SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | North Bay / Marin | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice

CA Police Brutality Coalition Calls Andy Lopez Killing 'Police Terrorism'
by CA Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality
Friday Nov 8th, 2013 6:13 PM
SANTA ROSA – A statewide police brutality organization is noting that on October 22 – the same day that thousands of people were protesting "police terror" across the country and at the State Capitol in Sacramento – a Santa Rosa Sheriff's Deputy gunned down 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
"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 CA Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality.

She said that even as hundreds gathered at the Capitol representing labor, students, community groups and more than 50 families whose loved ones were murdered by police (the CA Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality), they learned "about the horror happening in Santa Rosa."

The Coalition issued a letter to Santa Rosa District Attorney Jill Ravitch, demanding "Erick Gelhaus (be) charged immediately for the murder of Andy Lopez." http://www.poormagazine.org/node/4954

The letter continued:

"It is an abomination that the police are allowed to investigate themselves. When Santa Rosa PD investigates the Sonoma County Sheriff & then the Sonoma County Sheriff investigates the Santa Rosa PD those 2 departments are not conducting “independent” investigations. When there is no 3rd party doing an entire investigation then the people cannot rely on the information being complete or untainted.

"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. Additionally, with Erick Gelhaus’ obsession with guns and preparing for 'war zones,' we have a plethora of information that suggest 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 of 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.

"This behavior by the 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.

"On February 1, 1960 four young black men took seats at a Woolworth’s segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, NC – by July of that year Woolworth’s integrated all of its stores. Like Rosa Parks resisted and like Cesar Chavez organized. So will the movement behind Andy Lopez.

"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. "

Thursday/November 7, 2013
Contact: castatewidecoalition [at] gmail.com

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by won't.
Friday Nov 8th, 2013 8:41 PM
any ''police'' will NEVER admit wrongdoing or breaking of their own laws.be pre parted. as a mixed person, you already know that. now everyone is going to find out police don't give a care about civilians!
by anon
Saturday Nov 9th, 2013 7:52 AM
The Seattle cops were so out of control the Federal Dept. of Justice came in and took over.

Probably the very worse death was John T. Williams, a native woodcarver, who was shot in the back by a "frightened" cop when he would not drop his 2" knife. Mr. Williams was partially deaf and probably never heard the warning or even saw the cop.

Mayor McGinn, known for his love of bicycle lanes, backed the cops to the point where he refused to accept the DOJ's terms.

We just voted him out of office after one term.

Our new Mayor promises us a new police chief.

Now about all those new surveillance tracking devices downtown. And the police department drones...

Good luck to us all.
by Lois Arata
( loisrn [at] sonic.net ) Friday Nov 15th, 2013 11:37 PM
Thank you! I am outraged, like you. The attitude of the police posting on Press Democrat stories about the muder are shocking and disgusting. It seems like the sociopaths have the badges in this county.