Santa Rosa debates building park in honor of Andy Lopez

A discussion is taking place Tuesday about the possibility of a new park in memory of Andy Lopez.
January 14, 2014 11:50:09 AM PST
A discussion is taking place Tuesday about the possibility of a new park in memory of Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy last year while holding a replica AK-47.

Tuesday is expected to be an emotional day in Santa Rosa. A temporary memorial for Andy Lopez is still up at the place in where the boy was killed almost 3 months ago. "We're just keeping his name out there and doing a lot of things to help his family out too," Santa Rosa resident Lisbet Mendoza told ABC7 News.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is discussing possible plans to build a new park in the same Moorland Avenue neighborhood where Lopez was killed. Many community members want it named in honor of Lopez. The county estimates it would cost $2 million to $3 million to buy and develop the land.

It is all part of the community healing process following the tragic shooting, which includes the formation of a 21-member task force. They met for the first time ever Monday night and will eventually recommend a model for an independent citizen review body, community policing measures, and whether the coroner should be separate from the sheriff's office.

Several people spoke up Monday night saying they're being harassed by law enforcement. "With Andy's death, it's been the breaking point. This is it. It shouldn't have taken this for the community to open their eyes to what's going on, but now we can't let his death be for nothing," Nicole Guerra said.

The community will have its first chance to speak at the Santa Rosa City Council Tuesday afternoon. City leaders will also get an update on the community outreach since the shooting.

The task force's first set of recommendations is due next month.


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