On Thursday, November 14, 2013, the parents, family, and dozens of community supporters of Carlos Oliva gathered at the East Los Angeles Sheriff substation to demand justice for Carlos who was killed by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs while unarmed on September 10th in City Terrace.
Carlos was a twenty-three year old college student walking in City Terrace with a skateboard and cell phone in hand when the L.A. Sheriff descended upon him. As the questioning took a violent turn due to racist overreaction by the sheriffs, Carlos pleaded for his life telling the sheriffs on the scene that he just wanted to go home.
An article in the Los Angeles Times (9/19/13) stated that the police officer in question had already been involved in six previous shooting incidents with at least three of those shootings occurring while the “suspect” was unarmed.
How many times have we heard of this narrative before?
Furthermore Capt. Robert J. Tubbs, who supervises the Community Oriented Policing Services bureau, said of the police officer in question, “We’ve had our bumps in the road with some of his tactics, but overall he’s been outstanding,” Tubbs said. “Tony has a propensity to be able to find criminal activity anywhere. He’s a lightning rod. He’s a great street cop.”
Looks like the officer has a propensity for hating Chicanas/os-Mexicanas/os with his shoot first and never ask questions mentality, which has been a trademark of the occupying police force of Los Angeles since time immemorial.
According to Attorney Luis Carrillo, evidence clearly points to Carlos being shot in the back and at the current moment the Sheriff’s Department along with the Los Angeles Coroner’s Department are refusing to release the autopsy to the family. This is an injustice.
At the press conference, the family denounced the tactics of the L.A. Sheriff’s which has begun a strategy of intimidation against witnesses in the police murder of Carlos Oliva. The parents demand justice for their son and end to further police violence by the sheriffs against the Chicana/o-Mexicana/o community.
Jaime Cruz of the Chicano Moratorium Committee linked the latest violent outburst by the sheriff’s department to the same type of racist police operations that led to the death of Ruben Salazar in 1970. Another Chicano long-time activist Carlos Montes, echoed similar sentiments when he spoke about growing up in East Los Angeles in the 1960s and standing in front of the East LA Sheriff substation to protest the death of a Chicano at the hands of the sheriff’s department.
The L.A. Sheriff’s Department has been under recent federal investigations for police brutality of inmates at its central jail. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department has a history of racially targeting Chicanas/os-Mexicana/os, including the Sleepy Lagoon Case of 1942 when over 600 young Chicanas/os were arrested in a racist police dragnet.
The community will continue to press for justice and once again renew the call for complete community control over the police force.
More updates to come.