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Thu Jun 26 2014 (Updated 07/02/14)Andy Lopez Life Celebration March for Peace and Safety for All Children
Thu Jun 26 2014 (Updated 07/02/14)Youth Provide Core Support in Organizing for Justice for Andy Lopez
An energetic life celebration and march through Santa Rosa was held on June 7 for Andy Lopez, who would have celebrated his 14th birthday earlier in the week if he had not been shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22. Young people were abundant at the birthday celebration. Some who appeared to be not much more than elementary school age could be seen helping organize the proceedings, with many guardians simply watching and playing more of a background role.
Andy's family and friends were joined by a wide range of local and statewide supporters. Their core support comes from the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez and Andy's Youth. Andy's Youth is a grassroots community group comprised of young people from Santa Rosa and Sonoma County who have played a central role in organizing demonstrations. In the days after Andy's killing, the news swept across the schools, and justice for him became a crucial issue to the area's youth. "I want to thank you guys for setting the example for everyone else," a member of the Brown Berets said to Andy's Youth at a rally at Old Court House Square held at the end of the March.
During the march, one demonstrator carried a mannequin that displayed precisely where bullets entered Andy's body. Very little information about Andy's killing has been released by the authorities in Sonoma County, and the community continues to wait for District Attorney Jill Ravitch to announce whether there will be charges filed against Gelhaus. From an independent autopsy report, the family was able to find out how many times Andy was shot, and where the bullets entered his body. They entered Andy's body in the following locations: his chest, his left arm, his left wrist, his right wrist, his right buttock, his right lateral buttock, and his lower back.
Read More with Photos | Andy Lopez - Reflections on his 14th Birthday - a Birthday Deprived | Independent Autopsy of Andy Lopez's Body Reveals Instant Execution | Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez
Previous Coverage: Andy’s Youth Suspended from School Over Six-Month Anniversary Protest | Community Demands "Jailhouse for Gelhaus"