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I am Andy Lopez and My Life Matters. poster  Andy Lopez was shot to death by Santa Rosa police. He was only 13. No Justice No Peace. Viva Andy Lopez, Viva Oscar Grant, Viva Trayvon (Drawing by Bobby Muerte and design by Melanie Cervantes) from Dignidad R
It's late and I'm tired and angry. I don't see any other diaries about this, so I thought I'd just say that, surprise surprise, officer erik gelhaus will not be prosecuted for shooting toy gun carrying, 13 year old Andy Lopez -- or more accurately, it's no surprise.

This afternoon, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced she won't charge sheriff's deputy erik gelhaus in the death of Andy Lopez. This was expected, as what DA is gonna prosecute the very people who facilitate his or her livelihood? But still, it makes me sick that gelhaus, a firearms expert who couldn't tell that 13 year old Andy Lopez' gun was an undersized replica, and who in 2008 wrote in SWAT Magazine,

"Today is the day you may need to kill someone in order to go home. If you cannot turn on the 'mean gene' for yourself, who will? If you find yourself in an ambush, in the kill zone, you need to turn on that mean gene.

...

Taking some kind of action - any kind of action - is critical. If you shut down (physically, psychologically, or both) and stay in the kill zone, bad things will happen to you. You must take some kind of action."

will face no consequences for his actions.

The message it sends to other officers also makes me sick, because in Sonoma County, they are apparently free to kill children playing with toy guns with impunity, as long as they do it quickly enough. So since I'm sick already, why not make it a little worse? A little trip to policeone.com oughta make me puke. Here are some of the comments posted so far:

Obviously, the parents are accepting no responsibility for their son's action. Buying this kid this weapon was asking for headaches. Why would you buy your son this weapon and let him walk around like the King of France? Sad say, now the sharks will circle and see what kind of lottery they can get for the parents.

Parents don't want justice, they just want revenge.

Thanks goodness the Officer wasn't legally persecuted for making the decision the 13 year old FORCED HIM TO MAKE.
Off topic....I have a feeling the trainee went on to a more suited career after he pooped his pants instead of defending his and his FTO's life.

@ amsgarcia, yes revenge and a payoff. They are scum. What idiot allows a kid to walk around with an AK replica out in the open plus a handgun replica in the waist?

Unfortunately the Holder justice department may find reason to persecute the Deputy in spite of a competent already having been done. It's all money and transferring the values of other cultures to America and demanding that Americans not only accept them but also accommodate the them in every possible way.

"ample warning"...hmmm...Nope, not feasible given the circumstances. Find for the deputy, family we are really sorry.

Dad told the kid NOT to take the gun(s) (He had two) outside like that...kid didn't listen. Tragedy to be sure, but at least the deputy has been exonerated as we knew he should be.

In California, isn't it illegal to remove the orange identifier from a pellet or airsoft gun? So why are the parents up on charges for allowing their son to carry around a toy that was banned for safety reasons. I understand their loss, but they should still be held accountable.

That's how cops really feel about the people they are paid to protect and serve: poor officer gelhaus had no choice but to shoot 13 year old Andy Lopez quickly; it's all his parents fault.

It's frustrating that most people still give cops the benefit of the doubt, when every day, more evidence of their crookedness gets posted online. We throw a national fit when Israeli police beat up an American boy -- as we should -- but somehow it's OK when American cops do the same thing or worse at home.

When officers like gelhaus start getting fired and prosecuted for breaking the law, other officers will either shape up or ship out -- the job pays way too much to risk losing it for roid-rage. The only way to make that happen is to elect excellent representatives and insist they follow the will of the people by reining in law enforcement, prosecutors and courts. It's a daunting task, yet it must be done. As a 51 year old, I hope expect to see it happen in my lifetime.

Anyway, it's late and I'm not much of a writer. I'm sure people who are much wiser and craftier than me will have plenty more to diary about through the day. I'll reply to comments when I wake up.

Remember Andy Lopez.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cops. America. Guns. (8+ / 0-)

    I blame the "good cops" we invariably have to hear about when fucking pigs make the news for being fucking pigs.

    When are the good cops going to END the "code of silence" and start ratting out these incredibly few bad apples so horrible, depraved people like me won't keep complaining everytime some pig roughs up or kills an innocent person (each week)

    The Police Force must become TRANSPARENT, this secretive shit has to stop.

    cops ahole

    Cops: You have NOBODY to blame but yourselves: Quit killing everything that moves you fucks.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:58:16 AM PDT

    •  Of course your assuming there are good cops, (2+ / 0-)

      and if there were, they wouldn't break the law to cover each others asses.  So...when you get right down to it they're all dirty. Either by action or omission, they earned the badge of "dirty cop".

      Just a guy made of dots and lines.

      by BobX on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:06:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doh! You're (0+ / 0-)

        Just a guy made of dots and lines.

        by BobX on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:18:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I ALWAYS hear about how fucking wonderful (6+ / 0-)

        cops are after each and every incident of police brutality.

