Things That Matter

Family Of Andres Guardado Are Asking For The Autopsy Report Be Released

Update: On June 18, Andrés Guardado was shot and killed by officers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The 18-year-old was working as a security guard at an auto mechanic shop when he was killed. Two weeks later, the family is demanding the autopsy report.

It’s been two weeks since Andrés Guardado was killed by LASD officers and the autopsy still hasn’t been released.

Guardado was working as a security guard for an auto repair shop when he was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. The death sparked protests in southern California demanding justice.

“He told me he was going to come back home and eat some tacos dorados, but he never came back home. My family and my community feel destroyed because we still don’t know anything. We don’t know what happened with my son,” said Elisa Guardado, Andrés’s mother, in Spanish during a press conference.

The family is demanding the release of Andrés’s autopsy, which has recently been delayed. A security hold was placed on the autopsy just two days after the head of the homicide bureau, Capt. Kent Wegener, said the autopsy would be released to the public. It’s been about a week and the family demands to see the autopsy for closure and to know what happened to their loved one.

Original: Friends and family are demanding answers after an 18-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy. The man, identified at Andrés Guardado, was working as a security guard when he was shot and killed by an LASD deputy. The killing has set off protests and national outrage.

Andrés Guardado was killed by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy and the community is demanding answers.

According to reports, Guardado was working as a security guard in Gardena, California when LASD officers drove by. The officers claim that Guardado was not wearing a security guard uniform when they drove by the auto repair shop and that he had a gun.

His death is sparking outrage in California because it is another example of police brutality. Protesters have taken to the streets in major cities demonstrating for weeks. The protesters are demanding severe police reform to save the lives of Black and brown people killed by the police.

The nation is taking notice and demanding some action to bring justice.

Those who knew Guardado are casting a lot of doubt on the story being pushed by the police. The case has drawn the attention of national and local politicians demanding something to be done to fully investigate Guardado’s death.

“Another day and another Black or Brown kid has been shot in the back by police,” Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragán and Maxine Waters, both from Los Angeles, said in a joint statement. “These killings must stop. We demand it. The American people demand it.”

Videos of the store owner sharing what happened are circulating on social media.

According to the shop owner, the sheriffs came to the shop and took the tapes and recording equipment with the footage. This was done before a warrant was issued for the equipment. In the video, the shop owner shows the damage done to the cameras.

The shop owner claims that the officers were not wearing body cameras. Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva acknowledged the importance of all officers wearing body cameras.

The story from the police and the story from the shop owner and family are very different.

The discrepancies have led to protests against the police adding to the growing unrest from Americans against police brutality. States and cities across the country have started to take steps to wrangle in the numerous police departments.

“I firmly believe that an immediate and independent investigation must be conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) into this matter, and I urge the Sheriff’s Department to immediately and fully cooperate with this OIG independent investigation,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

People are protesting to demand justice for Guardado.

As more and more people join in the fight to radically reform the police, the country gets closer to ending over-policing. Guardado is not the first and won’t be the last questionable killing of a person of color by police in the U.S. Rest in peace, Andres.

READ: Protests Erupt After Police Kill A Mexican-American Teenager In Mexico

There’s Still More To Do But Black Lives Matter Protests Have Resulted In These Major Police Reforms

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There’s Still More To Do But Black Lives Matter Protests Have Resulted In These Major Police Reforms

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the country has struggled with how to best respond to police brutality and racial inequality. Millions of Americans (and millions more around the world) have poured into the streets demanding justice and police accountability.

Although more Black Americans have been killed by police since the death of George Floyd – and long before him – police reform is finally starting to take shape. Several communities across the United States are discussing ways to defund and restructure their police forces and their entire approach to supporting and protecting communities.

Although several victories have already been won, there is still so much work to do to ensure that #BlackLivesMatter.

Minneapolis will defund and dismantle their police force.

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal to change the city charter to allow the Police Department to be dismantled – this is the first step in removing the police force.

The 12-0 vote is just the first step in a process that still faces significant obstacles to make the November ballot, where the city’s voters would have the final say. Activists have long accused the department of being unable to change a racist and brutal culture, and earlier this month, a majority of the council proclaimed support for dismantling the department.

Draft language of the amendment posted online would replace the department with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, “which will have responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach

Cities such as New York and Los Angeles are defunding their police departments.

Credit: Emily Uite/ Getty Images

Aside from completely dismantling the police, several major cities have committed to defunding their police departments. “Defund the police” has become a common protest chant, as protesters want to see the billions of dollars spent on police equipment and enforcement to instead be spent on investing in communities.

Several jurisdictions have implemented total bans on the police use of choke holds – like the one that killed Eric Gardner.

