SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As 2016 winds to a close, here are the five biggest stories we covered in KPIX 5 newscasts and on the CBS SF website over the past 12 months.
1) Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire
A raging three-alarm fire in Oakland late December 2 unfolded to become one of the biggest tragedies to grip the Bay Area in recent years. The blaze at the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse during an electronic dance music event would take the lives of 36 people and shook Oakland’s artistic community to it’s foundations. The fire was the most lethal building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade.
2) East Bay Police Sex Scandal
While the roots of the story date all the way back to the 2014 suicide deaths of an Oakland police officer and his wife, the full scope of the law enforcement sex scandal involving an underage sex worker named Jasmine Abuslin (aka “Celeste Guap”) didn’t surface until May of this year. Officers and deputies from agencies in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties were implicated in the wide-ranging affair.
3) Trump elected President
After the most contentious and divisive presidential campaign in modern American history (if not all U.S. history), Republican candidate Donald Trump won a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton by taking the electoral college on November 8. Protests erupted across the country that night and over the days that followed. President-elect Trump continues to be a lightning rod with his off-the-cuff tweets and controversial cabinet appointments.
4) Black Lives Matter protests and police shootings
Police shootings of African Americans and people of color in the Bay Area and across the country became another flash point for protest and controversy in 2016. The San Francisco Police Department came under fire from protesters and activists following a series of deadly incidents, many caught on cell phone video. The uproar would contribute to the sudden resignation of San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr.
5) Brock Turner sentencing scandal
The lenient sentence for sexual assault given to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner by Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sparked global outrage and a campaign to have Persky removed from the bench. The story, particularly the powerful impact statement written by Turner’s anonymous victim and read in court at the time he was sentenced, renewed the push to stop on-campus sexual assaults.