tv KQED Newsroom PBS May 20, 2016 8:00pm-8:31pm PDT
♪ ♪ hello and welcome to kqed news room. coming up, how donald trump is affecting california gop efforts to rebrand the party. and a personal look at life on the streets. in the words of one homeless man. plus, troubling new findings at sonoma county jail. a kqed investigative report. big news coming out of san francisco, the city's embattled police chief stepped down yesterday, hours after the shooting death of a black woman by a san francisco police officer in the bayview district. it was the third officer-involved killing since december and came amid growing calls for chief greg suhr's resignation. mayor ed lee made the announcement yesterday after meeting with suhr. it was an about-face for the
mayor, who has long stood by the chief. >> the progress that we've made has been meaningful. but it hasn't been fast enough. not for me, not for greg. and that's why i have asked chief suhr for his resignation. >> the mayor named as acting police chief tony chaplain, deputy chief and a 26-year veteran of the department. joining us is kqed reporter alex emslie. the tension surrounding fatal officer-involved shootings has been going on since last year. wh point? >> i think there was a culmination of pressure. there had been a growing call that regardless of what the department would do it try to change things, chief suhr had become a lightning rod in the words of one san francisco supervisor, a stumbling block in the words of an activist who has been working on police reform.
and yesterday's officer-involved shooting appears to have been the last straw. and the mayor asked for the chief's resignation. >> how a community activists reacting to this? is it enough that chief suhr has resigned? do you think they want the mayor to step down as well? >> i think depending on who you might talk to, there are people who would like to see a different mayor of san francisco. i don't think that that's a realistic expectation at this point. but there is a feeling that responsibility for problems in the sfpd does go beyond the department itself and to the chief executive of the city. >> what about the officers? how are they reacting to chief suhr stepping down? >> i think that chief suhr has had more than three decades in this department. he has a lot of respect from the rank and file. and you know, it's been shocking and sad to see him go. regardless of criticism, and there is a lot of criticism than
launched at chief greg suhr. >> aside from some of the officers, you mean? >> i think so. but he has always been very direct, accessible, honest and genuine with the people that he interacts with. and so you know, the department is feeling this loss as we heard from tony chaplain earlier today. >> and speaking of tony chaplain, the interim chief, he held a press conference today. what did he say about how he plans to move the department forward at this point? >> tony chaplain had recently been put in charge of coordinating reforms that are under way in collaboration with the u.s. department of justice, office of community-oriented policing services. he says he's going to continue that work. and he says a major priority of his is finally rolling out body cameras for every sfpd officer. that process has been stalled, largely in bargaining process with the san francisco police officers association. the officers union.
we'll see how much luck he has with that. >> okay. so one chapter has closed, and another chapter now begins. and i know you'll be watching it all, alex emslie, thank you. >> thank you. turning now to politics, donald trump gave oakland some unflattering attention this week. when he called it one of the most dangerous places in the world. oakland mayor libby shaft shot back with a tweet saying the most dangerous place in america is donald trump's mouth. with california's primary around the corner, we look at how trump's campaign could affect the gop's efforts to broaden its voter base in this state. kqed politics in government senior editor scott schaeffer reports. >> a california republican convention usually gets little if any media coverage. but when the party faithful gathered in burlingame recently, it got the attention of hordes of journalists and hundreds of protesters.
