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Letter from a member of Fresno Copwatch: Reminder for Oct. 22nd Vigil in Fresno
by Gloria Hernandez
Monday Oct 17th, 2005 6:37 PM
This report comes from a member of Copwatch, a member of Comite No Nos Vamos, and a leader in efforts to demand that the Fresno Police be held accountable to the community members who they are supposed to serve and protect. (below is a picture of the author speaking at a <A href="/news/2005/06/1749122.php">press conference on June 23.
Every time I learn someone dies at the hands of law enforcement, I say a small prayer for both the victim and the officers who shot him. I also try to remember to send in the information so that they can be included in the Nationwide Stolen Lives Project.. To be remembered by family and those trying to stop police violence.

I am not saying they were all angels. But I will not paint them like police do as if they were the harden criminal. They might have had a criminal record, but most of the time those convictions do not justify them getting judge, sentenced and executed by police.

Most of the time, they aren't even violent, just confused, hitting bottom and feeling broken. Maybe if we as a society,would have helped them, they would still be a live. We will never know because the killings happen when none of us are around to reach out to help or witnesses are too scared to come forward or because we have become immune to the killings or maybe because we know cops aren't prosecuted for killing someone they were suppose to protect.

Some cities adopt polices to train their officers to address mental distressed persons rather than killing or injuring them. Here in Fresno we tried to persuade the sheriff and police departments to require that officers be trained to deal with persons with mental distress. They claim there's no money or time to permit the trainings. So the killings continue to occur frequently across the nation and no one questions it and instead we quietly read the paper:

· He escaped from a psychiatric facility and hid in a broom closet. Cops claim they fired nine beanbag bullets but were unable to subdue him, so they shot him 12 times killing him.

· Police admit they knew there were children in A's apartment, but they fired 65 bullets anyway. 35 of the bullets hit A. Five or six hit a visiting friend, who was reportedly trying to get A to surrender.

· M was in the house, afraid and "threatening to shoot himself. He's not threatening to shoot anyone else." When police arrived, M had barricaded himself in a closet. Cops sent in an attack dog. M reportedly defended himself, stabbing the dog. Three cops fired 30 rounds; 20 of them struck M and killed him.

What we do not hear enough are voices like Supervisor N who defied the code of silence and reported her criticism, stating that the officer had made a grave mistake by using deadly force to break up a routine fight. Later she was ostracized and harassed and several commanding officers tried to silence her. A review board later determined that the shooting was unjustified. Supervisor N. said, "Blood and brain matter were all over the floor, splashed up on the walls. I don't care if he was an inmate. He was still a human being and he didn't deserve to be killed. Not for fighting."

Take a stand, stop police brutality.
i wanted to include this to show that training helps but there are already too many words.

. It took many years to get law enforcement to recognize special circumstance when dealing with victims of domestic violence and although it's not perfect the training has saved many of the victim's lives. But still they refuse the training offered.


reminder. ..we won't go away and we won't forget!
FRESNO Vigil For Lives Stolen by Police in the Valley
10th National Day Against Police Brutality
Saturday Oct 22, 2005 @5:30 p.m.
Corner of Mariposa and N Street
Meet at Park in front of Main library
Downtown Fresno
Wear Black! Bring candles!

California State Chapter National Action Network Rev. Floyd D. Harris Jr: xyfloyd [at] 288-0828
Comite NO NOS VAMOS: Gloria Hernandez iwapgh [at]
559 498-6033 or 268-2261
Mai Summer Vue sunrisevue [at] 559 227-4671

October 22nd is the day when people all over the country come together to STOP police violence, repression, and the criminalization of a generation. Across the country, in different cities and through different means of _expression, we raise a resounding "NO" to their steadily increasing moves towards a police state. We resist so that we will not be crushed. Fight back! On October 22nd,

Residents of Fresno DID YOU KNOW that
The number of justifiable homicides has been declining in the U.S.
However the number of justifiable homicides committed by police exceeded the number committed by citizens. In the last 10 years, the number of justifiable homicides has declined 29%.
US population 294,000,000
Average justifiable homicides by police per year late 2000 - 2002
2000 309
2001 378
2002 341
= average of 343 per year. About one justifiable homicide for every 700,000 in US population per year.
*However in the City of Fresno which has a population of about 440,000 people (2000 Census) the FPD is averaging 3.85 justifiable homicides per year, over six times the per-capita national average!
*Statistically, a black person in Fresno has over 2.5 times the chance of being killed in a FPD officer-involved shooting than a white person, indicating a strong racial correlation.
*Full FPD officer-involved shooting data for 1998-2004 can be found @

In July 2005, an 18-month old baby is killed in her father's arms by Los Angeles police. Police justification of this - that they were trying to "save" the baby - reminds people of the famous Vietnam era military quote - "We had to destroy the village in order to save the village." In Compton, police surround a truck where a man gave them the finger and fire 100 shots. Amnesty International released a report on Nov 2004 documenting over 70 deaths by tasers since 2001

