National Day of Protest for Andy Lopez
Oakland, Calif. — As part of a national day of protest for justice for Andy Lopez, a couple of hundred people rallied Nov. 9 at the Fruitvale station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, where Oscar Grant was murdered by BART police on New Year’s Day, 2009. Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez was killed by a Santa Rosa Sheriff’s deputy on Oct. 22 as Lopez was returning a replica AK-47 BB gun to a friend’s house. Ever since then, the streets of Santa Rosa have been filled with young, mostly Latino/a students demanding justice for the loss of this young life.
Those who addressed the crowd included Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, Oscar Grant’s uncle, and Cathy King, mother of Gary King, who was killed by Sgt. Patrick Gonzales of the Oakland Police Department on Sept. 20, 2007, as he was standing outside a corner store with some friends.
As the rally was being held, the demonstrators were shocked to discover that Sgt. Gonzales had chosen to have lunch with several fellow cops at a restaurant at the Fruitvale BART station. The crowd marched right up to the restaurant, where Gonzales was now outside next to a squad car. He, the other officers and the car were surrounded by the crowd, which yelled chants of “Killer cops off our streets.”
The march continued to an Alameda County Sheriffs’ office to make the link between Santa Rosa Sheriff Deputy Erick Gelhaus, who killed Andy Lopez, the OPD and the BART police — all perpetrators of killings of Black and Brown youth.