>> this country is about diversity. it's about racial justice. it is not about white supremacy. and it is not about hating muslims. >> hey hey, ho ho, white supremacy's got to go. >> most of the demonstrators are here to protest donald trump's message. he's the keynote speaker at today's lunch. >> this is my donald trump pinata. when people ask me what's inside it, i say it's empty. >> state party conventions are meant to rally its most active memgs and set the tone for upcoming elections. >> but the gop has been struggling to line up behind its apparent nominee. >> so here's the "washington post" today -- "the time has come to admit that republican voters want donald trump as their nominee." you see that? >> but not everyone agrees. after protesters forced him to take a detour around cement barriers and through the mud to
get inside, trump joked about illegal immigration. >> that was not the easiest entrance i've ever made. my wife called, she said there are helicopters following you and we did and then we went under a fence and through a fence. and -- oh boy, it felt like i was crossing the border, actually, you know? >> the new york businessman has knocked out over a dozen other presidential contenders, defying the rules of politics along the way. >> folks, i'm a conservative, but at this point, who cares, we got to straighten out the country. >> that kind of ideological flexibility troubles some conservatives, including party activist john fleischmann, he worries that trump isn't really conservative and will say anything to win. >> why he keeps changing positions. i misspoke, i did this, i did that it's me, i'm donald trump, i make big deals. well you know what? the presidency isn't about making big deals, it's about standing strong and making sure
that our constitution is respected and our republican doers. >> trump wasn't the first choice of the party elite, but he's striking a chord with many rank-and-file voters. >> i'm a woman and i support him. i think that his rhetoric will change once he gets to the national nomination. >> bobby mcginness, a republican delegate from santa barbara says trump will rebuild american mer. >> he has not been perfect about everything he has to say. but i feel women in the end want something who is going to bring security. >> republican who is showed up for this convention are already enthused about the gop and the june primary. the challenge for republicans is spreading that enthusiasm to voters who have been turned off by policies that the republican party has espoused over the last few years, women, latinos, asians and immigrants generally. today just 28% of california voters call themselves republican. compared with 44% who say they're democrats. few expect trump to carry
california in november. but party strategists like rob stutsman worry what effect he'll have on races down the ballot. >> about 20% of republicans say they're not going to vote for him, okay? well that means we're worried about them voting at all. so when we think about competitive state assembly seats, state senate seats and congressional seats if we don't have a candidate that is fully turning out the republican base, and energize them to go vote for him, we're very concerned. we lose these seats. >> the california gop has seen its numbers slowly dwindle for two decades. many say it started with proposition 187. the 1994 ballot measure took aim at immigrants who came to the state illegally. >> they keep coming. two million illegal immigrants in california. >> ads like this one alienated latino community. mike madrid is a consultant to the party. >> i was hired in the aftermath of prop 187. in 1996. as a latino republican expert to
kind of help the party rebuild. >> i will build a great, great wall. >> today trump's statements about immigrants are stirring up old ghosts. >> mark my words. >> it's heartbreaking to look back 20 years later and come to the same convention where the same issues have not only not resolved themselves, but in many ways, gotten worse. >> republican delegate jaime pitino from eastman city, would agree. >> i know trump means well, i think he has great ideas, he doesn't express them very well. and there are times i do cringe when i hear him speak. >> in particular, pitino cringes at trump's description of mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. >> it looks like trump will become the nominee. if he is, i'll back him. but i'm going to do some soul-searching, to be honest. >> trump may be a tough sell for millennial voters, says matthew del carlo, head of the young republican federation.
he said the state gop hasn't done a good job of attracting voters under 40. >> there's a branding issue. you look at millennials, over 60% of them believe that there should be marriage equality. a large portion of younger gop millennials also are in favor of legalizing marijuana. the position also on global warming and other environmental effects, that generation is much more in touch with that. and differs from the mainstream sentiments of the party right now. >> party leaders are mostly resigned to trump heading the ticket in november. but many republicans aren't happy with this unexpected turn of events. >> i don't think i could vote for donald trump in the general. i certainly will not vote for hillary clinton. but i won't vote for a democrat. >> thank you all for being here. >> while some republicans aren't sold on trump, state republican party chair jim brulte believes the democratic nominee will unify them. >> when this primary is over, i assure you the republican party will come together, because there's no one in this room and
there are very few republicans in california, who want hillary clinton to have barack obama's third term as president. >> we're going to take back our jobs from china and japan. >> still gop leaders acknowledge they need to proactively rebuild the party's strength to once again be competitive in statewide elections. >> remember june 7th. thank you, everybody. another presidential candidate weighed in this week with thoughts on the bay area. democrat bernie sanders said he was stunned to see the number of homeless people in san francisco. in the last citywide homeless count, some 4300 people were found to be sleeping on the streets. in tents, cars, or in doorways. we talked to hoyt walker, a man who calls a wooden box home. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ >> my name is hoyt walker. i'm 49. i've been out here about four months. i went to prison in 2008. just bad chices. really bad choices. you know, the person i was in jail with was like come to frisco. it's all right, it's laid back, they're not going to mess with you. i could still be there, you know. but my pride, i don't know. my stupidity or whatever. basically to clear my head, i never walked back in.
