tv KQED Newsroom PBS May 8, 2016 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
coming up on our program a roundup of top tech stories. colorful events. our top picks and new developments about the five protesters that went on a hunger strike against what they say are injustices of the san francisco police department. this afternoon the frisco five were all hospitalized due to deteriorating health. this caps a week where hundreds marched on city hall. the hunger strikers led the march. they claimed chief allowed a
culture of racial bias and excessive use of force. they are protesting the deaths of two men. joining us now to discuss the growing calls for change are san francisco supervisor malia cohen and demorris evans who chairs the committee of san francisco public defenders office. regarding the news about the hospitalization of the hunger strikers late today. what does this mean? will the hunger strike be ending? >> at this point i think it is just a stall. i think they are in the hospital. hard to say whether they come back or not. >> who are they? what can you tell us about them? >> most of them are either born and raised in san francisco or came here a long time ago. all of them except for one are in their late 30s or 40s.
and they have been involved in activism at least since the shooting death of mario woods in december. they have been involved in the efforts to make accountability come to the police department. i think this is just the latest and most drastic move that they have taken. >> and they want chief to step down or be removed from his post. >> i think they see it as a signal that when things are done in the police department by the police that someone is at fault, someone has to actually be responsible. until that happens i don't think they will be satisfied. even though the city, the mayor and others have been pushing for reforms, a lot of those reforms aren't as far as they would like things to go. i think that they have gone to this point and are willing to risk their health because they really believe that the chief needs to go and that that's the
kind of message to be sent otherwise that is not really what they want. >> things have gotten pretty heated. we did reach out to him to be part of the program today. he declined but his public information officer sent us this statement saying as for the response of the chief's removal the chief repeatedly stated he will not step down as he has been working on police reform matters and intends to stay and see those are implemented and move the department forward. and mayor lee has consistently supported chief, as well. i wanted to ask you about last december's mario woods shooting. you were quite vocal. you said the officers who fatally shot woods were an ethnically diverse firing squad in your words. is sfpd doing enough? >> certainly since december 2
have made several changes to the use of force. they revived conversations around body cameras, tasers. many of the conversations that they have had before that they are reviving now, there has been a significant number of changes within the use of force policy within the police department. my office has been responsible with bringing resolution as well as legislation that will help bring accountability and transparency to officer-involved shootings. >> you were in the board of supervisors chambers when protesters marched. let's take a look at what happened. >> this board -- the chief
indiscriminately. >> is this environment very heated? do you feel there is a chance that what you are trying to say about the ongoing reforms will be heard? >> yeah. >> by the protesters, though? >> it's interesting. i think the protesters i can connect and empathize with their level of frustration. it is manifesting in ways of stopping traffic and protesting, the last 15 days has been hunger striking. totally acceptable and i believe warranted responses to what has been happening. my role as a legislator is a little bit different. my role is to create legislation and move the conversation from the protest level and move it up so it is sustainable changes that we are talking about. complimenting the work that state senator has been doing on
the state level to bring transparency and accountability to law enforcement skprmpt t. >> i think it is important to look at the reforms and the relationship to the activists who are pushing for them. nobody can say whether or not these things would have happened anyway. you had a real concerted effort to push elected officials to do these things. before that you had a year or more of like black lives matter protests that wasn't really one event that happened in san francisco that helped push things. then mario woods happened. then you had made things happen. i think this would not be the case. >> i want to bring you in because he was a trigger for your racial justice committee in the sense that you have come out with recommendations to the board of supervisors and demanding that an independent office of citizens be established. you want a separate internal
affairs division focussing on racism issues. how will that make a difference since there is already an internal affairs department? >> we are asking for an independent office of citizens complaint to be created because right now the office of citizens complaints is under the same budget as the police department. in 2015 the office of citizens complaint did not sustain one complaint of racial bias against the police department. >> how many were filed? >> i don't know how many were filed but you can see from the culture of the police department with the killing of mario woods, with the racist text messages that there has been an emdemic problem with the san francisco police department. we have seen day in and day out cases where there are challenges with arrests. so the fact that the occ has a very low level of sustaining complaints against the police
department when you have an endemic culture demonstrated by text messages and killings and tape released with sergeant that there is certainly a problem significant enough that people are willing to put their lives on the line to make sure that something happens, that there is some change. the office of citizens complaint in alignment with what supervisor cohen said about the transparency legislation, if we can see problems that are happening with the police officers then the kmupt ccommun feel more safe. they can see that officers are being held accountable for actions. right now there is a culture of covering up things. we would not have found out about the racist text messages had first text gate with first group of officers 14 to 16 officers who were exchange s racist text messages we would not have found out about that
had there not been a criminal investigation. >> and to speak further about the issue of culture, is there also a culture of denial in the police department or a culture of failing to obey or enforce existing policy? because there are policies in place on de-escalation and other techniques. >> you have these policies being put into place and this promise of reforms and a lot of people say we have had reforms in the past and the department doesn't seem to be pushing through with those or putting them into place. who cares if you have new policies if you have a culture that refuses to follow through with those reforms. before all of this happened we had a resolution that this speaks to the culture of the department. resolution simply supporting black lives matter and board of supervisors put forward and the police officers association came
out against that. it was like a nonbinding resolution. that's an example of the kind of culture that was existing before mario woods and that killing was captured and changed things. >> i would also add the environment that these policies are being created has also changed. there is a new heightened awareness and accountability that i think every san franciscan is starting to feel whether thinking about the san dr drubland, you are watching ferguson go up in flames a few years ago, the environment and i would say the tolerance level because a lot of this is happening in black and brown communities. there is a certain level of tolerance that has allowed this to happen because people have disassociated themselves. they are not victimized by it. it happens over there. >> a sense of helplessness.
