On February 26, 2015 Amilcar Perez-Lopez was unlawfully killed by the San Francisco Police Department. Now a year and a half later, the San Francisco District Attorney shirks his duty and refuses to file criminal charges against the officers who killed Amilcar. If the San Francisco District Attorney does not file criminal charges against the police officers who killed Amilcar, then it will be harder for all coalitions to obtain even crumbs of justice for any other unlawfully killed loved ones. Together we must fight for Amilcar by making sure that the district attorney performs his elected official’s duty.
As Amilcar was running away, he was shot in the back and the back of the head a total of six times by undercover plain-clothes police officers who never even identified themselves as police officers. This is undeniable physical proof for the bare minimum legal standard of PROBABLE CAUSE to prosecute these officers. “Probable Cause” does not mean that these officers are guilty; it simply means that maybe MAYBE something unlawful happened so that a jury could decide this case. Think of it this way: Is there at least a ten percent possibility that officers acted unlawfully in this case? A reasonable answer: of course.
Amilcar is the least of our brothers, our janitors, our roofers, our ignored immigrants and belittled brown people. At Home Depot and U-Haul stores, you see them waiting patiently and with dignity for the work no one else wants to do. They pick up your dishes from restaurant tables. They did not come here for their own benefit. They came here for survival.
A brief irrefutable history lesson:
In 1954 the United States Central Intelligence Agency led a coup that overthrew the legitimate Guatemalan government and instituted a puppet U.S. regime. It was this injustice that Che Guevarra personally witnessed that radicalized and transformed him. Back in 1954 Guatemala had begun to rise, but the indigenous Mayan geniuses who understood time and the universe better than their European counterparts could not be allowed to thrive over U.S. corporate interests. By the 1980’s full blown civil war, massacres, and genocide against the native Mayans ensued. This horrible legacy, unfortunately, endures in the form of extreme poverty and continued oppression—gentrification in its worst form.
From 2002 to 2003, I personally defended political asylum refugees and gained them immigration status here in the U.S. Here is an example of one such briefing I wrote: Because her father supported the guerillas with food and water and because the Guatemalan Army accused all Mam Maya of being guerillas, the Guatemalan Army disappeared her father. When she was in her mother’s womb, the Guatemalan Army beat and terrorized her mother. Her aunt was mutilated and killed. When she was only a few months old, “V” was forced to abandon her ancient homeland for a strange land where she had no status or rights. She grew up fearful, uneducated, and sad. She was stripped of her identity and humanity.
Amilcar Perez-Lopez also came from this war-torn history. He had no criminal background. He was a hard working quiet immigrant. Only five feet tall and approximately one hundred twenty pounds, he was running away from undercover police officers who, without warning, assaulted and battered him. The web of lies that San Francisco has promoted can be clearly seen if you click on the link: https://justice4amilcar.org/legal-status/. There is no way Amilcar was a threat to officers. If the District Attorney won’t even prosecute these rogue officers in a case where there is obviously “probable cause,” then consider how hard it will be for other families and coalitions seeking justice for their loved ones. And remember, we are not even advocating convicting the officers at this point. We, the tax paying people, rightfully deserve a public trial paid for by our taxes.
Note that if Amilcar’s case does not rate a criminal trial, where all the discovery and evidence will come to light, then a civil trial (which must be funded by the family’s attorneys [who will be outspent by the San Francisco City Attorney by ten to one]) will be an uphill battle for the community and family. When there is a criminal trial, all the evidence comes out so that for any civil trial, where the burden of proof is a lesser standard, it is much more favorable that the community and family gain justice. We, “Amor for Alex Nieto,” clearly demonstrated the difficulties of obtaining justice during the Alex Nieto civil case. The jury will be prejudiced against the victims and in favor of the police—unless we can first prove that police officers can actually be criminals! Although there is no guarantee, we would expect the jury to feel a precedential pressure (based on criminal charges having been filed) to find a preponderance of the evidence in a civil trial, which, in our current justice system, is probably the best we can expect.
Let’s rise together for Amilcar. We must pressure District Attorney Gascon not to be a corrupt coward in this case. Call D.A. Gascon at his office: (415) 553-1751. Attend the rally on Friday, August 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the site where Amilcar was killed in San Francisco (Folsom between 24th and 25th). Support the Amilcar Perez-Lopez Coalition by supporting Father Richard Leslie Smith, and let’s get out there together to push for justice and love for Amilcar, the least of our brothers.
Benjamin Bac Sierra, your servant
“Amor for Alex Nieto”