California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, June 12.

Flood of videos depict police aggression in Los Angeles.
Officials see link in Oakland and Santa Cruz cop killings.
And exploring the man behind the myth of Bruce Lee.

Police violence protests


Los Angeles journalists scoured through the flood of videos on social media depicting police aggression in the first days of the George Floyd protests. They found officers "using extreme and at times violent measures against protesters, seemingly without following department protocols." Here's an expertly done analysis of 13 troubling incidents. L.A. Times

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In San Francisco, a sheriff's captain was under criminal investigation after video showed him pushing a protester to the ground, above. "They're not above the law," District Attorney Chesa Boudin said. S.F. Examiner | KGO


San Francisco's police are getting out of the social work business. Under a new plan unveiled by the mayor, officers will only respond to calls that involve criminal activity. Neighbor disputes, reports on homeless people, school discipline, and other noncriminal cases will be handled by social workers and behavioral health experts. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.

The police union welcomed the plan: "We are not addiction counselors.” KRON


The protests against police brutality have been remarkable for their territorial reach. Shelter Cove, a remote town of about 700 souls along Northern California's Lost Coast, provided a case in point this week when 21 residents held aloft signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Asked when the last protest was held in Shelter Cove, one local said he couldn't recall any. “Maybe there was one having to do with fish,” he added. Lost Coast Outpost




Stage 3 is upon us. The penultimate stage of California's reopening plan begins today, with day camps, gyms, bars, campgrounds, movie theaters, museums, and professional sports cleared for opening in most counties — with the exception of much of the Bay Area. Among the businesses still barred from opening are nail salons and concert venues. A.P. | KQED

Also reopening: Sensorio, the pulsing light installation in Paso Robles, pictured above. KEYT


Other odds and ends:

On Monday, Orange County's public health officer quit after receiving threats over her mask mandate. On Thursday, her successor eliminated the requirement. Voice of OC
The coronavirus keeps breaking out in nursing homes, killing society's most vulnerable. Frequent testing of staff members is the best way to protect residents, yet implementation remains scattershot. L.A. Times
On this week's California Sun podcast: Host Jeff Schechtman talks with UC Berkeley researcher Peiley Lau about how lockdown policies may have averted nearly 1.7 million coronavirus cases in California.



A law enforcement source told reporters that the U.S. Air Force sergeant accused of fatally shooting a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy last Saturday is also believed to have killed a federal officer in Oakland on May 29. Steven Carrillo, according to one of his friends, flirted with the so-called “Boogaloo” movement, a far-right extremist group that is preparing for the next American civil war. Mercury News | KGO


FBI agents examined an area in Paso Robles on Thursday as a manhunt continued for Mason James Lira.

David Middlecamp/The Tribune via A.P.

A gunman believed to have killed a homeless man and opened fire on a police station in Paso Robles was shot dead by police after a 36-hour manhunt, officials said. Law enforcement officers fatally shot Mason James Lira, 26, on Thursday after he emerged from a riverbed and traded gunfire with officers, three of whom were wounded. Lira's father said his son had a history of schizophrenia and was in and out of jail. The Tribune | A.P.


Many journalists call Heath Freeman a vampire. The 40-year-old president of Alden Global Capital — the hedge fund that owns the Mercury News, L.A. Daily News, and numerous other California dailies — has probably done more to gut American newsrooms than anyone else, his critics say. In his first-ever interview, he said he's been misunderstood and that his goal is to save local news. Also this: He once paid nearly $120,000 for a Christian Laettner jersey. Washington Post


Zoom disabled a U.S. human-rights organization’s account at China's behest after the group held a videoconference on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. The San Jose video-chat company quietly restored access after a news report brought the muzzling to light. Free-speech activists fiercely criticized the company and China scholars discussed on Twitter whether to abandon the service. The Guardian | Axios


Bruce Lee is profiled in the new ESPN documentary “Be Water.”

Bruce Lee Family Archives

A new ESPN 30 for 30 documentary has people talking about Bruce Lee, the legendary movie star who was born in San Francisco and lived in Oakland for a time. Using intimate archival footage, the timely film “Be Water” explores the man behind the myth as he struggled to succeed in a country where he was regarded as "the other." One reviewer called the film "nimble, nuanced, and at times even poetic." Slate | Washington Post

Lee has been called the father of mixed martial arts. But could he win a real fight? It's a touchy question. "He's not just a celebrity," a Lee biographer said. "He's a patron saint." ESPN


A weathered bell at Mission Santa Ines in Solvang.

The George Floyd protests have revived debate over the nation's Confederate memorials. Alta wrote not long ago about a historical site of contention in California: The roughly 500 cast-iron bells lining a fabled route from San Diego to Sonoma. The mission bells were added in the early 1900s as part of a tourism campaign designed to evoke romantic visions of Spanish California. A century later, another campaign aims to remove them, saying the bells serve as ongoing reminders of the destruction of native communities. Alta


In case you missed it


“It’s one giant family," Travis Jensen said of San Francisco's Excelsior District.

Travis Jensen

Five items that got big views over the past week:

The photographer Travis Jensen spent seven years documenting San Francisco's Excelsior District, a place he says is the city's “last working class neighborhood.” See 25 of his images. California Sun
On Sunday, a Los Angeles area man died from the coronavirus. The next day, his wife died from the disease. They left behind five children, ages 2 to 17. KTLA
On June 1, a group of young entrepreneurs, most of them African American, took a walk through an upscale Sacramento suburb. Some residents posted frantic messages on social media identifying them as rioters. Sacramento Bee
New sidewalk railing slats on the Golden Gate Bridge create a hum when the wind passes through them. It was apparently intentional. The bridge, KQED wrote, "is now effectively a giant orange wheezing kazoo." (Listen here). KQED | S.F. Chronicle
“I feel like I’m recording the end of something, and in twenty years people won’t even know that there used to be monarchs here.” Here are 9,000 beautifully written words on the crusade to save the monarch butterfly. Atavist Magazine

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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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