The Stolen Lives Project ( has documented an alarming escalation nationwide in the numbers of people killed by law enforcement agents. These killings march hand in hand with the repression, searches and seizures legalized by today's USA PATRIOT Act, which evoke remembrances of the COINTELPRO days of the 1960s and 70s. In Minneapolis, a police consultant, proposing a racial profiling program, brands youth of color as "domestic terrorists".
What can we do about all this increased repression and brutality?
Nicholas Heyward, Sr. (father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr., killed by NYC housing police in 1994) says, "Police brutality has gotten much worse. In order for any justice to be done, it takes a mass number of people coming together for a common cause. Police brutality affects everyone and has to stop. We need as many people as possible to come out this year on October 22nd to support the families of victims of police brutality.
Juanita Young adds that resistance is critical: "You can't give in. They will try to make an example out of you, try to break your spirit. If you don't resist and keep on fighting, they will be able to get away with what they're trying to do to us."
Norma Martinez (mother of Gonzalo Martinez, killed with 31 shots by LAPD in 2001), writes: "Since Gonzalo died, more than 25 people have died at the hands of police. No police are in jail. We need justice."

Stolen Lives in the San Joaquin Valley 1997
July3 : Juan Hector Torres, 31, Fresno police
July 11: Ramon Ramirez Gallardo 64 Dinuba police officers
July 31: Manuel Jimenez Garcia Jr., 30, Selma police
Dec. 23: Juan Cortez, 29, Tulare County sheriff 1998
Jan. 9: Alfonso Hernandez, 16, Visalia police
April 16: Sinn Sor, 42 Fresno patrol officer
May 9: Tom Neville, 36 Fresno police officers
July_: Israel Garcia by Fresno police 1999
March 23: Joe Casto Corrales 38,Fresno Police
Dec 05: Ralph Lafayette White Jr. Fresno Police 2000
Feb19: Ralph Peter Gawor 43, Fresno Police
Sept 5: Isaias Alvarez 51, Fresno police
Sept 11: Delfino Guerrero 23 Fresno Police 2001
July 16: Roderick Lee Bertolette, 33 Fresno police
July 21: Julian Celaya, 25 Fresno police
Nov. 6: Mark William Burke, 41, Fresno police
Nov. 7: Frank Soliz, 20 Corcoran police officer 2002
Jan. 3: Jose Javier Vega, 28, Fresno County Sheriff
Feb. 6: Phillip Daniel Aguilar, 24 Fresno police
March 1: Peter Contreras, 24, killed by Lemoore police
March 9: Albert Ray Owens, 42, Fresno police
May 4: Clifford Paul Maxwell, 21,Fresno police
May 16: Carlos Landois by Visalia police
May 25: Mark Charles Volpa Jr., 21 FSO, Fresno Police
June 6: Vue Xiong, 23, Fresno police
July 13: Ignacio Rangel Gonzalez, Tulare County sheriff
Aug. 15: Eric Daniel Foster, 25 Fresno police officer
Sept. 1: Lydia Rodriguez, 32 Fresno police officer
Oct. 24: Mariano Vargas Servin, 27, Tulare County sheriff
Oct. 27: Everardo Torres, 24 Madera police officer
Nov. 24: Tony Dominguez, 37, CHP officer 2003
March 11: Angel Jimenez 31, Tulare police
March 21: Atilano Lay Doporto, 29, CHP
July 16: Oscar Curtis Tilghman, 44, Fresno police.
Sept. 4: Garland King, 59 Fresno police officers
Oct. 12: Jennifer Lynn Le Blanc, 26 Lindsay police officer
Oct. 26: Demetre Omar Hall, 23 Fresno police officers
Oct. 28: David Grajiola, 36 CHP 2004
Feb 6: David Zapata, 20 Fresno police
Feb 10: James Louis Carrel Fresno Police
April 8: Mario Perez Hanford Police
July 22: Gabriel Martinez, 25 Fresno Police
Aug 20: Michael Lewis Sanders Fresno Police
Sept 03: Reynaldo Quintero Martinez 31 Fresno Police
Dec 19: Juan Zaragoza 31 Fresno Police 2005
Feb 1: Vong Yang Her Fresno Police
June 18: Daniel Mendoza Fresno Police
July 3: Jerome Carter Fresno Police
August 21: Tou Yang Fresno Police
September 21: Katrina Campos Fresno Police

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You're an idiot, JATOMSunday Mar 4th, 2012 10:12 PM
i assume your a white middle-class personBustWednesday Nov 7th, 2007 1:51 PM
Get your facts straightBustWednesday Nov 7th, 2007 1:28 PM
obey all law'smaria martinezMonday Oct 22nd, 2007 9:26 PM
The Fresno EventupdaterSunday Oct 23rd, 2005 9:15 PM
dumbvictimFriday Oct 21st, 2005 6:46 PM
Kill 'em alljFriday Oct 21st, 2005 5:19 PM
CreditextraWednesday Oct 19th, 2005 4:00 PM

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