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Derrick Gaines, 15, his life stolen by SSF police, is beloved by family and friends

June 27, 2012
Derrick Gaines with his little brother, Michael Red
Derrick Louis-Lamar Gaines was born on Sept. 20, 1996, in San Francisco, Calif. He died on June 5, 2012, in South San Francisco at the age of 15.

In all of the outpouring of grief from parents, family, peers, neighbors, teachers, friends and professionals, one universal statement emerges: “Derrick had a good heart.” Derrick was Mr. Sociability. Everyone in the neighborhood and beyond was always being contacted by Derrick just to say hello or have a chat. His cousin in Belgium got his texts and all his cousins in Butte, Montana, got his texts. He loved his friends and being with them.

Derrick lived with his great aunt, Dolores Piper, from about 3 years old to the present, and there were lots of boys and girls in and out of her house eating, playing video games and having slumber parties over the years. Aunt Dolores took the kids to plays, museums, movies and the zoo. Derrick and Aunt Dolores travelled extensively to Victoria, B.C.; Butte, Montana; Omaha; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; and Portland.

Derrick’s great uncle Jim Piper died when Derrick was 8, and that was a tragic loss for him as he and his uncle were constant companions. Following his uncle’s death, he and his Aunt Dolores were always together. He assisted her in her food marketing business and worked at many food shows and other food related events, so that he was well known to all of her business associates.

Derrick was talented at writing, especially R&B and rap lyrics. He and his friends would make rap videos at the SSF Boys and Girls Club. He would spend hours on the computer composing lyrics to musical beats. As young teenagers do, he dreamed of composing lyrics that might be recorded and published.

A typical teenager, Derrick loved to talk with his friends.
Derrick attended Monte Verde Elementary School, Westborough Junior High, Alta Loma Junior High, and South San Francisco High School. His eighth grade social studies teacher at Alta Loma Middle School said: “Derrick would ask the most inquisitive questions in social studies class and offer thoughtful analysis of U.S. history. Derrick’s presence elevated the level of conversation in our classroom. He spoke eloquently and articulately, wise beyond his 13 years. I will always remember him for his intelligence, respect, kindness and humor.”

Derrick is survived by his 4-year-old brother, Michael Red, his great aunt, Dolores Piper, his parents, Rachel Guido and Derrick Gaines, his maternal aunts, Justine Lockard (Rob) and Monique Lockard, his paternal grandparents, Shirley and Henry Sanders, grandfather, (Cheryl) Anias Melson, cousins, Juel James, Millie James, Tru James, Adayah Easley, Malaya Davis and Nate Piper, stepfather, Michael Red, cousins in Butte, Montana; Post Falls, Idaho; Boise, Idaho; Kigali, Rwanda; Omaha, Nebraska; Vancouver, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Ghent, Belgium and beyond. Too numerous to list them all, these were cousins that Derrick met and spent time with. They were all cousins that Derrick thoroughly enjoyed, and they all embraced Derrick and were embraced by him.

Derrick is predeceased by his loving grandmother, Cheryl Balkovetz, his loving and devoted great uncle, Jim Piper, and grandfather, Louis Lockard.

Funeral service will be held Thursday, June 28, 11 a.m., at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 400 Westlake Ave., Daly City. A gathering will follow at the War Memorial Building, 6655 Mission St., Daly City.

Help for Derrick’s family

The family of 15-year-old Derrick Gaines, who was murdered by the South San Francisco Police Department on June 5, is trying to raise funds to celebrate his life. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the Derrick Gaines Memorial Fund account, No. 1636477653.

The community has shown solidarity with the family by attending candlelight vigils and giving advice and/or insight. At the memorial on June 12, held where Derrick was killed, were Rev. Dr. Amos Brown of the NAACP, Archbishop Franzo King, Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, and a crowd of family and friends. Now financial support is the most pressing need. All help is appreciated.



Filed Under: SF Bay Area

7 thoughts on “Derrick Gaines, 15, his life stolen by SSF police, is beloved by family and friends

  1. John Mulligan

    Murder is the unprovoked killing of another human. Mr. Gaines had a gun, which he pointed at another officer. Mr. Gaines' friend confirmed he carried a gun regularly. Please tell me why having a gun pointed at you isn't adequate provocation? Here's another question, if Mr. Gaines had shot another young man, what kind of article would you write here? Would you write anything at all?

    1. Leroy

      You believe what the mainstream media tells you? The media didn't tell you that he had a disability and couldn't run fast but the so called media said he ran and if he did run that means the cops shot him in the back. Don't believe the mainstream media and cops lies. Get up from the TV and do your own research like Poor Magazine did. If his friend said that he carried a gun than why haven't cops release that info, oh I know why because it the statement from his friend has really came the police to cover their own ass. There are Big ifs but the fact from Gaines mother's mouth said that her disabled son was shot while he was running so he was shot in the back. I guest it must happened to you to make you see the injustice.

  2. Fred

    I think Gaines shouldn't have pulled a gun on the officer. That was not smart of him. Carrying and brandishing a firearm can get you killed.

  3. The 58%

    He had a gun. Maybe if tht stupid little Spick was in taco bell making me a taco, he would have not been in any of this.

  4. Occupy Da Hood SF

    drop the “Mr.” Gaines…. he was a CHILD

    As for the flulltg brain who wrote the Spick comment about Taco Bell, YOU can shine my shoes anytime, white boy.

  5. Leroy Moore

    You all believe what the mainstream media tells you? The media didn't tell you that he had a disability and couldn't run fast but the so called media said he ran. Don't believe the media and cops lies. Get up from the TV and do your own research.


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