Coalitions unite to demand an end to Police Impunity!

Coalitions unite to demand an end to Police Impunity!

On the 2nd Anniversary of the killing of Alex Nieto by SFPD (March 21, 2016), the Justice & Love for Alex Nieto Coalition set forth a list of demands to end police impunity. Since then, these demands have been taken up in discussions by a broader coalition of justice groups including Justice & Love for Alex Nieto, Justice for Mario Woods, Justice for Amilcar Perez Lopez, and Honor & Justice for Luis Góngora Pat.

Based on our ongoing conversations, we have adapted these demands in the following manner.Specific Coalitions have additional demands that the mayor should address. Initially, therefore,

We demand that Mayor Ed Lee:

Fire Chief Suhr – A first and old demand at last met on May 19, 2016.

  • Despite the hunger strike of the #Frisco5 calling for Mayor Ed Lee to #FireChiefSuhr, despite the fact that this demand became the battle cry of the #Frisco500 to 5000 that took City Hall on a weekend in May 7th ending in 33 arrests, it was the loss of the life of twenty-nine year old Jessica Williams (#SayHerName) to a police bullet on Thursday May 19th 9:45am in the Bayview district (on the birthday of Malcolm X) that finally forced Ed Lee to face-up to the people’s anger and ask Chief Greg Suhr to resign.
  • Jessica Williams was the 22nd fatality under the command of Suhr, the twelfth since 2014, all these fatalities are unaccountable murders (found to be within policy, the latest shootings since 2015 still under review).

Carry out acts of restoration

  • Establish a permanent memorial for Alex Nieto, in collaboration with Elvira and Refugio Nieto at the site where their son was killed in Bernal Heights Park, and where community members have maintained a memorial for two years, as a gesture towards restoring community relations.
  • Establish a permanent memorial for Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat, in collaboration with his family in San Francisco.
  • Inquire of other families who have lost loved ones to an officer-involved shooting if they too would like a permanent memorial, and take actions to create such a memorial.
  • Provide immediate financial relief and specialized services to the families victimized by officer-involved shootings and other conduct resulting in trauma or injury since at least 2014. (Edited by request of survivors of police behavior that caused harm.)

Enforce demand for a fair and independent federal investigation into salient officer-involved shootings since 2014:

  • Enforce the January 26, 2016 Board of Supervisor’s resolution that “requests the United States Department of Justice to undertake independent investigation of the shootings of Alex Nieto, Amilcar Lopez-Perez (sic), and Mario Woods and the process by which the SFPD investigates use of force incidents” by establishing an action plan with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division for an independent federal investigation into those salient cases, including SFPD’s investigation of each case.
  • At this juncture, we demand that said DOJ investigation include all officer-involved shootings since 2014 in which complaints were filed against SFPD or the City, including the killing of Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat on April 7, 2016 and the twenty-seven year old woman murdered by SFPD today.

End the culture of impunity in SFPD:

  • Order the interim Chief of Police to issue bulletins that make alternatives to lethal use of force by SFPD officers unequivocally mandatory in volatile or potentially volatile situations.
  • Ensure adequate training for SFPD officers in line with our demand.

Support deep structural reform to raise SFPD accountability:

Alongside our demands to the Mayor, we are currently working with Supervisor John Avalos on developing a package of reform initiatives to raise SFPD accountability including. We demand that the Mayor, the Police Commission, and SFPD support our legislative package of reform once presented to the appropriate committee within the Board of Supervisors, and support implementation of any such reforms.

Deep structural reforms demanded of BOS:

We demand that the BOS take action to end police impunity through a package of legislative reforms that should include:

  • Modify legislation (to override the current SFPD General Order) that makes alternatives to lethal use of force by SFPD officers unequivocally mandatory with the aim of preserving life of civilians even in volatile or potentially volatile situations;
  • Radically increase transparency of the SFPD by requiring public and online permanent record keeping of complaints and incidents of use of force by officers, in line with best open government practices and in consideration of the Leno Bill SB1286;
  • Establish a Special Prosecutor’s Office that is a true and autonomous investigative and prosecutorial body in cases involving police misconduct including officer-involved shootings;
  • Establish an elected Civilian Police Commission that will substitute the current Police Commission (a proposal of Idriss Stelley Foundation);
  • Require peer review processes in the Office of Medical Examiner when facing an officer involved shooting;
  • Provide specialized victims services and financial relief for family and community members affected by a lethal use of force by officers, taking into consideration cultural, linguistic, and other special needs; and
  • Increase availability of witness protection programs and options in officer involved shootings, taking into consideration cultural, linguistic, and other special needs; and
  • Provide adequate training for SFPD officers derived from implementation of reforms, including adequate deescalation and crisis intervention training.

