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

Community and Faith Leaders Call for Prayer Vigil and Accountability of SFPD in Response to Autopsy Report of Amilcar Perez Lopez

Community and Faith Leaders Call for Prayer Vigil and Accountability of SFPD in Response to Autopsy Report of Amilcar Perez Lopez

DATE: Friday, April 24 at 6PM

LOCATION: Starting on Folsom between 24th and 25th St, passing the Mission Police Station and ending at St. John the Evangelist Church, 1661 15th St.

WHO: Clergy, community members, families of victims of police shootings and Supervisor David Campos

Media Visuals: Prayer vigil, clergy praying, singing and marching, signs, Clergy in religious garb, Testimonies from families.

San Francisco, CA– On Friday, April 24, religious leaders and community members will come together for a prayer vigil and march in response to the findings of an autopsy on Amilcar Perez Lopez, who was killed in late February near Folsom and 24th Streets.

Faith Leaders and Community Organizations are outraged by the revelation that the young man was shot 6 times in the back – the fourth shooting death by SFPD in 2 years

The autopsy report, released this morning, reveals that Lopez was shot six times4 in the back, 1 in the arm and 1 in the head – after having dropped a knife and while attempting to run away from police, contradicting police statements that they were being attacked by Lopez and acted in self-defense.

“The situation is even worse than we had imagined,” says Roberto E. Alfaro, director of HOMEY, a youth development and violence prevention organization in San Francisco. “Not only was a young, hard-working man in our community killed by police, but it is now clear that the shooting was completely unjustified. This is the fourth police murder in two years in San Francisco. This must stop.”

Community members are being asked to gather tonight at the site of Lopez’s death to begin a prayer vigil and walk. The walk will take participants to the Mission Police Station and end at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, where Lopez’s funeral was held two weeks ago.

“It’s time for faith leaders and community members to step up and hold law enforcement and the criminal justice system accountable for what it is doing to our young people and our communities,” says Fr. Richard Smith, vicar of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church and member of SFOP/PIA, a network of faith communities working on justice issues. “We will not stand quiet and let our people be gunned down by police. We will be working to change the system that allows this. This is only a first step.”

The Vigil and March is being led by the Justice for Amilcar committee and supported by HOMEY, the San Francisco Organizing Project/Peninsula Interfaith Action (SFOP/PIA) and others.

#justice4amilcar, www.justice4amilcar.org

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Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY) is a citywide non-profit organization that has been serving at-risk transitional aged youth (TAY) by equipping them with the 21st Century Skills necessary to achieve success in higher education institutions and the workforce since 1999. Throughout its history in San Francisco, HOMEY has been regarded not only as a safe haven for opportunity youth, but it is a place where youth gain valuable life skills and development. Recently, HOMEY was honored as a UCSF 2014 Community-Academic Partnership recipient, and 2014 Latino Community Foundation “Leading Change” awardee. For more information go to: www.homey-sf.org | FB: www.facebook.com/homeysf | Twitter: @homeysf | IG: @homey_sf

SFOP/PIA is a network of faith communities committed to ensuring that the dignity of all members of our community is upheld. Through leadership development, civic engagement, and lifting up of our faith values we strive to make sure that every person receives the respect, justice, and opportunity they deserve. www.sfop.org | www.facebook.com/sanfranciscoorganizingproject