i call it a living coffin. that's my nickname for it. i have depression and ptsd. so it gets kind of, i don't know sometime i lose track of time in here. this last storm that came in, it started raining and the raindrop hit me in the ear, i ended up opening an umbrella in here and sleeping under an umbrella and a bunch of blankets. this is the homeless in san francisco. i feel me. hey, yo, homeless situation. how you doing, man? i can't, shelters want to you get up at a certain time. come in at a certain time. i can't do it my body don't allow it. you know, they might want me to get up at 6:00, my hips might not allow it until 9:00. i really want to go now and set
up with my kids, five girls and two boys. finish being a father that i was. six years ago. people with money, they live in nice, warm, comfy places. you know? those who ain't got the money, we got it resort to live like this, see? >> not cool out here, you know. it's a lot of young people out here. i feel kind of bad for them. a lot of young females, too, they get taken advantage of. people who living inside and see people outside, treat them like the scum on the bottom of your feet. because they not. they humans, too. treat people like you want to be treated. everybody out here is still human. >> all right, signing off for the night, for the hoyt show. y'all take it easy, peace. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
joining me to discuss the city's efforts to address the struggles of people like hoyt walker are sam dodge, with the mayor's office of housing opportunities, partnerships and engagement and jackie jinx, executive director of the shelter hospitality house. welcome to you both. sam, it seems like hoyt walk certificate exactly the kind of person that the navigation center is set up to help. it's been open a little more than a year in san francisco. this is where people can move in with all their belongings. even their pets. how many homeless people have you helped? and how many of them have actually ended up with permanent housing? >> well i really appreciate mr. walker's testimony. i felt like it was really honest. and the navigation center is designed to help a people in his situation. we've helped nearly 500 people to date and 81% of the exits
have been to housing. we're really proud of the results. i think the major part, like mr. walker was talking about, is the need to have 24-hour access to have a lot of respect for people and understanding that they're the ones that are going to make the major life change and that we can bring services to help make that successful. >> and budgetwise, a lot of city resources are going into this. it's a pilot project. they want it to be a success. the center has 75 beds, budgetwise, if you break it down, how much does each bed cost per year? >> so this was funded with a donation for the first year. and now the city has seen how compelling and needed this service is. and so we're going to start to have city funds in it. but the costs are substantial. it's about $69 a day per bed. and that compares to the averages you know, $36 a day a bed in our traditional shelter system. >> jackie, does that sound about
right in terms of cost breakdown and the more limited resources that a shelter like yours, hospitality house would have? >> yes, we felt it important note that the navigation center success is largely due to the resources and the exits to housing. that have been afforded folks there. which is tremendously great for people who are fortunate enough to get into the navigation center. we would love to see that across the shelter system. >> so do you feel it's a tale of two shelter systems. the navigation center, which has a lot of resources. and then you have other shelters like yours. >> absolutely. we see it's really night and day. in terms of the resources that the navigation center is able to provide. including city staff on site. the staff-to-resident ratio is much higher than at the traditional shelter. and it's open 24 hours. which some of our shelters are not. and one of the most significant things, of course, is the
housing exits. and without housing, people cannot get out of the shelter system. and we've seen since the navigation center opened, that because people at the navigation center are getting priority to the housing, folks in our shelter system are staying longer and longer. >> so sam, what should be done in a situation like this? because the navigation center, while it is successful, is a model that takes significant time and resources to scale up. what can be done right now to help shelters like the hospitality house, get additional resources to have the kind of success you're having with the navigation center? >> so you know, what we've learned with the navigation center is that we should really look at our as a system approach. and make investments in the system to help reduce the phenomenon of homelessness in our society. we talk about it as a navigation system that really prioritizes the kind of interventions that
are needed to end each individual's homelessness. so whether that long-term chronically homeless person is living under a bridge, in the navigation center or in our traditional shelter system, they should be prioritized for the kind of housing that they need to end their homelessness. so we are looking for creative ways that we can make investments that get the most results possible. >> jackie, are you satisfied with the way that the money is being spent right now? this city spends a lot of money on homeless services every day, about half a million. is that right? >> every year we spend on housing, about $120 million. and on outreach and shelter and drop-in centers, it's in the neighborhood of $50 million a year. so you know, it's really the smallest part of our interventions. you know we spend other money on addiction prevention and rapid rehousing vouchers.
