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Chicanos, Latinos and Blacks unite against LAPD, oppose police terror

By staff

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Los Angeles, CA – Over 75 people united the evening of July 14, to demand the jailing of the killer cops who murder Chicanos and Latinos in Boyle Heights, a community in Los Angeles.

Chanting, “Se ve, se siente, el pueblo esta presente,” “When Chicanos are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “Chicano power!” the protesters marched directly in front of the LAPD Hollenbeck station in picket style.

The LAPD protest was organized by Centro Community Service Organization (Centro CSO) and supported by Black Lives Matter–LA, Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, Eastside Greens–LA, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

“They lied about my son getting out of the vehicle,” said Juan Mendez, father of Jose Peruzzi Mendez who was killed by LAPD Feb. 6, 2016. “What LAPD did was shoot my son 17 times, cut his seatbelt after, dragged his body out of the vehicle he was in, and then handcuffed him.”

Other families present at the rally demanded justice for LAPD-targeted loved ones, including Carlos “Charlie” Gonzalez, Edwin “Oops” Rodriguez, Jesse Romero, Arturo Y Torrez, Fred Barragan, David Azpeitia, and Pedro Echeverria. All of those killed or critically injured were Chicano or Latino youth.

At the rally, Maria Alcaraz spoke for the first time in public about the killing of her son, Carlos Gonzalez and how LAPD practically kicked her out of their station when she came looking for answers to her son’s death. The Azpeitia family attended their very first protest, uniting with the other families. The Echeverria family was not physically present due to visiting their son Pedro Echeverria, who is in critical condition and being held in a LA County Jail hospital ward.

Keyanna Celina of Coalition for Community Control Over the Police said, “We must unite against these killings and continue attacking DA Jackie Lacey, who has the power to prosecute and jail these killer cops.”

Sol Márquez of Centro CSO said, “Every one of these cases cannot be isolated from each other. This oppression is systematic, it’s forever in our unwritten history. We are Chicanos and what that means is if we show LAPD our papers, they’ll still kill us. We want liberation, we want a revolution and to dictate what happens to these killer cops.”

East LA has a long history of persecuting, beating and lynching innocent Chicanos. From the 1942 Smokey Lagoon murder, where17 Chicanos were arrested, held without bail – some ending up with bogus murder convictions – to the case of the former Chief Lee Baca. Baca was convicted of obstructing justice after four men were found dead from sheriffs’ beating them to death. Baca knew about FBI agents providing a jailed informant, Anthony Brown ,with a cell phone, and then ordered staff to purge Brown’s records and relocate him under aliases. These incidents highlight that the LAPD and Sheriffs lie to cover injustice against Chicanos.

The Centro CSO plans to continue fighting for an independent investigation of the LAPD Hollenbeck Station.

Carlos Montes of Boyle Heights and organizer with Centro CSO announced that first steps will be to denounce the killings at LA City Council and to Boyle Heights’ councilmember José Luis Huizar.

Join us attend the upcoming CSO meeting on July 19 at 6 p.m. at the Benjamin Franklin Library at 2200 E. 1st Street Los Angeles, CA 90033. Contact Centro CSO with questions at [email protected] or call 323-943-2030.

#LosAngelesCA #ImmigrantRights #PoliceBrutality #LAPD