One-year anniversary: 911 call to save Los Angeles Chicano man results in death
Los Angeles, CA – On March 26, over 50 people gathered at Belvedere Lakeside Park in East LA to support the surviving family of David Ordaz, Jr. The event was led by Emily Ordaz, the 16-year-old surviving daughter of Ordaz, and Centro CSO’s Sol Marquez.
Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies killed Ordaz outside of his family home on March 14, 2021, after Ordaz was suffering a mental health crisis and his family called 911.
During the beginning rally, the various speakers included Emily Ordaz, Ordaz’s mother Edelmira Ramirez, the family of Marco Vasquez Jr., the family of Paul Rea, the family of Leonel Chavez, the family of David Sullivan, Say Their Names-LA, Luis Sifuentes of Centro CSO and Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Street Watch LA.
Among the passionate and inspiring speeches were demands for more community control of LA County Sheriff’s Department and LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the jailing or prosecution of each officer involved in these officer-involved shootings, and solutions to an obvious problem: Los Angeles is a leader in police brutality cases around the country, of which Chicanos are the majority of the casualties.
After the rally, the crowd was led by the Ordaz family to protest the East LA Sheriff’s station, on the opposite side of the park. Hilda Pedroza, the sister of David Ordaz, Jr., pushed her mother Edelmira Ramirez’s wheelchair to the front door of the station. Ramirez pressed the call button, used when asking for assistance from the deputies, or to be let into the station. Ramirez began to plea through the intercom button that she needed to be assisted in winning justice for her son David Ordaz, Jr. The crowd of protesters became angered by the deputies ignoring Ramirez’s cries for help.
Pedroza, inspired by her mother, angrily grabbed a microphone brought by the organizers of the event and at the top of her lungs shouted at the deputies. She demanded that they push one of Ordaz’s killers, LA Deputy Edwin Navarrete, out to face justice. Protesters began to cry as Pedroza’s cries for justice struck a chord.
Deputies began to encircle the protesters simultaneously as the doors suddenly opened and a number of deputies came out to speak with the family. They attempted to separate the Ordaz family from the activists, but the family did not fall for the old trick of divide and conquer. As deputy vehicles and armed deputies began to move in closer, leaders of the event led the event away from the deputies. The event concluded as the Ordaz family succeeded in leading a pivotal event to win justice for David Ordaz, Jr. and a reminder to all that the fight is far from over.
Plans for the Ordaz family are to join Centro CSO’s May Day event in Boyle Heights which will be on May 1 at noon. The event will begin at the intersection of N Mathews and East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, where all participants will assemble before marching and celebrating International Workers Day. Join the event to help the Ordaz Family win justice. Contact CSO at (323) 943-2030, [email protected], or @CentroCSO on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube for more information.