The NYPD has long banned the use of chokeholds, however, their ban is so often ignored by officers that viral videos of NYPD cops using the deadly maneuver are common. But the New York City Council has just adopted an ordinance that officially makes police use of a chokehold a misdemeanor offense.

The legal ban has already been put into action as an NYPD officer was caught on video using one against a suspect. That officer has already been fired and charged.

Although several police departments have long banned the chokehold – for example, the LAPD banned them 40 years ago – cities are now starting to actually attempt to enforce the ban with legal consequences.

For the first time in decades, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a police reform bill.

Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked over how to address racial inequities in policing, despite strong public sentiment for effective reform after Floyd died in Minneapolis as a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In June, the House passed sweeping legislation to address racial inequality in policing but the bill is all but dead on arrival in the Senate, and has a formal veto threat from Trump.

The bill addresses chokeholds, no-knock warrants, police body cameras, use of deadly force, and training to de-escalate confrontations with suspects and to encourage officer intervention against illegal conduct as it occurs.

And one thing is clear – these reforms have the support of most Americans.

Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Most Americans believe that change must be made to law enforcement across the nation and that reforms are needed to reduce police brutality against Black Americans.

The poll, which was conducto de by Ipsos on behalf of Public Agenda and USA TODAY, found that about three in four people surveyed say racial bias against Black Americans is a serious problem in the U.S.

The poll found several reforms that focused around training and diversity in policing had support from three-quarters or more of respondents: requiring all officers to undergo training on de-escalation tactics to avoid the use of force, requiring all officers to undergo training on how to be less racially biased and recruiting more Black Americans to become police officers.

Even more popular: transparency reforms. Nine in 10 respondents supported having officers wear body cameras, 8 in 10 supported requiring police departments to publicly report all incidents involving the use of force within 72 hours, and nearly as many supported creating a national public database of officers who have used excessive force – and prohibiting other jurisdictions from rehiring them.

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva Threatens To Cut Sexual Assault Investigation Unit Because Of Proposed Budget Cuts

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Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva Threatens To Cut Sexual Assault Investigation Unit Because Of Proposed Budget Cuts

Josh Lefkowitz / Getty Images

Law enforcement in Los Angeles is facing budget cuts already because demonstrators are keeping up the pressure for police reform. COVID-19 has added pressure to Los Angeles County to make some additional cuts and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva is warning what the cuts mean to the department at large.

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva is warning residents about the impact of the proposed budget cuts.

Sheriff Villanueva issued a statement titled “DEFUNDING THE LASD BUDGET $145.4 M.” In the letter, Sheriff Villanueva warns that the budget cuts will lead to the elimination of the Special Victims Bureau. The bureau is responsible for investigating the physical or sexual abuse of children and women. The sheriff names other departments that will be eliminated in response to the upcoming budget cuts.

“It’s unconscionable,” Sheriff Villanueva told CBS Los Angeles. “These are the major detective units of the entire department. They serve the entire county of Los Angeles. Those four units…are the cream of the crop of investigative units throughout the entire nation, and as the largest county in the nation, I cannot see how we move forward without these four units,” he said.

The sheriff took the time to attack the “Defund the Police” movement.

“The CEO and the Board have embraced the “Defund the Police” movement and are cynically hiding behind accounting maneuvers, knowing well that loss of revenue in sales tax can be made up by equitable distributing more stable revenue streams like property taxes,” reads part of Sheriff Villanueva’s statement. “This is not acceptable and a willful abandonment of the top priorities of local government: keep people safe.”

Sheriff Villanueva is also refusing to enforce orders to close the beaches for the 4th of July weekend in Los Angeles County.

Sheriff Villanueva told the press that his department was not included in talks about the closure so the sheriff’s office will not enforce the order. Los Angeles County is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the rest of California deals with the same. The Los Angeles Health Department ordered the beaches, piers, and boardwalks closed for the holiday weekend to fight the sudden spike in cases.

“Closing the beaches and prohibiting fireworks displays during this important summer holiday weekend was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it’s the responsible decision to protect public health and protect our residents from a deadly virus,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said in a statement. “The Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings to celebrate, a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19.” 

Sheriff Villanueva’s actions as sheriff are making some Los Angeles County residents wanting him to leave the office.

At the beginning of his term as sheriff, Villanueva rehired a police officer who was fired for domestic violence allegations. The police officer who was rehired set off a legal battle that landed in court with a judge having to decide whether or not to let the police officer stay.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff handed down an injunction ordering rehired police officer Caren Carl Mandoyan to surrender his gun and badge. Additionally, the judge ordered, “Sheriff Alex Villanueva cease to recognize or hold Mandoyan out as a Deputy Sheriff or a County employee.”

READ: Family Of Andres Guardado Are Asking For The Autopsy Report Be Released