Serge Dedina

On Tuesday, June 16, Mayor Pro Tem Paloma Aguirre and I spoke with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan as well as Deputy District Attorney Leonard Trinh regarding the investigation into the cowardly and violent assault on Imperial Beach resident Marcus Boyd that occurred on Sunday, June 7 during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration in Imperial Beach. District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney Trinh stated that the assailant had been cited with a misdemeanor battery and the hate crime investigation is still ongoing.

I would like to thank Marcus and community residents who organized a constitutionally protected peaceful Black Lives Matter march this past Sunday. We must denounce all racism and violence in Imperial Beach and everywhere and support Black Lives. We must also affirm our commitment to making sure that the bullying, harassment, violence, racism and white supremacy that has impacted people of color in Imperial Beach and especially our Black residents, ends immediately. We can no longer tolerate the culture of “see something and say nothing” when it comes to racism and white supremacy that has permeated our city for far too long. We need to be open and honest about this rather than attempt to cover it up and or not talk about it. We must also reject the pervasive bullying and harassment that permeates so much of social media and civic life in our city. We must restore peaceful and respectful civil and civic discourse so that everyone in our city regardless of who they are and where they are from, feels comfortable and safe participating in community life.

One of the most important calls to action of the Black Lives Matter movement, that has transformed American society and politics over the past weeks, is the need to evaluate and reform police use of force policies as well as identify more cost effective ways of law enforcement, public safety as well as addressing community social issues. I am pleased that we have the opportunity to evaluate the Sheriff’s use of force policies as well as address the exponential growth of our law enforcement budget and ways to restore spending on basic community and social services.

We must identify ways to partner with the Sheriff’s Department who have done a tremendous job of making Imperial Beach one of the safest cities in San Diego County, to make sure they are not responding to calls that can be more cost effectively addressed by City of Imperial Beach staff and or social service and community based organizations. As the Sheriff Budget has increased over 50% since 2011, our spending on Parks and Recreation for example has plummeted. We cannot continue to short change our children and all of our residents by denying them the services and programs that just about every other city in the county takes for granted, especially during an economic crisis that has resulted in a staggeringly high unemployment rate in Imperial Beach. We can both invest in our kids and families and continue to work collaboratively with our Sheriff’s to make sure that Imperial Beach remains one of the safest cities in San Diego County. We can and must work for a better and brighter future for all.

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