North Bay News

Public calls for indictment in Andy Lopez shooting death

Tuesday, November 05, 2013
A demonstration in Santa Rosa Rest in Peace poster of Andy Lopez. Andy Lopez memorial. Memorial for Andy Lopez Santa Rosa resident Jeff Westbrook Andy Lopezs parents at a community potluck Santa Rosa teen Andy Lopez Anthony Lopez, the brother of a teen shot and killed by a Sonoma County Sheriffs deputy Deputy Erick Gelhaus Lawsuit filed by Andy Lopezs family Huge rally held for Santa Rosa teen killed by deputy Santa Rosa police show off an AK-47 assault rifle next to a replica

Protestors rallied at the Sonoma County Hall of Justice, demanding a murder indictment of the deputy who shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez. The demonstration followed a Tuesday morning county supervisors meeting that focused on the tragic shooting.

Close to 100, mostly young, protestors marched about two miles from the old courthouse in downtown Santa Rosa to the Hall of Justice. They want the district attorney to convene a grand jury to look into the shooting.

"Only community peers can judge whether this was a wanton murder, whether this was an illegal murder, whether this was a racially motivated murder," said activist Jonathon Melrod.

Melrod is convinced a grand jury probe will end with an indictment of Deputy Erick Gelhaus.

"It will show that this murder was senseless, useless, unnecessary and contravenes basic police practices," said Melrod.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors went into special session to discuss the fatal shooting.

Supervisor Efren Carrillo represents the district where the boy was killed.

"This is not just an issue that's affected one community. It's affected our entire county," he said.

The supervisors wanted the session to be a healing process. They invited the public to speak their minds.

"You guys, there's going to be an outcome for that individual. But, there's also going to be an outcome for the political future of you guys too, if this is not taken care of the right way," said Alfredo Sanchez of Santa Rosa.

"The citizens of Sonoma County, and now the world, are watching to see if our local public officials take a stand for accountability," said Curtis Byrd of Santa Rosa.

The board is considering creating a civilian review board to look into local law enforcement training and policies.

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