The Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez/Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, CA have been working hard to fight police brutality in their community.
64 citizens of Sonoma County, CA have died at the hands of or while in custody of law enforcement since 2000. On October 22, 2013,a deputy sheriff in Sonoma County, CA, Erick Gelhaus, shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez. For 11 months, the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez (JCAL) has been working to get the deputy off the streets and reform the Sheriff’s Office through creation of a Community Oversight Board. Public opinion forced the Board of Supervisors to create a task force to study the situation and our continued pressure has resulted in a letter from a subcommittee of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force asking the sheriff to remove the deputy from street patrol. We continued our pressure last night at a Task Force meeting. Our work continues to bear fruit and the meeting was covered in today’s Press Democrat (the local newspaper). There were about 15 of us present. Two photographs can be found online – one of Susan Lamont, Center Coordinator of the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, which is a member of JCAL. The other shows some of the Task Force and Michael Rothenberg, founder of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, also a member of JCAL, at the podium. On October 20th, JCAL will be presenting a powerpoint of our vision for change within law enforcement in our county – a county which recently bought 30 bayonets from the Dept. of Defense. We are working steadily to create a culture of peace from the local level to the international level.
See link here to The Press Democrat article