but we can make more investments in shelter. >> given that scenario, we're talking specifically about shelters here, jackie, despite spending all that money, over the past decade or so, the homeless population has pretty much stayed steady at 6500. and when we see people like hoyt walker and people in tent cities around the city, i think everybody feels compassion. we obviously there are some business owners who feel there are certain issues that come with that. i think we all want to be compassionate. so given that, how do we redirect the money that's correctly being spent on homeless services and shelters in this city, to better serve the population that you see every day, jackie? >> i'm not sure if it's redirected as much as it is additional targeted investments. so we have around 1300 single adults in our shelter system right now. and we have about -- on the
waiting list and people who have just given up trying to get into the shelter. what we really need are way ways to get into housing and navigate them into housing. we know nationally and locally it's been recognized that it's more expensive for people to be homeless than housed. and surprisingly, in the six years leading up to 2014, we had about 2700 supportive housing units come online. and in the next six years through 2022, only 632 units of affordable or supportive housing for homeless people are in the pipeline. so clearly we need to make more housing. >> more work needs to be done in that area. i know we're out of time, unfortunately and i know this is a very complicated topic. we hope to have you back at some point and talk further about this. sam dodge and jackie jenks, thanks so much. finally tonight, a troubling
new report released this week takes a look at how mentally ill inmates are treated at sonoma county's main jail. the report by the group disability rights california details a pattern of neglect and inadequate care. it also found methly ill inmates were frequently placed in isolation. kqu define's lisa white and julie small have been doing their own investigation of the jail and join us now. welcome to you both. you both got access to the sonoma county main jail. lisa, what did you see when you got there? and what got you interested in this topic? >> we were looking at data statewide about jails in california. we found that sonoma county had quadrupled the amount they were spending on psychotropic medications in the last five years. that was the biggest increase in the state. we wanted to ask them were they doing positive things? was there something negative going on? we were curious about those numbers. we started talking to them and while we were reporting, we learned that disability rights california was putting out a
report as well. their visit and our visit was very different. when we visited the jail, it was very clean, it was very quiet. it was the cleanest jail or prison i've ever been in. we were impressed with that. however when disability rights california visited, they said people were very acute. one woman said it was the most acute she said of any facility that she's been in. >> and explain the disability rights california group. because it's not a typical nonprofit advocacy group. it actually has quite a bit of authorities to compel certain information. >> that's right. they can go into any jail where a person who has a mental illness is being held. they can speak to staff. they can speak to the inmates and they can look at inmates' medical records, that's the kind of access that we can't get. >> so how many of the mentally, how many of the inmates there are mentally ill? and what kind of care do they get? >> about 40%. we found that nearly 40% of inmates in sonoma county's main jail and other facilities were
receiving services for mental health. that can frequently be visits to psychiatrist, three times a week. that therapy for the most acutely mentally ill is just through a little food slot like this there's other two modules for people with less serious mental illness, called step-down units there people have a little more room to get outside of their cells. but unfortunately the people who are the most in need, frequently are the most isolated. they're placed in these kind of very thin cells up against the wall. >> and don't experts say when you isolate mentally ill people it actually exacerbates their condition, julie? >> it's one of the worst things you can do to anyone, really. but especially someone who has a mental illness. idleness and being alone is the opposite, that's what people tend to want to do when they have a mental illness is not interact with people. getting them out of their cells as part of a therapeutic process. >> one of the biggest issues you found was the involuntary medication issue, right?
talk about that. >> disability rights california found that sonoma county jail was not following protocol when it came to involuntary medication. it's perfectly legal to involuntarily medicate someone, even outside of a jail setting. however there's very strict state laws that govern how you can do that. with disability rights california found was sonoma was not following a strict protocol to place someone on a hold first. the hold is important, it sets up a time limit for how long you can involuntarily medicate someone. what sonoma was doing, is they were involuntarily medicating people. there was essentially no legal stop to that medication. >> it could go on for months and months? >> it could. tland was a woman that disability rights california wrote about in their report. who was injected seven times over ten-week period. and with very, a long-lasting psychotropic medication, lasting two to six weeks, even show thoe
she was on a temporary hold. that's also a violation, if you're only supposed to be medication for the time of your hold. if you have that medication in your body, you can't get it out. >> how big a problem is this? does it extend beyond sonoma county? >> mental illness in jails is a problem stayedwide. there's almost 17,000 people on an average day with mental illness in jails statewide in sonoma county. almost 40% of inmates had mental illness. correctional officers, advocates, experts, people were saying this is a huge problem that jails are really now the forefront of people receiving, with mental illness, and trying to treat them. >> i know you are continuing to look into this story. we look forward to more reporting from you on this, lisa pinkoff white and julie small. thank you. >> and i'm twee voo. for all of kqed's news coverage.