>> i think that has to do with tolerance and helplessness. helplessness in the sense that we have been receiving abuse for years and for generations. we are finally in a position to change it and demand change which is what you see with frisco five. you see people, your allies coming together saying we agree with you. we are not going to stand by and be silent and let this happen anymore. >> you also want a federal civil rights investigation. why? >> right now the san francisco police department is cooperating with the federal division of cops which is the community-based. they are federal employees but it is a collaborative review of the san francisco police department. >> you don't think it has enough teeth? >> it doesn't have any teeth. the recommendations that come from the review are san francisco police department can agree to adopt the resolutions or recommendations or refuse to adopt them. at this point we are asking for
the civil rights division of the federal department of justice to investigate the san francisco police department for actual violations of the civil rights of latino and black men and whatever recommendations come from that investigation or findings that they should be binding on the police department. >> one point i want to say is that baltimore and the changes that have come across through an investigation have yielded into a civil rights investigation. so there is a certain step that we must take before d.o.j. does the civil rights investigation and that we are satisfying. >> thank you all for that discussion. thank you all. >> thank you. >> thanks for having us.
we turn our attention now to big developments in the tech industry. apple posted its first quarterly sales loss in more than a decade. is uber about to put the brakes on surge pricing? more bad news for yahoo which lost a big source of revenue this week. joining us now are michelle quin and npr technology reporter. hello to you both. michelle, i want to ask you about something else which is the group focussed on gender diversity and tech. this is a woman who sued her former employer for gender discrimination. what is her new project do and how will it be different from other efforts out there to improve gender diversity? >> good question.
she is joining forces with other women who are sort of notable in the tech industry for speaking out about gender and race and ethnicity disparities in the tech industry. what they want to do is issued a handbook this is how you do it everything from hiring, promotion, retention, the whole thing. then they are trying to invite mostly startups to join them and be part of we will help you build your culture from the beginning. their argument is don't grow, grow, grow and then try to change a culture when you are the size of google which is like 55,000 employees. so that is their idea. they would help companies start. >> what does that mean? will they require numbers? so far the issue has been you can say you can include more diversity, more women, more latinos. unless there is a basic starting point with the numbers from
where you started how do you measure that? >> i think that part of the proposition here is that there is actually many more women, many more minorities who are not being hired. there is evidence of that. intel a few months ago released its own transparency report on diversity and shows they were able to surpass their goal in female hires. it tells you there is a talent -- told me in an interview i don't think the pipeline problem that everybody is talking about is such a problem. that is his working idea. >> it just came up in conversation with this project is that intel also showed african-american employee percentage was shrinking. what it says is you can bring people in but you don't work on culture. >> retention. >> i'm worried about what will
happen if we have a down turn. i noticed that tech gets interested in diversity and gets the diversity bug when there is a talent shortage. when the economy starts to tank a little bit or the stock market then what happens? >> who loses the jobs? you also had an interesting story about uber. in it you said that uber may be ending the controversial practice of surge pricing. is that right? when and how? >> i actually did report that story. i want to set it straight for the record. my reporting on uber, reporting that they are planning to end surge pricing is based on an on the record recorded interview i did with one of their leading
technologists. one told me this fact of work he is working on currently, not in the future. we are talking about surge pricing right now. what he explained to me is in the company we think that there is a problem between -- we think there is an issue with supply and demand not meeting. why do you open your app and get extra price. why sometimes is your driver able to make 400 times more? it is because of mismatch between supply and demand. uber the company knows that customers don't like surge pricing. if you take an uber car -- on the one hand he was explaining something that is great news for customers. this is something he is working on and they believe through predictive analytics, getting information about specific regions he says you can start to
predict where supply is going to be and more proactively get the driver there before surge ever has to happen. >> when will that happen? or is that unanswered at this point? >> he explained this is something they are already working on. what is unclear is whether this is frankly already happening in certain markets because they are phasing it in or that uber at some point plans to make a big announcement about it in the future. >> i want to ask you about this. i thought that they had a big response to this. >> they did. i would expect uber to be working on this issue. >> we are going to have to move through this quickly. >> uber in the move that i find baffling, uber on the one hand said that my reporting was completely correct. they did not ask for any correction of my reporting. but then when other news outlets
called them to ask if it was true or not they said the story is wrong. >> so the debate continues. >> or the fact stands. >> from the reporter herself. i have to move to yahoo with bids for the sale of the company. what company would be most lucrative and who is interested in buying it? >> apparently there are about ten bidders. number one is probably verizon. yahoo has a fantastic property, sports, news, mail, weather, fantasy sports. it's still one of those main attractive web properties out there. and you have this great content but the problem is how strong is that product going to be by the time the buyer gets to it. we had extra news that at&t was dropping them as a web portal. so that created issues, too.
