Impunity for Killings by San Francisco Police Department to be highlighted at a thematic hearing on “Impunity for Extrajudicial Killings in the US” at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS in Washington, D.C. on December 7th, 2017.
The family of Luís Góngora Pat will speak before the IAHRC.
WHEN: December 7th, 2017, 12:15pm-1:15pm (Eastern Standard Time)
WHERE: Inter-American Human Rights Commission, Rúben Darío Room, 8th floor, 1889 F St. N.W. Washington, DC, U.S.A. 20006
WHAT: Impunity for killings by SFPD to be highlighted in a thematic hearing on “Impunity for Extrajudicial Killings in the US” to be held by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS. The family of Luis Góngora Pat will speak before the IAHRC. The hearing is open to the public.
On December 7th, 2017 the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) will hold a hearing on “Reports of Impunity for Extrajudicial Killings in the United States of America.” This hearing is part of the IAHRC’s 166th Extraordinary Period of Sessions at its Headquarters in Washington D.C. These hearings look into human rights violations in member states.
The thematic hearing on Impunity for Extrajudicial Killings in the US was collaboratively and successfully petitioned for by the International Human Rights Clinic of Santa Clara University Law School (SCUIHRC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR). The report will present on impunity for extrajudicial killings across the United States.
- Update: For written submissions by collaborating organizations to IAHRC in support of the hearing, please click here.
The family of Luis Góngora Pat—who was killed by San Francisco police on April 7th, 2016—worked directly with SCU in support of the petition. By participating in the session, they hope to highlight to a national and international audience, the brutalization of people of color by SFPD officers in recent years, including Luis’s killing, and the impunity for these killings.
Luis Góngora Pat was a Mayan Mexican migrant worker, living homeless at the time of his death. A partial video and witness testimony of the killing on April 7th, 2016 revealed that, two officers exited their patrol car with weapons drawn, rushed Luis Góngora Pat while he was sitting on the ground, yelled commands in English that the victim could not understand, and shot five bean bag rounds and seven bullets to end his life; all within 28 seconds. Video and witness testimony can be found under Luis’s Story.
Adriana Camarena, a community advocate who accompanies his family in their claim for justice, stated, “In less than 30 seconds, in blatant violation of all ‘time and distance’ protocols, and violating of all of his human rights, Officer Michael Mellone and Sergeant Nate Steger killed Luis. Simply put, we believe these officers acted with callous and brutal violence, biased by Luis’s race and condition of extreme poverty.”
Camarena and Luis Poot Pat—a cousin of Luis Góngora Pat—will speak before the IAHRC on December 7th. “Our family has been destroyed by grief over my cousin’s killing,” said Luis Poot, adding, “It is very important that my family speak at the hearing to highlight the absolute lack of accountability for his killing, and all the other killings! My cousin’s murder is only one of more than a dozen killings by police in the last three years in San Francisco and District Attorney Gascon has done nothing to give justice to our families!”
From 2014 to 2016, there were eleven killings by police in San Francisco, nine of the victims were people of color, including the salient cases of Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, Mario Woods, Luis Góngora Pat, and Jessica Williams. The crisis of extrajudicial killings in San Francisco led to the ouster of Chief of Police Greg Suhr, and renewed promises of reform by Mayor Edwin Lee. But even now, under the new Chief William Scott, during 2017 there have been three more people killed by San Francisco police officers. The latest killing happened just last Friday Dec. 1st. Use of force incidents in the Mission have also gone up; a neighborhood in which the killings of Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez Lopez, and Luis Góngora Pat took place.
Camarena concluded, “D.A. Gascón has declined to pursue charges in any case so far, allowing officers to kill with utter impunity in San Francisco.”
A temporary visa was requested for Mrs. Carmen May Can, widow of Luis, to testify at the hearing, but despite the request being supported with letters from the IAHRC and SCUIHR it was denied by the US Consulate in Merida Yucatan. The US has an obligation as a member of the IAHRC to collaborate on all matters.
- Police shooting tore a hole in SF’s Mayan community, SFChronicle, David Talbot
- Civil Suit Against Police Will Go to Trial in Fall 2018, 48 Hills
- The life and death of Luis Góngora: the police killing nobody noticed, The Guardian UK
- Family of slain homeless man files lawsuit against city, officers, El Tecolote
- Luis Gongora autopsy confirms he was shot on the ground, 48 Hills
- Threading the life of a Mayan, El Tecolote
In Spanish and Mayan,
- Contra la Policía de San Francisco: Asesinato de migrante, tragedia internacional (Against the Police of San Francisco: Assassination of migrant, international tragedy), La Jornada Maya, Mexico
- Tu yo’olal Luis Demetrio Góngora Pat, Kíinsa’abik táanxelil lu’ume’, yaj óolal ti’ yóok’ol kaab, La Jornada Maya