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National Day of Protest Saturday for Andy Lopez, 13, murdered by Santa Rosa deputy sheriff

November 9, 2013

by California Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality, A California Campaign to STOP Police Brutality, Communities United Against Police Brutality, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE

National Day of Protest for Andy Lopez poster 110913Santa Rosa – Police brutality protests are being held all over California Saturday – including Santa Rosa – to protest the brutal murder Oct. 22 of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a Santa Rosa sheriff’s deputy and the culture of killings perpetrated by law enforcement against citizens in the state.

The Santa Rosa protest will be held at Santa Rosa’s Juilliard Park, 329-409 Santa Rosa Ave., Saturday, Nov. 9, 1-5 p.m. Other protests are scheduled throughout California, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Oakland and Merced.

The event in Santa Rosa will focus on gathering stories and testimonials from the community about police brutality in Sonoma County. We will have a team of volunteers recording stories for a permanent archive.

“We are heartbroken and outraged that Andy Lopez was murdered by Erick Gelhaus of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. We demand police terror on American citizens stop immediately. We demand justice for Andy Lopez, his family and his community,” said Christina Arechiga of the California Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality, comprised of labor and community groups and families whose loved ones have been killed by police.

The coalition issued a letter to Santa Rosa District Attorney Jill Ravitch, demanding “Erick Gelhaus (be) charged immediately for the murder of Andy Lopez.”

Justice for Andy Lopez march to DA's office 110513 by Jay Conner, Press Democrat
Mass marches have been held almost every day since Andy Lopez, 13, was murdered by Sgt. Erick Gelhaus on Oct. 22. This one, on Nov. 5, is headed toward the office of District Attorney Jill Ravitch to demand Gelhaus be charged with murder. – Photo: Jay Conner, Press Democrat
“This behavior by Sonoma County is terrorism. We will not allow blatant murder to happen at the hands of law enforcement. A badge is not a license to kill and it does not grant extra rights. …

“We will not allow this murder to go unanswered for. If an indictment of Penal Code 187, murder, is not filed against Erick Gelhaus, those responsible will answer to the people. We await you doing the right thing,” said the coalition in the letter.

“We are aware that there were witnesses that the police never interviewed, there have been witnesses that have been harassed after speaking to the media and there are other citizens stepping forward about the mental state of Erick Gelhaus.

Justice for Andy Lopez protest Santa Rosa Sheriff HQ 'Our lives are not your contact sport' 110513
Outside the austere sheriff’s headquarters in Santa Rosa – note the deputies on the roof – supporters of justice for Andy Lopez rally Nov. 5. The sign refers to a published statement by killer cop Sgt. Gelhaus, a prolific writer on guns and policing, that he considers law enforcement a “contact sport.”
“Additionally, with Erick Gelhaus’ obsession with guns and preparing for ‘war zones,’ we have a plethora of information that suggests that he premeditated killing in the line of duty and knew the importance of being able to ‘articulate’ to his superiors how he felt he was ‘in fear for his life’ in order to get away with murder if need be.

“Andy Lopez was given LESS than 10 seconds to understand what was happening and comply; no reasonable person believes that he was fully aware of the situation. Andy Lopez is dead and we are disgusted at law enforcements tactics of demonizing this boy. He was a boy being a boy, playing with toys, walking in his own neighborhood. Our efforts to protect this child and his family from this slander will not cease,” the letter protested.

The California Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality can be reached at castatewidecoalition@gmail.com. Visit POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE at http://www.poormagazine.org.

 

One thought on “National Day of Protest Saturday for Andy Lopez, 13, murdered by Santa Rosa deputy sheriff

  1. Bonnie Jeam

    First an innocent child is murdered. His murderer is protected and is given lots of time off work with pay. The child's school friends, very peacefully take their grief to the Sheriff Offices to protest this blatant abuse of power. However, the coward Sheriff's have closed their offices and meet the children in full riot gear. The kids were from the middle school, which means they were mostly 12, 13 or 14 years old. Did the Sheriffs really need to face them in riot gear and fully armed? It demonstrates that the entire department is far more willing to kill children, than to serve and protect our community. The entire department should have a federal investigation. Our State Governor should get behind investigating this atrocity in our County, as well.
    Andy Lopez gave his life for needed change.

    Reply

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