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Center Column Archives
The new documentary "The Ghosts Of March 21" focuses on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between Lovelle Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon and four police officers. The documentary examines the encounter’s underlying contradictions and challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation. The film opened in Oakland and Berkeley on March 20 and 21, San Francisco on March 22, and Santa Rosa on March 23.
A nine week official mourning for 13-year-old Andy Lopez has begun in the Moorland Area of Santa Rosa where Andy was shot seven times and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22, 2013. Traditionally, a Novenario is nine days of prayer after a death. Attributed to the Catholic religion, these prayers assist the deceased in getting to Heaven, and it is the family’s way of getting some form of closure and peace over their loss.
On February 18, Common Cause and Forecast the Facts spearheaded a demonstration on Google headquarters property in Mountain View, California. They were bolstered by the presence of activists including the Raging Grannies and members of Occupy Mountain View. The protesters called out Google for its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbying group linked to climate change denying legislation, "Stand Your Ground" laws, and other extreme right wing agenda items.
H.H. Bhojani reports at AlterNet that about 10pm on January 29, Robert Asberry got on a train around Glen Park. A police officer got onto the car at the San Bruno station. He approached Robert and asked him to get off the train. Robert refused to obey the cop’s orders. After a brief back and forth, the police officer tases him. Other policemen file into the car, and while Robert is on the floor, restrained and posing no real threat, he is again tased. Police officers later carry Robert out of the BART car.
On the evening of February 12, a small crowd gathered in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley PD in early 2013. When the speakers concluded, about forty people marched to the Berkeley Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” The Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
In the early morning on January 21, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers killed Antonio Mestas in Oakland. At about 9pm that evening, another CHP officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jose Munguia near 54th and Wentworth Avenues. A police K-9 was also shot during the incident and was rushed to a veterinarian. In reaction, vandals defaced the front of the CHP station at 3601 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. On January 24, family and friends of Antonio Mestas held a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.