We’re just getting started.

#EndPoliceImpunity

Second autopsy affirms Amilcar was shot in the back by police

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed what eye-witnesses, community member’s, and the Perez-Lopez family’s lawyers have been saying for a year.

A second autopsy of a young Guatemalan immigrant who was shot dead one year ago today by San Francisco police appears to contradict Police Chief Greg Suhr’s initial claims about the shooting.

The autopsy, conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office and obtained Thursday by the San Francisco Examiner, mirrors the findings of an independent autopsy conducted after Amilcar Perez Lopez, 20, was fatally shot by officers in the Mission district on Feb. 26, 2015.

 

IMG_1638

Attorney Arnoldo Casillas revealing the results of the independent autopsy in April 2015

Suhr told the public soon after the shooting that Perez Lopez was lunging at two plainclothes police officers with a knife when they shot him. 

However, that claim was apparently contradicted last April by an independent autopsy, which showed Perez Lopez had been shot four times in the back, once through the arm and again through the backside of his head.

The City’s autopsy reflects that account.

See the full story here.

 

One-year Anniversary of Amilcar’s Killing by SFPD

On February 26, 2015, Amilcar was shot six times to the back by SFPD.

As investigations continue, and demands for intervention by the Federal Justice Department escalate, we remember this young immigrant and his family in Guatemala — in poetry, prayer, dance, a candle-lit vigil and march, and a clear demand for justice and an end to police violence.

Join us Friday, February 26, 2016 at 5pm at Folsom St. between 25th and 24th St.

Among those joining us: the Danzantes Xitlali and other Bay Area faith leaders, Supervisors David Campos and Malia Cohen, Mission youth leaders, Labor leaders, leaders from the Mario Woods and Alex Nieto Coalitions, and many others.

We’ll begin with a vigil at the site of Amilcar’s shooting (Folsom between 24th and 25th), and then march to Mission Police Station. Afterwards, a free community dinner at St. John’s at 15th and Julian (between Valencia and Mission).

RSVP on Facebook HERE.

#Justice4Amilcar #6shots2theback

The Mission (SF) Marches, Rallies for Justice for Amilcar Perez-Lopez

by Evan P. Matthews at Anti Police-Terror Project 
Originally Published on IndyBay 

On April 24, neighbors for Justice for Amilcar held a vigil and march in honor of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, killed by SFPD on February 26, 2015.

Friday evening, concerned community members organized a vigil, march, and rally calling for justice in the state-killing of Amilcar Perez-Lopez. Shot six times in the back, once in the head by San Francisco Police Department, Amilcar was remembered and honored by all present as an honest, hard-working man. Friends, neighbors, and concerned individuals from throughout the Bay gathered at the site of the state-killing on Folsom street between 24th street and 25th street for a moving vigil. After the vigil, the nearly crowd of nearly 200 marched to the Mission Police District for a rally and die-in. The march was led by powerful, native Aztec dancers in ceremonial costume. Organized by the Justice for Amilcar committee, the march included members of the Mission faith community, Supervisor Dave Campos, Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), and the San Francisco Organizing Project/Peninsula Interfaith Action (SFOP/PIA).

The action, held in the historic yet gentrifying Mission district, came on the heels of a press-conference in which the results of an independent autopsy were announced to the public. Conducted by the Sonoma County coroners office, the autopsy revealed disturbing conflicts in the story originally given by SFPD and Police Chief Greg Suhr. The police chief stated on March 2nd during a town-hall that Amilcar charged at the police with a knife raised. This story, though always contradicted by witnesses, was reprinted and published as fact by news outlets throughout the bay area. The press conference also announced the lawsuit filed by the parents of Amilcar against SFPD for their use of excessive, deadly force against their son. The lawsuit also charges SFPD with the failure to appropriately train, discipline, and supervise officers Tiffe and Reboldi.

Amilcar Perez-Lopez is a victim of police-terror, but he is also facing eviction – a fate he shares with people of color throughout the Mission and San Francisco. Speakers at the march connected the threat of eviction with the criminalization of black and brown people in San Francisco. Called by many the “bookends of gentrification,” SFPD has a deep history of criminalizing the presence of people of color, effectively pushing them out of the community they call home. While on Mission St, the march passed the dozens of restaurants patronized by the mostly white, young people who are the tenants that replace working class folks like Amilcar.

