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Angry Chicano community protests LAPD killing of Christian Escobedo

By Marisol Márquez

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Los Angeles, CA – Over 50 angry people protested in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Boyle Heights Hollenbeck police station, Feb. 17. Cardboard signs with slogans like, “Justice for Christian Escobedo,” “Stop police brutality,” “Stop killing our youth,” and “De-escalation not violence” were waved at the people driving by and at the LAPD.

Christian Escobedo was a 22-year-old who was walking home at about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 14. Escobedo was a loving and caring person who was always willing to help anyone. He graduated from El Sereno Middle School and Lincoln High School.

The LAPD claims Escobedo and another person were resting on the sidewalk behind a car, near his home in El Sereno. Someone reported the two resting to the LAPD, which responded sending officers to confront Escobedo, shooting him without provocation. They claim they saw a gun, the other person ran, and they feared for their lives. Escobedo died when LAPD shot him four times.

“We hear of the recent mass shooting in Florida,” says Dafne Jacobs of Centro CSO. “And we hear that the shooter killed 17, and he walked away without so much as a scratch. But Christian Escobedo didn’t kill anyone, and LAPD took his life.”

Since February 2016, eight young Chicanos – including two teens – have been killed by the LAPD Hollenbeck station. The East L.A. Sheriffs have killed two Chicano men during this same time. Centro CSO in Boyle Heights has been fighting back against almost every one of these killings. This protest was organized by Escobedo’s family, friends, all from the neighborhood of Happy Valley, as well as Centro CSO. The crowd demanded accountability of the officers involved in Escobedo’s killing.

Sarah Figueroa, sister of Christian, stated, “Today’s event went beautifully and I hope it helped in getting our message across to LAPD. We will not stand idly by while our youth like my brother are taken from us. We need answers, and we need then now.”

The protest was moderated by Emily Velazquez of Centro CSO.

The family and Centro CSO will continue to build the fight against the officers and to bring the energy from the protests to the May Day march in Boyle Heights. An organizing meeting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m., at the Benjamin Franklin Library, 2200 E 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. All are welcome

Marquez is a Chicana member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Centro CSO.

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