        How I am supposed to kiss their ass despite their ongoing and unimpeded brutality.

        How their jobs are sooooooo dangerous

        and all other manner of cop apologia.

        Cops in America are out of control: that is the bottom line and something that has to be corrected (because it is broken).

        Legal means "good".
        [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:18:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's a thought. (0+ / 0-)

        Tell it to the families of these two.

        •  Tell what to those two? (0+ / 0-)

          Las Vegas cops are notoriously terrible! They cover for each other all the time, and whenever they get caught killing someone for no good reason, they never face charges.

          I'm sorry that those two officers were murdered, but as LV metro police, it's extremely likely that they too subscribed to the blue code of silence. If they ever broke the law in the line of duty, or ever looked the other way as their colleagues did so, they were bad cops. Period.

          Did they deserve to get killed?

          Nobody deserves to get killed!

          I believe there are good cops out there, but very few of them. Because any cop who follows the blue code is a fucking pig, guilty of conspiracy to violate the rights of the very people they are paid to protect and serve. Since in most departments it would be professional suicide not to cover for the illegal actions of other officers, the vast majority of cops follow the blue code.

  •  If toy guns are outlawed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, on the cusp

    only outlaws will have toy guns.

  •  Wanna know why people hate cops... (4+ / 0-)

    all you need to know...right in those comments.

    Just a guy made of dots and lines.

    by BobX on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:55:54 AM PDT

  •  What else was the DA going to do? (3+ / 0-)

    Gelhaus is a f***, and shouldn't be in uniform. From the first I read this story, I knew he'd be exonerated and as has come to pass likely not even charged because his defense is simple: "I thought the gun was real."

    How often do you hear this or a version of it: "it looked like he was reaching for a gun." "I saw something dark and was sure it was a gun."

    Only in this case, the gun was in plain sight.

    The byproduct of our gun culture is this defense. And it's inherent in cases such as the assassination of Trayvon Martin - "I thought he'd be able to get my gun."

    It's a foul logic - but it's the perfect defense: "I thought he had a real gun."  The DA would be stupid the press this case.
    Even with Gelhaus' weird statements and really questionable suitability for the role of cop.

    I'll just make sure my daughter never caries around toy guns. (Though she's a blonde Latina and unlikely to be racially profiled in the same way.)

    There's no need for "the thin blue line." Hell, his fellow officers probably know a lot of bad things about Gelhaus, but in a society of rampant guns, one is always justified in shooting first and asking questions later....

  •  If this shit stain saw a bunch of open carry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg

    in a target store... you think he'd open up and drop them all?

    •  That depends on the melanin content (0+ / 0-)

      If they are a shade over good California tan then yes.

      One does not simply walk into Mordor! One invites a gas driller in, and one’s land becomes Mordor. Chris From Balloon Juice

      by Mr Stagger Lee on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:46:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  maj - open carry in California is illegal (0+ / 0-)

      Open carry of handguns has been illegal for years, the laws against open carry of rifles and shotguns is more recent.  

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:11:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's your point? (0+ / 0-)

        He wasn't holding a pistol... and a recent change to rifle laws means the cop should have had to take at least a second to confirm that if it was a real rifle, it wasn't perfectly legal to have it out. But he didn't have that long he says, he fired immediately to protect himself.

        My question is, if he HAD been somewhere with open carry, would have have done the same?

        MSL gave the answer I was implying in my question. You missed the point entirely.

        •  No, I don't think that a police officer would (0+ / 0-)

          immediately shoot people who were legally carrying rifles inside a Target, regardless of the ethnicity or race of the gun owners.

          I live in the SF bay area and this case has been widely covered in the news. It was disclosed yesterday that the young victim had significant enough levels of marijuana in his system that he was likely under the influence when he was killed. The mj may have played a role in his lack of response to the officers demand that he drop the toy gun, that looked like an AK47.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:43:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? The officer would think them LESS of a (0+ / 0-)

            threat in a crowded building full of people?

            Nope, that would depend on the colour of their skin at best.

            And a lot of things could explain lack of response, nothing can explain not recognizing a toy gun and deciding, even then, the best course of action is kill the small figure holding it (his partner didn't decide to do the same as him... why?)

            •  maj - the comment just below this one has (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pi Li

              a link to a picture of the actual toy gun held by Andy and a real AK47. Are you telling me that in a few seconds you could tell the difference? I don't believe it.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:15:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you're a weapons expert like this guy is meant (0+ / 0-)

                to be? You wouldn't notice the lack of the huge iron sight?

                But better yet, you wouldn't notice a 13yo whipping it around like, well, a toy? When the guy holding them for the photo op demonstrated how actually fucking heavy it is by needing to cradle it near his chest to hold them the same angle?

                •  There are many variations to a rifle design, as (0+ / 0-)

                  well as people customizing rifles.  So one cannot reasonable and quickly conclude the object was a toy.

