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600 march to protest Andy Lopez's death

  • Aleziss Garcia, right, and Alexis Miles, stand in Old Courthouse Square in memory of their friend Andy Lopez during a protest march and rally against the killing of Andy Lopez, in Santa Rosa, Calif., on October 30, 2013. Lopez, 13-years-old, was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy eight days earlier, while carrying an Airsoft BB gun that looked like an AK-47 assault rifle. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat) Andy Lopez March 10.30.13Alvin Jornada

The march was the first organized by local activist groups including 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County and Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline.

"We're talking about ending police brutality," said Michael Rothenberg, one of the organizers. "This man should go to jail. A boy was murdered."

Protest Over Andy Lopez Killing 10.30.13

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Santa Rosa police are investigating the shooting.

Rothenberg said that activists would organize more protests, but he did not know when the next one would take place.

The Lopez family does not yet have plans to bury the boy's body, according to the Windsor Healdsburg Mortuary.

Also Wednesday, the coalition of activist groups asked the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to return to Sonoma County for a new round of hearings.

The federal panel that investigates possible civil rights abuses was last in Sonoma County in 1998 to investigate law enforcement practices.

"Since the 1998 hearings, there have been way too many preventable civilian deaths at the hands of local law enforcement," the groups said in a statement. "We are now united in our condemnation of this most recent unnecessary killing by local law enforcement and believe it shows an unfortunate pattern over the past two decades that needs outside intervention and oversight."

Just before the march began, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma held a "healing" workshop and forum at Cook Middle School. The event brought together mental health professionals and counselors from various agencies and nonprofits, including the county mental health department, Social Advocates for Youth, Sonoma County Indian Health Project and Restorative Resources.


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