Demonstrators protest DA’s decision to exonerate officers in fatal police shooting

Protesters block off the intersection of Valencia and 17th streets to protest District Attorney's decision on deadly police shooting. Photo by Laura Wenus

Some 25 people took to the street in front of Mission Police Station on Wednesday night to protest the San Francisco District Attorney’s decision not to bring criminal charges against the two officers involved in the February, 2015 shooting of Amilcar Lopez Perez.

The decision was announced hours earlier and comes after more than two years of demonstrations and public scrutiny of the officer-involved shooting that anti-police brutality activists and some community members say was unjustified.

At 8:45 p.m., several protesters held up an 8-foot banner banner imprinted with the slain man’s image, using it to block off Valencia Street at 17th Street. Officers who had been redirecting traffic then told a reporter on site that their “time is up” and the officers began to retreat.

The protest’s organizers briefly contemplated moving the protest elsewhere, but decided to remain at Mission Station and as the demonstration continued,  so did traffic congestion at the intersection, and the officers returned by 9 p.m. to direct traffic.  Protesters could be heard chanting “indict, convict, send these killer cops to jail” and “stand with your community, end police impunity.”

“This city is for the struggle,” said one of the protesters.  Another said in reference to the District Attorney’s decision that the weekly vigils held in honor of the Perez Lopez for the past year in front of the station are likely over.

“We now are in a new phase of our struggle,” said Father Richard Smith of St. John’s Episcopal Church, who organized the vigils and spearheaded a movement calling for police accountability in the shooting. Just what they would be doing in the future was unclear.

Several passersby stopped to check in with the protesters amid the honking of passing cars – their drivers raising their fists in the air in a show of support. Others passed by the intersection in silence.

By 9:10 p.m., the group of protesters had dwindled down to about a dozen people. Those who remained locked arms and formed a human chain along a crosswalk at the intersection – in unison, the group began reciting the names of civilians who have died at the hands of law enforcement.

This is a developing story. We will update as more information comes in.

Some two dozen people gathered on the street in front of Mission Police Station to protest decision in the police shooting of Amilcar Perez Lopez. Photo by Laura Wenus

Photo by Laura Wenus

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One Comment

  1. Lemme know if a march on Gascon’s residence gets organized. I would be interested in hearing any details about such an action. Not sure what good it did in the past year to vigil and demonstrate at the Valencia Street police house. Yeah, I know the importance of holding the cops who killed Amilcar and keeping pressure on the SFPD, but it’s been clear to me for years that *much* more hardball tactics need to be used against the corrupt DA’s office. There are dozens of officers who’ve killed while Gascon has been DA and the former head of the SFPD ain’t charged a single one of them. Will that ever change?

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