Photo by Matt Shupe via Fox News
Faulconer during a tour of a downtown homeless shelter.
After years of inaction, it took a countrywide inner-city meltdown and the political ambitions of termed-out San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer to end the city's long-controversial carotid restraint procedure, widely known as the chokehold.
July 2018, Racial Justice Coalition walked into Faulconer's city hall offices to deliver petition.
"We are watching the hurt and pain so many people are expressing after the tragic death of George Floyd and are committed to taking new actions to make sure something like this doesn't happen in San Diego," Faulconer said at June 1 news conference.
"That starts today with the police chief's decision to immediately stop this particular restraint that has led to so much concern and frustration by many in our minority communities. I want to thank Chief Nisleit for listening to those demanding justice and doing the right thing."
Almost two years ago, in July 2018, a delegation from the Racial Justice Coalition led by Bishop Cornelius Bowser and allies walked into Faulconer's city hall offices to deliver a petition with 31,500 signatures demanding a ban on the restraints, to no avail.
TV cameras showed no sign of Faulconer, notable for infrequently missing a photo-op.
Darwin Fishman: "We've had doctors reach out to the police chief and the mayor."
"We've had doctors reach out to the police chief and the mayor," Darwin Fishman of the coalition told KPBS. "We're not getting any ground."
But California's morphing voting habits and Falconer's desire to climb the state's political ladder have since stoked his need to set himself apart from Donald Trump without an outright repudiation of the Republican president and his big-money backers.
Last year, Faulconer paid $4000 remaining in his 2016 mayoral campaign fund to retain the services of Praetorian Public Relations of Walnut Creek. Fox News subsequently credited Praetorian's Matt Shupe with supplying a photograph of Faulconer talking to a mother and daughter during a tour of a downtown homeless shelter.
Tweeted Shupe on June 1: "Sad that the California Capitol press corps are more interested in baiting the Governor into anti-Trump headlines rather than asking meaningful questions affecting Californians lives and their livelihoods." The consultant worked for the 2018 gubernatorial campaign of Rancho Santa Fe's John Cox, Democrat Gavin Newsom's GOP opponent.
This past January 17, the mayor chose West Coast Politico columnist Carla Marinucci to reveal what he said was a newly launched ballot committee devoted to homeless relief, an issue that he has repeatedly fumbled in San Diego.
The new campaign fund, called Rebuilding the California Dream, was set up by Faulconer two days earlier on January 15, per a registration statement filed with the California secretary of state's office.
The committee's treasurer is listed as Tom Hiltchak, a Sacramento lawyer with a specialty in rough-and-tumble California Republican politics who worked to recall gubernatorial Democrat Gray Davis in 2003, then served as an attorney for Republican Arnold Schwartzenegger, who replaced Davis. Hiltachk ran interference for GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman during a scandal involving her decade-long employment of undocumented domestic help.