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Gathered Together for Richard Lua, Victim of San Jose Police
On February 20th, Silicon Valley DeBug, a collective of writers, artists, organizers, and workers for justice, opened their space in downtown San Jose to remember a victim felled by taser at the hands of San Jose police.
How to say goodbye? Many wrote words of farewell next to an enlargement of Richard's picture. Some spoke in words, others in song. Raul (Curly) Estremera shared a poem he wrote for the family of Oscar Grant, eerily appropriate so soon after the Grant family's loss.
The Lua family brought dinner and refreshments. Older relatives sat and sighed. Small children played hide and seek and passed around cookies while they watched a rapper entertain, too young to understand the meaning of what happened on February 11th when Richard was killed in what the family's lawyer called, "murder at the hands of the police".
Curly's poem is at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/21/18572571.php.
YUCA = Youth United for Community Action, East Palo Alto
The smallest are spared some of the sadness
He and his brother were both shot by San Jose Police stun guns in front of their mother. Their mother was placed in handcuffs so tight her wrists turned purple, black and blue. Victimized by police with tasers, the family now seeks justice for themselves and for other victims. They are working for the banning of tasers in police work.
Joshua Herrera was given a life sentence for driving a getaway car connected with a home burglary. He didn't enter the home, but the punishment was harsh because Joshua, the prosecution said, was a gang member. Joshua's mother, Rebecca Rivera spoke about her experience, saying the district attorney's office targets Latinos by seeking sentencing enhancements for gang membership.
Joshua is serving a life sentence, even though no one was killed in the 2003 event.
Rebecca reminded the Lua family to stay strong, and that many in the community are with them in their search for justice for Richard and others like him.