Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sonoma County DA Jill Ravitch faces demands for Justice for Andy Lopez!

Justice for Andy Lopez Cruz! (d. 2013-10-22; Santa Rosa) [link]

"Letter to DA Ravitch & Youth Picket on Tuesday, July 8"
2014-07-03 from "Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL)" []:
Andy’s Youth Call for Mass Picket at DA Ravitch Door
When: Tuesday July 8 at 1pm
Where: DA Ravitch Office
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
“The Latino youth of Santa Rosa are damned mad! They want to know why nothing has been done to adjudicate the killing of their friend Andy Lopez last October. They plan to let District Attorney Jill Ravitch know exactly how they feel about her 8 month failure to indict the deputy who killed Andy for carrying a toy gun.” Said Nicole Guerra following an Andy’s Youth meeting.
Andy’s Youth will be joined by the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL) in a mass picket line at the Sonoma County Hall of Justice that houses the DA’s office. The Youth plan to deliver their message that Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied loud enough for the DA to hear them in her offices.
Preceding next Tuesday’s picket, JCAL members will be handing out thousands of copies of an Open Letter To DA Ravitch at July 4th parades and picnics throughout Sonoma County. (See attached.) On Tuesday, every employee working for the Court will receive the Open Letter on their way into work.
“What we’re seeing right now in Sonoma County is way worse than the spate of killings we experienced in the 90’s. That brought the Department of Justice Commission on Civil Rights here to investigate law enforcement practices. The report from that Commission blasted the Sonoma County Sheriffs and Santa Rosa Police for a pattern of excessive uses of force. We are now facing almost a death in a police-related incident on a monthly basis. That is intolerable,” said JCAL activist Mary Moore.
Please see letter to D.A. Jill Ravitch attached
DA Ravitch – WE CAN’T WAIT
      Justice Delayed is Justice Denied!
Dear Madam District Attorney:
For over 8 months, you have asked Sonoma County residents to remain patient while you decide whether or not you intend to charge Deputy Gelhaus with criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of 13-year -old Andy Lopez last Oct. 22nd.
For over 8 months, we have signed petitions, asked Attorney General Kamala Harris to intervene, prayed, cried, marched, picketed, and attended Santa Rosa City Council meetings and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors’ meetings.
For over 8 months, we have stood, week after week, at the doorstep of your office in the Hall of Justice, educating all those entering the courthouse about the facts of Deputy Gelhaus’ wrongful shooting of a young boy carrying a toy gun.
For the last few weeks, many in the Santa Rosa, as well as Sonoma County, have been on edge awaiting your decision. You waited until the schools let out so that the students couldn’t walk out, you waited until after you won the election, and you are still stalling.
Indeed, for the last three weeks, many of us in this city and county have been on pins and needles awaiting your decision. We know that you have the Sheriffs working double-shifts, we know that you have cancelled vacations and we know that you have issued “Talking Points” to city and county employees threatening protestors with arrests.
We also know that last Friday June 27th, you planned a noon press conference to announce your decision – but abruptly cancelled it without explanation. Once again, your wavering and failure to announce a decision caused ripples of distress and anger.
We have done a comparative study with San Mateo County just across the bridge: In the June 3rd, 2014, officer-involved shooting of 18-year old Yanira Serrano in Half Moon Bay, DA Wagstaffe ordered the Sheriffs' Department off the case. Only independent investigators from the DA’s staff are investigating to avoid law enforcement bias!
The DA’s investigation will be completed within 10 weeks of the incident!
DA Wagstaffe has offered to attend a town meeting to explain all the facts for the public to examine all the documents and investigation that led to his decision.
Madam DA – our patience has run out! We demand you act NOW to INDICT Erick Gelhaus! Justice for Andy Lopez!

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