Johnny Anderson, 42, murdered in cold blood by LA County Sheriffs

Johnny Was Known For His "Big Colgate Smile" and Ready To Help...


July 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Justice for Johnny, Hawaiian Gardens, CA
Hawaiian Gardens, July 12. Photos: Special to
Justice for Johnny AndersonProtest of murder of Johnny Anderson

Chanting “Justice for Johnny” and carrying signs reading “Why did you kill my uncle?”—“Why did you kill my dad?”, more than 200 people marched through the small city of Hawaiian Gardens on Sunday, July 12. Johnny Ray Anderson was well known and loved in Hawaiian Gardens, where he had grown up and his eight sisters live. Johnny was a father, a grandfather, a brother—a person who loved to tell jokes and make you laugh. Known for his “big Colgate smile,” Johnny was always asking “What do you need?” and ready to help. “Your whole world would light up when you would see him,” one of his sisters said.

On Sunday, July 5th, Johnny and his wife were relaxing in the yard of an unoccupied house where they had just begun staying. A friend had brought sandwiches, they were talking, and Johnny was fixing his bicycle. They were happy. Then Johnny saw the sheriffs roll by. Knowing that they would come back, he got up, walked away, ran into an adjacent back yard behind the house where he was staying. Sheriffs caught up with him there, shot him in the chest, and killed him.

News media reported that a prowler had been shot. Sheriffs told the usual story——he tried to grab an officer’s gun. An eyewitness to the shooting quoted in the LA Times said that Johnny was 20 feet away from the sheriff when he was shot.

Although he was 42, and had just returned to Hawaiian Gardens from working in Iowa, Johnny was named in a gang injunction. The injunction criminalizes riding bicycles or skateboards, being together with anyone else named even if they are family members, trespassing, being outside after 10pm curfew. These gang injunctions are part of a whole system of police terror and control in Black, Latino and poor communities, criminalizing normal life and forcing people to live in fear, always potentially on the run. Living under this Nazi-style injunction, Johnny knew the sheriffs would come back. He didn’t want to go to jail. He was doing no harm to anyone but his life was stolen in an instant.

At the vacant house, Johnny’s wife, terrified and screaming, was put in the back seat of a cop car so she couldn’t see what was happening, with the air conditioning turned on so she couldn’t hear. They took her to jail and put her in the drunk tank. The next morning they told her there had been an "altercation" and "he didn’t make it."

When a rapid response team from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network went to Hawaiian Gardens to investigate, family members said they wanted to protest and were hoping some activists would come to help them. The family decided to march and spread the word on social media, and Stop Mass Incarceration Network took it up.

Rise Up October 24th logo

On Sunday about 250 people, the overwhelming majority from Hawaiian Gardens, marched from the site of the murder to the Hawaiian Gardens office of public safety, where the mayor, who knew Johnny, spoke, telling people to continue to ‘protest peacefully’ and rely on the investigations. He was interrupted by a woman from the Revolution Club-LA who said that investigations accomplish nothing, the only way for people to get justice is to be in the street and stay in the street—like the people in Baltimore—and what is needed to end murder by police and other outrages is revolution to end the system that causes this. People hollered out.

Afterwards some people went to the Sheriff’s station in nearby Lakewood where the killers came from and continued protesting.

Anger at the gang injunction and the completely unjustified, immoral killing is breaking through fear and the sense that that’s just the way it is and nothing can be done about it. Cards for the national mobilization Rise Up October, Revolution newspapers, and palm cards promoting the dialogue Revolution and Religion were distributed at the march.

Johnny Anderson was one of five people shot and killed in LA County over 4th of July weekend. (Seven people have been killed by cops in the last 12 days of July.) This is part of the program of mass incarceration and murder by police aimed at Black and Latino people that cries out for Rise Up October and increases our determination to bring forward a major national manifestation in New York City on October 24th that sharply draws a line in the sand for millions in this society and states very clearly: Which Side Are You On? STOP Police Terror! THESE MURDERS BY POLICE MUST STOP—NOW!



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