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Cops in riot gear greet protesters of fake assault rifle shooting

October 29, 2013|By Times Staff Writer

Police in riot gear lined up Tuesday around the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office as protesters marched to demonstrate against the recent fatal shooting by a deputy of a 13-year-old boy holding a replica assault rifle.

The officers stood stone-still as protestors shouted at them, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported. They were protesting last week's killing of Andy Lopez, who was shot seven times.

“Andy was a boy, he has [a] ... toy,” an unidentified protester yelled at officers, according to the newspaper.

Officers, including several who appeared to be carrying rifles, also lined the roof of the office.

Among the crowd were 13-year-old Alejandra Lopez, no relation to the victim, and 12-year-old Jasmine Najera, who said they attended school with Andy.

“We want the cops to know that he wasn't supposed to die,” Alejandra said.

Also joining the crowd was Santa Rosa City Councilman Gary Wysocky.

“It's a terrible tragedy for his family and the community; they're reeling from it,” he said. “I hope they are able to mourn and heal.… My god, a 13-year-old died.”

Former Sonoma County Supervisor Ernie Carpenter also had harsh words for county officials, including Sheriff Steve Freitas.

“It's not a coincidence that black and brown people are getting killed. The sheriff needs to do better recruiting – we don't need war veterans shooting everything that moves,” he said, referring to the deputy who fired the fatal shots, who was a military veteran.

Organizers expected as many as 1,500 people to participate in the march, which was scheduled to end by 5 p.m.

More than 1,000 people attended a service for the boy Sunday.


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