‘Sickening racial hatred’: California reacts to Buffalo shooting
Hello and welcome to Essential California newsletter. It is Monday, May 16. I am Justin Ray.
It was a strange day. Like many people in Los Angeles County, I woke up Saturday morning and Googled Chevy Chase Canyon, after a pair of bizarre alerts sent to dozens of smartphones in the region. Then, I received news of the tragedy that would captivate the country.
Ten people in a black Buffalo, NY neighborhood were shot and killed while in a grocery store. The neighborhood was not chosen at random; the white suspect, Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, NY, about 230 miles from Buffalo, researched his demographics while looking for places with high concentrations of black residents.
There were also two shootings in California that made headlines last weekend. One person was killed and five others injured on Sunday after a gunman opened fire on a Taiwanese congregation in Laguna Woods. Authorities said the group of worshipers “tied up” the shooter’s leg with an extension cord and took two guns from the suspect. He was then detained. A law enforcement source said officials believe the suspect was a 68-year-old man from Las Vegas.
On Saturday, a man was killed outside Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. The shooter has not yet been arrested. In a statement posted to Instagram, market officials said the “isolated incident” happened on nearby Hill Street. However, the market will “step up security and work proactively with relevant authorities to further assess the situation.”
Many social media outlets were quick to point out that last week a federal appeals court ruled that California’s ban on selling semi-automatic rifles to anyone under 21 violates constitutional law bear arms to defend themselves. The shooter reportedly used a high-powered rifle to carry out the attack.
One of the most impactful answers I’ve seen came from columnist Erika D. Smith. She explained how the shooter’s manifesto contained references to the so-called “great replacement” theory – the idea that white Americans are “replaced” by people of color. “In many ways, this really ugly conspiracy theory has roots right here in the Golden State of the 1990s,” Smith explained. (Times columnist Jean Guerrero previously pointed to the theory’s connection to the January 6, 2021, uprising.)
Prominent California politicians have also spoken out.
“An attack by a local terrorist, fueled by sickening racial hatred and easy access to guns,” Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted. “Charleston. Atlanta. Pittsburgh. Poway. Now, Ox. America must take the fight against domestic terrorism seriously. We cannot accept this.
“Today, another community has been devastated by the horrors of gun violence. We must never stop fighting to stop the bloodshed, because enough is enough,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) tweeted.
“This horrific act of hate-fueled gun violence is unacceptable. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and the entire Buffalo community. We have to do better, America,” Atty. General Rob Bonta tweeted.
Times reporters Nolan D. McCaskill and Connor Sheets spoke to residents about how the tragedy affected the community: “We heard from our parents and grandparents that this is our legacy, our legacy of survival, our legacy of abuse and brutalization.”
And now, Here’s what’s happening across California:
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In the high-risk country of California fires, Airbnb offers guests no warnings or evacuation plans. Across the state, thousands of Airbnb short-term rentals operate in the most dangerous fire zones, but the company does not provide warnings or evacuation information to guests when they make a reservation, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times
STORIES FROM THE
Why did Bru McCoy leave USC? Court documents offer answers. “Effective immediately,” an email from USC read, “you are barred from college.” The Times sifted through hundreds of pages of court records to uncover the circumstances that led to the arrest of former five-star receiver Mater Dei following an alleged incident with his ex-girlfriend, and how the university managed it. (McCoy denied the allegations, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office declined to press charges.) Los Angeles Times
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POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Capital and Main has a new series on the trend of big business and elected officials denying Americans extra pay for extra work. “Tens of millions of Americans who work more than 40 hours are not eligible for overtime. Some do not receive it because they work in one of the many professions – such as agricultural work and teaching – that have long been exempted due to industry lobbying and political compromise,” Marcus writes. baram. Capital and main
San Diego is planning key changes this fall to how the city regulates cannabis, including a new effort to help bring people of color into the business and the first increase since 2014 in the number of licensed dispensaries in the city. Officials say it’s time for San Diego to catch up with nearly every other major city in California by establishing a state-funded cannabis equity program. San Diego Union-Tribune
Hearing threats against Roe vs. Wade, I thought about my same-sex marriage — and the Jim Obergefell fight. “Like President Biden, many LGBTQ+ jurists and activists across the country, I was concerned that the same legal arguments used to overthrow Roe would be redeployed by anti-gay factions in this country to fight gay marriage rights that was established in the case of Jim, Obergefell v. Hodges, in 2015,” writes Times reporter Kevin Rector. Los Angeles Times
CRIME, COURTS AND POLICE
Uncle and grandfather of 3-year-old San Jose girl arrested in connection with ‘exorcism’ who killed her last fall. Los Angeles Times
An unsolved murder haunts the family. A triple murder four years ago on Mother’s Day still plagues a Stockton family. Joe Lor, 22, his wife, Gina Xiong, 22, and their 5-year-old daughter, Kayleen Lor, died after bullets pierced their apartment. Two other victims were injured in the shooting. “Since it happened on Mother’s Day, we don’t view Mother’s Day the same way,” said Chang, Joe Lor’s brother. “We have been in mourning for so long.” ABC 10
HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
Bay Area health workers are urging the public to take precautions as COVID levels rise. “The Bay Area now has the highest COVID infection rates in California,” read a memo endorsed by 12 Bay Area health workers. “While not required, masking is strongly recommended by the California Department of Public Health for most public indoor settings, and health officials say wearing higher quality masks.” Sonoma County Administrator’s Office
‘Welcome to Portugal, the new expat paradise. Californians, please go home. The slender Atlantic nation has attracted — and even advertised for — Americans packing their bags. Californians are making a name for themselves in a country once considered Spain’s forgotten brother. Los Angeles Times
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Correction: Many attentive readers of this newsletter have noticed that Thursday’s edition Erroneous city and county populations in California. I misread a table, sorry and thank you for pointing it out.
Los Angeles: Sunny 75 San Diego: Covered 67 San Francisco: Cloudy 62 San Jose: Covered 71 Fresno: Sunny 89 Sacrament: Covered 85
Today california memory is of Betty Thomas:
In March 1944, my mother took my sister and I on the bus to San Diego to say goodbye to my brother as he was going overseas. An old lady, my brother’s friend, hosted us for our 2 week visit in her cabin near the bay. I fell in love with California and begged my mother to send for another brother and move there forgetting about Texas. We didn’t but this memory is still so beautiful to me.
If you have a memory or a story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please limit your story to 100 words.)
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