                  Unless there is a policy that officers must hold fire until the person with the gun/toy takes the first shot, its hard to conclude the officer should have concluded the object was a toy.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 12:08:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yep, 13yo's cutomize their rifles all the time. (0+ / 0-)

                    and whip them around like it aint no thing, when adults can't even hold them for pressers without their arms getting tired unless they cradle them to their chest.

                    Once again:

                    And you realise you're sanctioning officers of the (0+ / 0-)

                    law killing everyone with a BB gun, right?

                    A Christmas Story would have had a different ending in your fucked up world for sure.

              •  And you realise you're sanctioning officers of the (0+ / 0-)

                law killing everyone with a BB gun, right?

                A Christmas Carol would have had a different ending in your fucked up world for sure.

  •  Here's the comparison of the fake to a real gun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Trotskyrepublican

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:56:54 AM PDT

    •  They are almost identical. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trotskyrepublican, falconer520

      It should be illegal to sell replicas as toys. Hell! It should be illegal to sell most handguns and assault rifles.

      I haven't followed this story, so I don't know much about what happened, but the gun Andy Lopez was carrying looks too much like an Ak-47. Why does a toy need to be so real looking?

      Clearly, the officer made the wrong decision in this case. There are certainly too many innocent people killed by law enforcement, but cops have to make difficult calls. Just last Saturday, an officer here in Indianapolis confronted a young man with an Ak-47 in an alley.That gun was real and the policeman lost his life in a shootout with the suspect.

      Guns are a cancer on our society.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:09:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There was another diary on the topic yesterday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, BMScott

    Although this diary is much more comprehensive. From yesterday:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:16:33 AM PDT

  •  I put one up earlier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott, old mule

    Yours is better.  I was just sick when I got the early news.

    "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man..." Robbie Robertson

    by NearlyNormal on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:54:25 AM PDT

    •  Sorry, I don't know how I could have missed it! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal

      I skimmed the recent diaries list a few times to find a diary written about this decision. I don't know how I could have missed yours, as there it is!

      I wrote and posted my diary, because earlier last night, I clicked a link to a post about no-knock warrants in the context of poor baby boy, Bou Bou (who was awakened and injured by a flash grenade thrown into his crib by a swat team serving a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night as the family slept), on officer.com. The original poster says:


      This is why I oppose no knock warrants in all but the most extreme of circumstances

      If a terrorist is about to set off a bomb, or someone has made a direct threat, they have their place. But, I feel that their use in drug enforcement is more often than not needless overkill that creates more danger than it prevents.

      I certainly don't blame the officers who executed the entry, but I do blame the process that put them in a position to do what they were asked to do.

      He then goes on to post a few articles (in their entirety, of course -- cops don't need no stinkin' permission to republish!) about the incident and a pic of the crib and one of the baby [http://www.accessnorthga.com/...; http://www.ajc.com/...]. What follows is officers showing their true hateful colors:

      This is why I oppose S###bags and also those who choose to have kids with S###bags.

      Parents did that to their child not the officers.

      A scumbag had a child, who should not have had a kid. Anyhow, my heart goes out to the innocent child, but at last, it was an accident, a mistake, a mishap. Not purposely done.

      Agreed. This sounds like they were using the baby as a obstacle to slow down law enforcement. Human shield tactics.

      As for no-knocks, the LEOs did EVERYTHING possible to mitigate the risks of the raid. They had a high risk individual/s who intentionally placed their child at risk. Screw'em

      Bad that it turned out this way,still better than a team walking up to the door,announcing themselves and ripped apart by gun fire.

      How about we start making people apply for permits to reproduce? I'm sick of drug dealers with multiple "baby mommas" out there. It's a culture thing, a thug life culture thing that transcends ever race/creed and gender and the only victims here are the kids and the cops caught with an innocent in the way. Child endangerment (lets live with daddy the drug dealer) should be a felony.

      How is this any different than the cowardly POS who hold up their children as shields when cops draw on them out of necessity? This could have gone a lot worse for the kid and his moronic family had it been disgruntled customers or suppliers forcing through that door.

      What's truly pathetic is that it took this to get the poor kid out of that home. Who knows how many developmental and other problems he has from that environment, and what all is in his system just from living among it?

      They used a baby in a playpen to block the door to their drug house?
      GOD DAMN THEIR SOULS TO HELL!
      There really isn't anything else to say.

      It goes on like that for three pages, with just about every poster -- most of whom have been verified as cops -- sticking up for the swat team by blaming the family. Their culture of hateful vitriol is frightening.

      So I looked for a comment thread about yesterday's decision on officer.com, but there weren't any yet. However another cop site, policeone.com, had a story with a smattering of comments. These were more tame than the comments on officer.com, but it's still the same story: gelhaus did no wrong and the parents should be held accountable for him killing their son.

      As I said I'm not a much of a writer, but like you, this decision makes me sick. I'm sorry I missed your diary -- it was late and I was tired -- but I'm glad I posted mine anyway, because I want to show how cops think about it. Perhaps I'll write a diary about how cops really feel about all sorts of issues later this summer, but I just wanted to post something yesterday (I guess it was already today when I posted it) in order to get it out of my system.

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