Neighborhood profiled

  • Demonstrators begin their march on Sebastopol Road and head towards Old Courthouse Square 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)

EDITOR: I tried to stay objective as the many newspaper articles about Andy Lopez's death unfolded. But when The Press Democrat revealed that a deputy shot a 13-year-old child within 10 seconds, I could no longer give the Sheriff's Office the benefit of doubt.

If this had been Andy Smith walking home on Hoen Avenue instead of Andy Lopez on Moorland Avenue, would the authorities have reacted so quickly?

Andy Lopez was walking through the same neighborhood that authorities went into one year ago with full riot gear and assault rifles to bust houses for growing medical marijuana. This side of town is constantly profiled as dangerous and treated as such.

As a Southwest resident my entire life, I have never felt unsafe here. It seems that the police have a mindset that anybody walking around this neighborhood must be a criminal and must be treated as such. Because of this ignorant mindset, a young life was taken.


Santa Rosa

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