>> continuing to struggle definitely. >> and a series of bad news. >> really quickly about apple latest earnings disappointment, revenues fell by 13%, first time in 13 years. why the decline? >> basically apple really needs a new market, like a big, big win. apple won the u.s. market and did well in china. they are hoping india warms up to them. the buyer might not want to pay $600 for an iphone because they are happy with their samsung. apple is struggling to find who is going to buy. one thing they might do is move away from banking on the iphone as their killer product, push more of the tablets and more software partnerships to try to be more of a competitor with microsoft. >> we'll see if pivot is in
order for them. shakespeare classic, free popup concert series you may not want to miss and an exciting new art exhibition that gives reflection on the latino heritage. these events are going on in the art scene. senior arts editor joins us now with her picks. >> hello. lovely to see you. >> good to see you. first shakespeares "hamlet" this is a rather unusual way to approach it. the classic gets a pretty radical twist here. >> this is not your usual because the actors are on stage at the beginning and they pull out a skull what role they play. actors don't know what part in
the play they are doing on stage until five minutes before. it is absolutely nerve racking. it has been described as a surreal experience. one that is lumpy. some nights they get to play one role more than another. one role may not be as up to snuff as others. >> what is it like for the audience? what is that experience like? >> it is very exciting because you don't know who is playing hamlet. sometimes it might be an older african-american member of the cast or a young woman. it helps you to appreciate this play about acting and actors. it is reconfiguring and gives you such an appreciation for the craft of acting. >> gives the audience a chance to sort of reexamine their preconceptions of what theater is. >> absolutely. everybody has this one idea of what hamlet is or a series of ideas and usually involves one
male actor playing this role. here we have a way to experience the play other. it is about having it be all of us. it could be all of us. >> in san jose exhibition. >> it is 18th year. it is the latino art and culture center. there are wonderful works on display. there is a real variety of artists. some have bay area ties. some are nationally known. working in the smithsonian. >> that looks wonderful. on the music scene also a rather bittersweet moment for the string quartet performing the last show after 20 years together. >> this is a very imminent quartet. they are saying good bye to the city in this unusual way.
they are into beethoven and performing between now and may 19. they are doing a popup concert in a different part of the city. it is always beethoven. i happened to be at the concert yesterday. let's take a listen. ♪ and you can hear the quartet performing in different locations. catch them while you can. >> we have to talk about moma, probably biggest local arts story going on. a lot of buzz around that. >> it has been closed for three years, massive. people get to burn a lot by going around there. it has been getting a lot of
international press. it is going to be packed when it opens. >> what are your favorite pieces? >> so many things. >> i am very fond. i like the sculpture garden outside with beautiful living walls. i'm a big fan of the room. part of the collection on the fourth floor seeing paintings organized in a special shape like a temple. it's really beautiful. >> there is so much there. you can't really experience it in just one day anymore. >> it's really you need to go back day after day. it's a good idea to get a membership. much better way to experiencing the museum. >> pick up a couple of floors per day and get a chance to enjoy it. >> always good to have you on. >> lovely to see you. >> for more information about opening online and the other events we have much more information on kqed.org/arts.
captioning sponsored by wnet >> thompson: on this edition for sunday, may 8: the wildfire in canada continues to grow, now covering more than 800 square miles. in our signature segment, broadway's "hamilton," transforming the way history is taught to inner city students. >> ♪ he resided in st. croix, he was just a little boy deployed ♪ into the world trying to discover joy >> thompson: and, why the world is watching the philippines on the eve of its presidential election. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation. supporting innovation