The San Jose City Council approved land sales to developers, an emerging mobility plan and lifting the city’s COVID-19 mask mandate on Tuesday. During public comment, dozens of residents called to voice their displeasure over a police shooting inside a local taqueria about two weeks ago. Here’s what went down April 4:
More than 40 residents called in to share their concerns and demand transparency from San Jose police after an officer shot Contra Costa College student K’aun Green, 20, on March 27 in downtown San Jose’s La Victoria taqueria.
Green, a former Bay Area high school football champion, was shot by police after a fight broke out in the restaurant. According to local media reports, Green disarmed the gunman, but police say he was still holding the weapon when they arrived. Police shot Green in the abdomen, leg and twice in the arm. Callers said the news conference police held days after the shooting was misleading.
Residents said they were appalled and demanded SJPD release the unedited body-camera footage and the name of the officer who shot Green, in addition to asking the city to create a fund to support Green’s recovery.
“It is beyond disturbing that police shot an innocent man within seconds of entering La Vics without knowing or understanding the situation at hand,” said Lana Gomez, a community organizer with groups such as Youth Impact Partnership and Justice for Gregory Johnson. “They shot a man who disarmed and de-escalated the situation—something that the police should be doing themselves. A badge does not shield police officers from accountability.”
Because it was part of public comment, councilmembers could not respond. However, many councilmembers stood up, joked and chatted among each other and walked around the dais as residents shared impassioned pleas for the city’s support.
CityView Plaza gets more land
The City Council unanimously approved the use of eminent domain—the government’s right to take private property for public use—to acquire 14,351 square feet of Park Avenue and sell it to a developer with plans in the area.
The land is designated as part of Jay Paul Co.’s CityView Plaza plans to build a modern glass-lined, three-tower, 3.8 million-square-foot office park. The city will make $5.9 million from the sale, but plans to reallocate $3 million to support the reconfiguration of Park Avenue for the development.
“It is not at all unusual that the city does not own all the property in the right of way,” said Nanci Klein, director of economic development. “In order to move projects forward, the city needs to be a partner in consolidating and owning those properties in order to sell them to the property owner.”
Emerging mobility plan
San Jose’s Department of Transportation created an equity-centered plan to highlight some unique and emerging transportation initiatives that could help connect historically disenfranchised communities and move the city away from its reliance on cars.
Called the Emerging Mobility Plan, the city aims to get ahead of emerging transportation technology, understand community concerns and create plans for when technology such as automated ride-share cars makes it to San Jose.
The city will focus on districts 3, 4 and 7 as many residents could use better connections to transit and consider creating a “first mile last mile” mobility connector to make transit more accessible. Connectors could be ride-hailing services, on demand shuttles and electric bikes or scooters.
The report was relatively well received, however Mayor Sam Liccardo hoped it would be more actionable.
“I guess I went into this hoping I would read this and learn something that would tell me ‘Oh, I know what our next action is,'” Liccardo said. “I don’t feel like I got that from reading this report.”
John Ristow, director of the city’s transportation department, said it sets a good foundation and pointed to some pilot programs that could be the city’s next step, such as robo-taxis or a robot used to deliver food or groceries.
Mask mandate lifted
The COVID mask mandate is officially over in San Jose. Read more.
Contact Jana Kadah at [email protected] or @Jana_Kadah on Twitter.