Hundreds of photos of all the community response to the death of Amilcar can be found on the Justice 4 Amilcar Perez-Lopez facebook group:http://www.facebook.com/groups/353672264838421/

Hashtags for the event:
#Justice4Amilcar
#6shots2theback
#JusticeForAmilcar
#AmilcarPerezLopez
#SFPDCoverUp

amilcar_drummer amilcar_frank_lara amilcar_latino_death amilcar_march amilcar_at_mission_police amilcar_mcbride_autospy amilcar_crowd_pd amilcar_oshaine amilcar_alex amilcar_gent amilcar_diein 800_amilcar_latino_death

Latest Evidence Disproves SFPD Chief Suhr’s Version of the Killing of Amilcar Perez-Lopez

For Immediate Release:

Latest Evidence Disproves SFPD Chief Suhr’s Version of the Killing of Amilcar Perez-Lopez

Outraged Mission Community to Hold Vigil and March

What: Interfaith vigil and march in response to latest evidence that Amilcar Perez Lopez was murdered by SFPD
When: Friday, April 24, 6pm
Where: Beginning on Folsom Street, between 24th and 25th Streets

This Friday morning, April 24th, lawyers representing Amilcar Perez-Lopez and his family in Guatemala will file a lawsuit in the Northern District Federal Court in San Francisco seeking accountability for the killing of Amilcar by San Francisco plainclothes officers on February 26th. The Federal Complaint will reveal the true facts behind Amilcar’s heinous death, completely at odds with Chief Greg Suhr’s story.

Those of us in the Mission neighborhood know that the facts are not as the police have reported to the media. We know that the truth about how Amilcar was killed by the police will be revealed when the lawsuit is filed.

This Friday we will gather at the site of his murder on Folsom Street to demand justice for Amilcar, for other victims of racist police violence, and for the Mission District.” said spokesperson for the march and neighbor Florencia Rojo.

Amilcar Perez-Lopez was assassinated in a hail of police bullets three doors away from his Mission apartment on Folsom Street at 9:45 p.m. on February 26th. Soon after, SFPD Chief Greg Suhr blamed Amilcar for his own death at the hands of plainclothes officers. As in each recent shooting case in San Francisco – Alejandro Nieto on March 21, 2014, OShaine Evans on October 7, 2014, and Amilcar on February 26th, Chief Suhr claimed the shootings were justified based on his officers’ “reasonable fear” for their safety.

The evidence revealed on Friday morning, and in particular the autopsy findings, will unequivocally confirm that the officers were in no threat of any danger as Amilcar Perez Lopez was not attacking the officers—but rather fleeing from the officers after having dropped the knife. Most importantly, this evidence will unequivocally confirm that the killing of Amilcar was absolutely unjustified. The SFPD’s official version, which was announced to the public by Chief Suhr, is a fabrication intended to shield the shooting officers from prosecution.

We in the neighborhood knew Amilcar as a hard working, young Guatemalan immigrant struggling to build a decent life for himself in this country. He worked multiple jobs in the construction and the restaurant trades. Despite how hard Amilcar worked, he sent money to his family in Guatemala to help support them. Amilcar was a good human being, a good neighbor and a wonderful provider for his family. There was no reason to shoot him. We will march on Friday with families of other victims of police shootings to demand that the truth come out and justice be done! said Eduardo Roman, a co-worker and friend of Amilcar.

According to march organizer, Father Richard Smith of St. John’s Episcopal Church, “There is a prevalent death culture in the SFPD. They view their mission in our community as a them-against-us situation. I fear for my parishioners and all the innocent youth of color who live with a constant fear that on any day a police bullet may take their young lives. 

I am urging all concerned members of our community to join us for this Fridays vigil and march to stand up for Amilcar and for justice. 

Events and locations:

  • Interfaith vigil with words, music, song, and native dance. On Folsom Street, between 24th and 25th (the site of the killing of Amilcar by SFPD), 6pm
  • March to Mission Police Station
  • Testimonies by families who have lost loved ones to SFPD violence. At Mission Police Station (17th and Valencia Streets)
  • Presentation and conversation with the legal team and free community dinner. At John the Evangelist Episcopal Church on 5th Street and Julian Avenue, between Mission and Valencia)

Audio-visuals:

  • Native Aztec dancers in ceremonial costume
  • Clergy in religious garb
  • Original art and banners by local Mission artists
  • Words, music, songs, chants, native drumming

Contacts:

Father Richard Smith     phone (415) 314-0924     email – Justice4Amilcar@gmail.com
Florencia Rojo                phone (734) 395-9453    email – Justice4Amilcar@gmail.com