Why Some People Won’t Be Voting For Jerry Sanders For Mayor

by on June 2, 2008 · 9 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, San Diego

Questions still remain about Sanders’ role during the 1984 McDonalds Massacre in San Ysidro

SAN DIEGO, CA. Some people still find it difficult to vote for Jerry Sanders for mayor of San Diego – or for anything – based on his performance on the day of the tragedy of the McDonalds Massacre on July 18, 1984. Consider the following editorial from La Prensa, published August 19, 2005:

Editorial, La Prensa - Aug. 19, 2005

The fact that Huberty was able to keep up a fusillade for 1 hour and 45 minutes before being taken out by police is fairly outrageous. How do we know that this lasted for that lengthy period of time? Monica Zech, once a newscaster for San Diego TV and radio, was on the scene, in a helicopter. Years later she reflected on what had happened and wrote her thoughts down. Although not mentioning Jerry Sanders or any police officer by name, she did note that the passage of time before Huberty went down.

Then-San Diego newscaster Monica Zech, was in a news channel helicopter that day of the massacre. Later, as the El Cajon Fire Public Information Officer, Zech wrote the following personal thoughts of her observations from that horrific day.

San Ysidro McDonald Massacre-A Birdseye View

by Monica Zech, 2004

My thoughts: Remembering and reporting on the San Ysidro McDonald Massacre, where 21 people died, 19 were injured – 7/18/84.

It’s hard to imagine it was 20 years ago, on July 18th. I was part of major tragedy, a part of San Diego history. It was my first year of reporting news from the air (previously a ground reporter for about 10 years) as San Diego’s first female traffic reporter and first TV traffic reporter. But I was also the first reporter on scene, in the air at McDonalds. I broke the story – giving the first on scene broadcasts from there for several local radio and TV stations.

Being the first TV traffic reporter was quite a novelty back then … and this was also my first year of air traffic reporting. Back then we flew helicopter or fixed wing, (small plane) upon arriving on scene no one really knew what was happening by then. It was reported as a single sniper incident, someone being shot and stumbling into a post office. I was flying just minutes away by the Coronado bridge when we got the report from my producer, and continued south, I was in the area just minutes after that.

As I looked down with my binoculars I saw utter CHAOS … luckily we were in the plane that day flying high out of sniper range – since Huberty was still shooting. I saw a San Diego fire crew ducking for cover behind their fire rig. I immediately radioed back that there was something big happening here. Police were quickly shutting down streets. As I continued to circle I saw the traffic from the U.S. border crossing at San Ysidro was traveling behind McDonalds and in the line of fire – so I radioed this back to my producer who called and had them shut down the border crossing.

As I continued to circle the area I saw people hiding against the wall in the play area… and I saw the boys lying on the ground with their bicycles outside the doors to McDonalds. My reports to the TV & radio stations were non-stop until other ground reporters could get close to the area. (Other airborne units arrived 20 minutes later.) In my reports, I didn’t mention the people hiding in the playland area because we had heard the gunman may have a radio and was possibly listening to the radio broadcasts, so I didn’t want to put those hiding in more danger.

It was about an hour and 45 minutes as I then watched a San Diego Police sharp shooter fire the fatal shot that took Huberty down. I saw the officers rush the building, soon after the fire fighters and paramedics, jumping over the walls rushing to save those who could be saved.

As I flew out of area-I started hearing the reports of the carnage inside. That’s when it finally hit me, up until then I knew I had to report the scene and do my best to keep people safe and out of the area – that was my job and passion. I remember thinking I didn’t want any awards for this because people died, especially the children.

But it wasn’t long that I started hearing from residents in the area – “thanking me for saving their lives” … that they were headed down there, to that McDonalds or to that Post Office next door … and also thanks from those who were coming across the border at that time, but now stuck in traffic due to the closure. I remember the U.S. Border officials telling me, while on a tour, that traffic was backed up for miles that day, coming into the U.S., but it was strange that “no one honked or complained”, but that they could hear my voice coming through the car radios reporting the dangers just a short distance away. It was because of those comments, that a year later, I felt more comfortable in receiving a Golden Mile and two San Diego Press Clubs awards for those reports.

I remember that day very well … as tragic as it was, I was glad to help in some way in preventing the numbers of those killed or injured from being any higher than they already were.

I can also say it took me a few years before I was comfortable enough to walk into a fast food restaurant. But I still look over my shoulder.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe June 3, 2008 at 10:32 am

this is an extreme display of outrageous, racist and totally incompetent behavior. The implications are that Sanders, once he got the call about the shootings, went home, changed into his uniform, and took his time to get to the site, refusing all along to give the order to shoot. Once he gets there, over an hour and 45 minutes later, he orders the shooter taken out, meanwhile alot of Mexican-American kids are gone for ever.
Doesn’t it say something that he was passed over so many times within the PD for promotion? It does – he is incompetent.


Marc S June 3, 2008 at 11:58 am

Sanders’ door is closed to a lot of people and groups.

Francis isn’t the only one who’s been told to go f*ck himself by Sanders.


Molly June 3, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Okay, Joe , who are ya voting for, then? (I’ve already voted, have you?)


OB Joe June 3, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Molly – I submitted a protest vote and did it for Floyd Morrow, the only name-Dem on the list. Floyd was on the City Council, and he is only 2 years older than John McCain. I know it’s a protest vote as Morrow won’t reach the run-offs. FLoyd is a decent guy, but I’m sure no one under 40 remembers him, the media have not given him any coverage, and he doesn’t attract youth like Bidwell does. If only Floyd had dreads. And a better tie.


Marc S June 3, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I think Floyd got youth votes too. He has a great stand on medical cannabis. Bidwell may be a dreadie but he’s just running as a PR experiment.


OB Joe June 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Floyd Morrow needs a tie-dyed


OB Joe June 3, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Okay, Marc S – what is Floyd’s stand on medical herb?


Pie Pipper June 3, 2008 at 1:42 pm

What is the deal with you people? The editorial you published by La Prensa is 3 years old. Perhaps if you would put down your bong long enuff you would have realilzed that Sanders has been mayor now for a number of years and we can now judge him on his own record. He’s much better than turn-leaf Francis, and why vote for someone who can’t win like Morrow or hippy-wannebe Bidwell?


Marc S June 3, 2008 at 10:20 pm

When 21 people get murdered I don’t think it really matters how old it is.

“It not only is justice from a legalistic viewpoint, but just from a health perspective of equal treatment for equal remedies. Our health care system is the most expensive in the world, but not even in the top twenty in terms of providing adequate health care service.” – Floyd Morrow on medical marijuana


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