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Broad protest of Andy Lopez shooting

  • Organizer Terri Carrion introduces speakers in front of an effigy of Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus during a Saturday rally protesting the fatal shooting of Andy Lopez. The event in Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa drew more than 400 people and was one of several such events around the state. (John Burgess / PD)

More than 400 people attended a rally and protest at Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa Saturday afternoon to decry the shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.

The demonstration — dubbed a National Day of Protest for Andy Lopez — was among several rallies scheduled to be held Saturday in cities across the state, including San Francisco, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland.

The family of Andy Lopez attended the rally in Santa Rosa but avoided news cameras and reporters.

The rally featured family members of several people who were killed in officer-involved shootings, including Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, who was slain by a BART police officer in 2009; Christina Arechiga, whose cousin, Ernest Duenez Jr., was killed in 2011 by an officer from the Manteca Police Department; and Elizabeth Henning-Adam, whose son Bobby was killed in Los Angeles by a sheriff's deputy last year.

Henning-Adam offered tearful condolences to Lopez's mother, Sujey Lopez. Later Henning-Adam, who lives in Auburn, addressed the crowd and said she had come to Santa Rosa to “honor the memory of Andy Lopez.” An effigy of Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus was placed near the stage microphone.

“You belong to a club that you never wished to belong to,” Henning-Adam said, referring to her participation in the Statewide Coalition Against Police Brutality, which advocates for more than 50 families who have lost relatives in fatal encounters with law enforcement.

“I had no idea what was going on with the police in the United States of America until it happened to my family,” she said.

Lopez was shot by Gelhaus on Oct. 22 after the deputy spotted the boy walking along Moorland Avenue in the middle of the afternoon carrying an airsoft BB gun that resembled an AK-47 rifle.

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