San Francisco: Police Kill Guatemalan Man—Town Hall Meeting Doesn't Go Their Way!

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

San Francisco police shot and killed 21-year-old Amilcar Peréz-Lopez on Thursday night, February 26, in front of his apartment. He was a construction worker loved by many in the neighborhood; and this became evident as police try to justify the murder of Amilcar and cool things out in this part of the Mission District.

But the town hall meeting called for the following Monday by police chief Greg Suhr didn't turn out well for them at all! A couple of hundred people packed the school auditorium, and immediately began shouting down the cops. Chief Suhr sat at a table flanked by several cops (about 30 inside and out). And the police story, which began with labelling Amilcar a suspect, was shouted down so strongly that they were eventually forced to sit stone faced before the people's anger. After a 5th grader stood on a chair to lead a chant "shame on you," the Jamaican mother of O'Shane Evans (recently killed by the SFP) said that as an immigrant from a third world country, she got the same kind of story from the cops as in Amilcar's case.

When the police were unable to take the mic away from a Stop Mass Incarceration Network member, friends unfurled a banner announcing "ShutDownA14" as he led the room in a chant "indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell" as well as "April 14th Shut it Down," which was widely broadcast on the evening news in the SF Bay Area (both Spanish and English channels).

While many things about the killing of Amilcar remain unclear, the police story that Amilcar, knife in hand, chased after a man to steal his bicycle, is strongly disputed by the witnesses who were there. A prior press conference which included SMIN, ANSWER, anti-police activists, families of victims, neighbors and teachers exposed the real story... that the police had killed a young man of color and were trying to get away with it again. 

The police may have thought that this town hall meeting would serve to send people back to "business as usual." At the time of Amilcar's killing, they even told people "go back inside." Instead, the call for April 14 Shut it Down was now sending the message that people must not go back—that we cannot tolerate another police murder!

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