Morning Report: The Death of Oral Nunis – Voice of San Diego

A screenshot of body-worn camera footage from the Chula Vista Police Department.
A screenshot of body-worn camera footage from the Chula Vista Police Department.

Oral Nunis died after being held down on the ground by Chula Vista police two months before George Floyd was murdered in May 2020. Nunis’ case hasn’t attracted the same attention, but it does raise similar questions.

Nunis’ daughter called CVPD and told them he was having a mental health episode. The officer who arrived immediately insisted on putting Nunis in handcuffs. From there, the story gets fuzzy. 

Here’s what we know: Nunis was handcuffed, held on the ground and placed in a WRAP device, then handed over to paramedics. He died at the hospital. An edited video released by the police department in August shows that the responding officers’ body cameras shut off during two key moments of the interaction. According to a newly-unsealed autopsy, Nunis’ death was caused by a “sudden cardiorespiratory arrest while restrained in police custody.”

Read the full story here. 

Reporter Gustavo Solis has been pushing the city and police department for answers ever since Nunis’ death. So far, they have only released the video, which raises more questions than answers, Solis reports. 

An Update and Refresher on Vacation Rentals

Back in February, the San Diego City Council approved vacation rental regulations that would allow the city to limit the number of vacation rentals and crack down on problem properties.

In short, the city decided to cap the number of vacation rentals allowed and require them to pay fees. The licenses to have them would be offered in a lottery. What we didn’t know was what those fees and the lottery would look like.

Now, city staff are ready to share their proposed plan for them. 

Along with a quick refresher, Lisa Halverstadt explains the proposed fees, application process and lottery that would be used to decide which operators will get licenses.

Read her full update here.

How California Suburbs Are Changing (Featuring San Diego)

San Diego was atwitter Friday after The New York Times published a long (4,500 word!) narrative using the city’s Clairemont neighborhood to explore how California suburbs are changing – and how they could be changing even more due to Senate Bill 9, which legalized duplexes and effectively ended single-family zoning.

Mayor Todd Gloria, who grew up in Clairemont, was among those who weighed in and recommended others give it a read.

Twitter/Todd Gloria

The writer of the piece, Conor Dougherty, used to write for the Union-Tribune. He wrote a thread about his reporting process if you’re interested. 

Politics Report

Former San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry has officially opened a new political campaign for an elected office. She filed paperwork to run for … county assessor. That’s assessor/recorder/clerk actually. The Politics Report Saturday had the news first along with the Democratic Party chairs take. Turns out he likes it, after fighting against her campaign for mayor for months last year.

We also have more on the latest resurgence of discussion about the People’s Ordinance and one councilman’s push to force people who can get their trash out to the street to pay a special fee for trash service like most condo and apartment buildings must.

That’s all in the Politics Report, which you have to be a member to get.

See the Politics Report here.

Maybe push the buttons to donate now and enjoy all the local politics news and commentary we put out Saturdays.

Let’s Talk About 101 Ash St. (Again)

Halverstadt also broke news last week that investigators from the District Attorney’s Office served simultaneous search warrants at Hughes Marino and Cisterra Development related to the Civic Center Plaza and 101 Ash. St. scandal.

She joined us on the podcast to recap everything that’s happened — and where things may go next.

Related: The Union-Tribune profiled Jason Hughes, the broker whose office and home were raided last week (subscribers only).

Another podcast to consider: We released the first episode of our new San Diego 101 Podcast last week. Our hosts Maya Srikrishnan and Adriana Heldiz explain everything you need to know about getting involved in local government with help from former City Councilman David Alvarez and local activist Aaron Harvey.

Up next: Police accountability. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

In Other News

  • County health officials announced that an unvaccinated woman was the first pregnant San Diegan to die from COVID-19. And 122 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Sunday — the lowest daily count since the Delta variant took hold. (Times of San Diego)

This Morning Report was written by Will Huntsberry, Megan Wood and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Scott Lewis.