The Coast News Group
Dr. Darwin Fishman
Dr. Darwin Fishman, a professor at San Diego State University and member of the Racial Justice Coalition, speaks during a June 12 press conference about the arrest of Marcel Cox-Harshaw on June 12 by Carlsbad police officers. Photo by Steve Puterski

Activists call for reforms of Carlsbad Police Department after tasing incident

CARLSBAD — Several groups are calling on the Carlsbad Police Department and demanding reforms following the arrest of Marcel Cox-Harshaw last Thursday night in Carlsbad.

Representatives from the North County Civil Liberties Coalition, North San Diego NAACP, Moms Demand Action and Racial Justice Coalition held a press conference on June 19 railing against the actions of two Carlsbad police officers, who were seen on video tasing Cox-Harshaw and physically restraining him while he was on the ground.

The groups are calling for five reforms, reprimands for the officers and following “8 Can’t Wait” reforms adopted earlier this month.

Yusef Miller, of NCCLC, said EMT’s responded to a call of an apparent intoxicated Cox-Harshaw and were de-escalating the situation until police arrived.

Once officers arrived, they tased Cox-Harshaw several times, held his head down and put on a spit shield to protect the officers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Darwin Fishman, who holds a doctorate in American Studies and is a professor of Africana Studies and Sociology at San Diego State University, spoke about how San Diego law enforcement agencies are some of the slowest in adopting change reforms to their policies.

Fishman said it took his organization three years for the San Diego Police Department to drop their use of chokeholds, noting police officers who break the law and commit acts of violence or brutality must be fired or arrested.

Mali Woods-Drake, who organized the George Floyd memorial at the Cardiff Kook, spoke about the historical context of police, noting police forces were originally slave patrols. She said the entire police system in the U.S. was founded and built on oppression.

For more, read the June 26 edition of the Coast News.


concerned June 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm

Look at the videos. According to the police, the man didn’t like the medic who was trying to help him. That’s when the police intervened to prevent harm to the medic.
The representatives from those activist groups could volunteer to go out instead of the police and help people that have mental or drug problems. Those activists could gently help the man into their car and calm him so he wouldn’t flay as he did with the police. In the meantime Mali Woods-Drake could recite the historical context of the police to him to calm him down.
Start this new system now.

Casandra June 21, 2020 at 2:57 am

The EMTs were not successfully de-escalating him as the video showed him moving from a distance of approximately 4’ from the EMT to less than a foot. He was visibly and audibly upset. When the police arrived, an officer stood behind them for a few minutes then signaled to the EMT that he was going to cuff the man. He then attempted to handcuff him with the help of one other officer or EMT. These facts are significant. The police did not go straight to tasing the man when they arrived.

Donna McGinty August 5, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Your article does not say why this guy was disturbed. Nor, who called for EMT’s. Did EMT’s call for the Police. Why were either called in the first place. Report just not clear enough.

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