Bay Area Headlines: Thursday, 6/18/20, PM
Masks Required in CA / CA Police Chiefs Endorse Reform Plan / SF Removes Columbus Statue / Mountain Lion In City Captured Safely
Masks Required in CA
California is now requiring people to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing isn’t possible under a new statewide order. Governor Gavin Newsom previously allowed local governments to decide whether to mandate masks and large counties like San Francisco already require people to wear them inside and outside. Thursday's order requires people to wear masks when inside or in line for any indoor public spaces. That includes in healthcare settings, while waiting for or riding public transportation and in outdoor spaces where it’s not possible to stay six feet apart from others. The order exempts outdoor recreation where people can distance.
CA Police Chiefs Endorse Reform Plan
California’s police chiefs are endorsing a plan to more aggressively weed out bad cops who break the law or have a history of complaints. The California Police Chiefs Association, today, also called for periodic checks to make sure officers are mentally stable. They acted after weeks of protests over the slayings of black people by police. Officers could lose their training certifications after due process hearings for egregious misconduct or if they are convicted of any felonies or certain misdemeanors. Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday backed a similar idea. The chiefs also supported having Becerra’s office investigate deadly force incidents at the request of local officials.
SF Removes Columbus Statue
San Francisco city workers moved a 4,000 pound Christopher Columbus Statue into storage Thursday morning. The statue near Coit Tower has been a point of contention for years. The city’s art commission did restorations on the statue only a few weeks ago. Since then, it’s been vandalized three times and drenched with red paint just last week.
The statue was removed ahead of a protest planned in San Francisco. Anti-police brutality protesters have been forcibly removing statues across the country, of figures like Thomas Jefferson and John Sutter. Earlier this week, state legislators decided to remove a Columbus statue from the Capitol Building in Sacramento.
Protesters are doing what many Native Americans in the U.S. have called for, for decades: removing statues of figures that, for them, represent the exploitation and genocide of indigenous people.
San Francisco City Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Catherine Stefani issued this joint statement:
“We recognize the pain and oppression that Christopher Columbus represents to many. We believe that through public art we can and should honor the heritage of all of our people, including our Italian-American community, but in doing so we should choose symbols that unify us.”
Mountain Lion In City Captured Safely
The saga of the mountain lion wandering the streets of San Francisco has come to a happy ending. According to multiple sources, wildlife specialists from the city and state cornered and captured the cat near Oracle Park in the Mission Bay neighborhood this morning. How’d they do it? They used a large net.
Animal care and control figures the mountain lion to be just over a year old, and they think it got separated from its mother in the San Bruno Hills. It took a tour of the city, and was spotted throughout the week — on Russian Hill, the Embarcadero, and the Financial District.
A spokesperson said the animal will be evaluated by Fish and Wildlife before being released.