Protest gets heated for Santa Rosa teen shot

A group of protesters held a rowdy demonstration because the officer who shot a Santa Rosa teen was allowed to return to work.
December 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Tuesday night there were more protests in Santa Rosa, after a sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a young teenager, is back on the job.

The deputy thought 13-year-old Andy Lopez was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and shot and killed the boy in late October. The gun turned out to be an airsoft rifle.

Earlier on Tuesday protesters surrounded the Santa Rosa Police Department. Riot police came out to make sure there were no problems. What upset the crowd around the police department was the arrest of one of the protesters that took place earlier in the evening. That protester was arrested after scuffling with police during a Santa Rosa Council meeting.

Santa Rosa police say that protester who was arrested hit an officer in the head with one of the posts from a protest sign and punched a second officer at the city council meeting. He was hauled off and charged with assault. Protesters identified the man as Ramon Cairo. He shouted at the council meeting, "We pay them to protect us, not to murder us. That's what we need to stop!"

Later in the evening, another man was arrested for obstructing police.

What led up to the arrest was an invasion of the city council chambers by protesters, followed by chanting and shouting. A group of several dozen protesters chanted, "Andy, Andy, Andy." The crowd shouted that the shooting of Lopez was police brutality, they leveled criticism at the police department, as well as the council members and then headed out.

Protesters demonstrated against the shooting of Lopez where Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus found the teen walking down a street in Santa Rosa with a replica AK-47. Police say the boy turned suddenly and the deputy fired several shots, killing the boy.

The deputy was placed on administrative leave and sometime this week is expected to return to work. An assistant sheriff says he has undergone a review and tests and will be back having an administrative job in the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.


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