"Everyone in San Diego has been blinded by the palm trees and the beach," says Shane Harris (left).
  • "Everyone in San Diego has been blinded by the palm trees and the beach," says Shane Harris (left).
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A group of activists gathered in Southcrest on Friday afternoon (July 29), site of a shooting that left one San Diego police officer dead and another wounded on Thursday night during a traffic stop. The group held a vigil in honor of slain officer Jonathan "J.D." Guzman and his partner Wade Irwin, who is expected to survive.

Though the motivation for the killing is still unclear, police have arrested two suspects: 52-year-old Jesse Gomez and 41-year-old Marcus Antonio Cassani.

"We don't know what the results of the investigation will find, but what we do know is that there's tension in our community between residents and police," said Shane Harris, president of the local National Action Network chapter. "That's why there are many not standing here with me today, because they don't feel that we should stand with police.

"Everyone in San Diego has been blinded by the palm trees and the beach. They believe that this city is superior to a Baltimore, a Miami, a Charleston. But we have the same issues here."

Harris called for a series of community forums to begin to address the "grave need" to bridge the animosity gap between police and residents in lower-income neighborhoods across the city. He also advocated for solutions including encouraging more officers to move into local neighborhoods and be assigned to patrols there.

"We should bring back community policing. Police used to live in the communities they were serving, they were a part of those communities. Now, you don't have very many police who can say they know and understand what's going on in the community."

As the vigil continued, a wreath was placed at the corner of 35th Street and Boston Avenue, near the site of the shooting. Demonstrators, slowly growing in numbers as the afternoon wore on, chanted slogans calling for peace and, notably, co-opting the "all lives matter" mantra that's sprung up as a foil to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

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Comments

AlexClarke Aug. 1, 2016 @ 9:19 a.m.

It was not just a traffic stop. This was a GSU (Gang Suppression Unit) not a traffic unit or patrol unit. There may have been a traffic violation used as probable cause to stop the vehicle but the officers were stopping a vehicle with a known gang member in it.

So Shane Harris of the NAN says "there's tension in our community between residents and police" then how about the like minded community members call Mr. Harris to solve the gang problems in their neighborhood.

Officer Deguzeman died trying to make the 'hood a better place but the community is not standing with the police, Fine but how about the police staying out of the Logan Heights and similar neighborhoods. Why should any police officer put his/her life on the line for a neighborhood that does not appreciate their efforts?

Gangs and gangbangers are the true terrorists. They have killed more innocent citizens than all the terrorists acts in the US to date. Gangs terrorize whole sections of cities especially inner cities. Nothing matters to gangs except money and territory. Unless and until gangs and gangbangers are treated like the terrorists they are nothing will change.

If you don't want the police to enforce the laws then call Mr. Harris. I am sure he will be willing to go into your 'hood in the dark of night and seek out the dirt bag gangbangers among you.

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elvishasleftsandiego Aug. 4, 2016 @ 7:18 a.m.

Well said. I'm sure gang bangers would love it if the police simply pulled up stakes and let the animals run wild. The actual law abiding citizen's who live in these neighborhoods would have a problem, however, since they are usually the victims of gang violence and intimidation.

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