hindman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. The changes in protocol with the Carlsbad Police Department after a violent interaction.

S2: Officer Ramirez deployed multiple rounds of the pepper ball gun and he did not give a warning of the pepper balls. Going to be continued to be used. He just kept firing.

S1: And we talk about upcoming exhibits and theater shows in your weekend preview. That’s ahead on Midday Edition. Thousands of students across San Diego will take to the streets today to demand climate justice. It’s all part of a global climate strike that will see hundreds of similar marches across the world in an effort to raise awareness and demand public action from elected leaders. Joining me now with more about this strike is one of its participants , Carla Miniato , a junior at Canyon Crest Academy and board member with San Diego 350 , as well as a local organizer of the strike. Killaloe , welcome to the program. Hello.

S2: Hello.

S1: What kind of message do you hope that this march and other marches like it will get across to elected officials.

S2: To elected officials ? I hope this really shows the power of youth voices. While young people aren’t able to vote. We are going to be the generation that is most impacted by the current climate crisis , and we are scared for our futures and we will not stand by. So I hope that it conveys to elected officials the importance of taking urgent climate action on this matter.

S1: And can you talk more about that ? I mean , about how you’ve been impacted personally by the effects of climate change.

S2: So I was born in South Florida during the 2005 hurricane season and moving to San Diego. I didn’t know a lot about climate change initially , but as I learned , more climate change has been impacted me my whole life. And I think it’s really critical that you take actions on issues that affect you because it is important to stand up for things that you care about that young people care about , and such an important matters to saving our world.

S1:

S2: I think having the inspiration coming from my peers , coming from getting support with elected officials , coming from actually taking climate action , means so much to me and it means so much to other youth because it really. No. It’s very heartening to know that the work that we’re doing makes a difference.

S1: And what are some of the most important climate and energy policies that you support that you hope your local politicians will also rally behind ? Yeah.

S2: So one of the most important one of our strike demands is that not only local politicians , but we really want President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. This will be able allow him to use his executive authority to help really regulate the climate crisis. And along with taking climate action and then at a local level , we’re really hoping for an immediate and just transition to renewable energy along with at a statewide level that Governor Newsom and oil join in California.

S1: And how did you first begin to learn about the global effects of a changing climate ? I mean , was this something you learned in school.

S2: Coming from a different educational system than San Diego ? I actually learned about it from my peers through learning more just in general consumption of media. I think I’ve always really cared about the environment I’ve grown up near , in the environment I’ve always lived in a coastal city. So I know the importance of being able to protect our habitats and our environment. I think that really carried over when I started to learn more about the climate crisis , and then I got more involved and I truly learned how bad it is.

S1:

S2: That includes high schools , colleges. And then we also have two downtown central strikes globally , because this is a global day of action. I believe hundreds of thousands of students and youth will be walking out.

S1:

S2: While it is very , very clear that this is a pressing issue , that if not resolved , could lead to really bad things for our generation. I think it’s really important that we take action. And actually what gives me hope for our generation is the fact that so many young people are acting and so many young people care about these issues.

S1: And we hear a lot about the possibility of a Green New Deal , but a lot of politicians are skeptical of actually paying for it or implementing it.

S2: We’re really demanding something that will allow San Diego and the country in the world to be able to continue living. We all we want is a sustainable future. And so for politicians , for anybody who really doubts climate change , there is no harm in trying to create a better world and trying to create a more safe and livable world , especially for young people.

S1: I’ve been speaking with San Diego 350 board member. Grand Canyon Crest Academy junior Ky. Allen Minutes Show , who is also organizing the march here locally. Ally , thank you so much for talking with us today.

S2: Thank you.

S1: Last year , Carlsbad police used a beanbag gun and pepper balls on two suspects. And it led to big changes. KPBS investigative reporter Claire TRAGESER says the police involved were suspended and there’s new training. A warning , this story contains graphic sounds and images.

S3: On a Saturday night in April 2021 , Carlsbad Police Officer Jordan Walker was searching for a stolen Kia SUV. He headed to an area of town near the I-5 known as a hotspot for crime.

S4: We’re passing. Macadamia nuts or so.

S3: Walker spotted the car. It was being driven by a woman with a male passenger. He pulled them over and asked them to get out of the car.

S4: Driver shut the car off.

S3: The driver refused , but the passenger listened. But when they tried to handcuff him , he fought back. So officers took him to the ground and punched him repeatedly.

S4: I can’t breathe. Look , my hands are free. I can probably get some pepper balls into that driver’s side.

S3: Corporal Derek Harvey fired a beanbag gun to puncture a hole in the car’s rear window. Then Officer Edward Ramirez fired pepper balls at the woman. 57 rounds in all while she was in the car. And after she jumped out and began to run. Officers ended up tackling and arresting her inside a nearby hotel. Now , as far as police use of force incidents go , this one was not all that unusual. But the actions by the Carlsbad Police Department following the incident were the department disciplined the officers , even though there were no complaints from the public.

S2: Officer Ramirez deployed multiple rounds of the pepper ball gun , and he did not give a warning of , Hey , the pepper ball is going to be continued to be used. He just kept firing.

S3: Christi Calderwood is Carlsbad’s assistant police chief.

S2: She was definitely out of compliance because she had not shown violent actions.

S3: The department also faulted the supervisor , Sergeant Morgan Griggs , for not de-escalating the situation and the high ranking watch commander , Lieutenant Greg White , for not showing up at all.

S2: Which was very concerning for us. And he ended up leaving the force shortly after that.

S3: This level of discipline is not typical. Just 3% of local officers who used enough force to cause severe injury received any discipline. That’s according to a KPBS analysis of local incidents since 2000. In Carlsbad , the department also created new training and reached out to community groups for input on a new de-escalation policy , including the North County Equity and Justice Coalition. Yousef Miller is the co-founder.

S4: It was a really easy and smooth process. I really enjoyed it. We were understood by the police department. They were understood by us. And and it moved. They moved along without me. A lot of the contention you see in other meetings , you know , people ready to throw shoes and books at each other and all this kind of stuff and arguments.

S3: The Carlsbad Equity Coalition has also seen police improve their attitudes. Ali Vandenburg is president.

S2: There is this. Moral.

S5: Moral.

S2: Responsibility to protect.

S5: Everyone that they can. And so it’s creating this.

S2: Mindset of reducing harm to everyone.

S5: And having a.

S2: Reverence for human life.

S3: Still , Miller says , none of this would be happening without the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

S4: Before George Floyd. Before George Floyd. We only got three answers when it came to discussions like this. Only three answers ? No , no. And hell no.

S3: He says the fire of the summer of 2020 led to the calmer discussions happening today. Claire TRAGESER , KPBS News.