WHEN: April 11, 2018, 8:30-9:00am (kick-off), henceforward daily press conference and rally, MON-THUR 8:30am-9:30am, FRI Noon thru April 25th
WHERE: 850 Bryant, San Francisco, CA Hall of (In)Justice
WHAT: The family of Luis Góngora Pat will hold a press conference outside the District Attorney’s office to demand that he charge Luis’s killers within 15 days or resign his post. In February, the D.A. told them he would make a charging decision in 6-8 weeks, i.e. April 11-25. The action starts a 15-day countdown for D.A. Gascón to charge the officers involved or resign!
After 2 years without justice, family of Mayan man killed by SFPD police officers holds District Attorney Gascón to a 15-Day Countdown to “Charge Killer Cops or Resign!”
On February 28, 2018, the family of Luis Góngora Pat met for the first time with the District Attorney George Gascón. At that meeting, the D.A. told the family that he would make a charging decision in “6 to 8 weeks,” that is, between April 11 to 25 of this year.
On the morning of Wednesday April 11, the family of Luis Góngora Pat launched a countdown to demand that D.A. Gascón keep his deadline. “Two years without any response from the D.A. to the brutal killing of my brother is unacceptable and cruel,” said Jose Góngora Pat, the brother of Luis Góngora Pat, “We are suffering, my family is suffering, and the City gives no answer to his killing.” Jose added, “We’re going to be out here making sure he keeps his word.”
To keep Gascón to his self-imposed deadline, April 11 to 25, Luis’s family will carry out a daily countdown for 15 days outside 850 Bryant at
8:30-10:30am 8:30-9:30 MONDAY thru THURSDAY, and NOON on Fridays. On Fridays at noon, they will join the weekly protest of Mothers Against Police Murder that has been going on for over 80 weeks.
But after 2 years without justice, Luis’s family is calling for District Attorney Gascón not only to charge the officers responsible, but to vacate his post if he is unwilling to do so. “If D.A. Gascón chooses not to charge the killers of my cousin, then he needs to step aside in favor of someone with the courage to do so,” said Luis Poot Pat, cousin of the slain Luis Góngora Pat. Adding, “Gascón can charge the killer cops or resign!”
Since D.A. Gascón entered office in 2011 there have been 54 officer-involved shootings, 24 which have been fatal. Adriana Camarena, a community organizer with Justice for Luis said, “Over 60% of fatal officer-involved shootings (OIS) since 2011 have involved people of color. In all fatal OIS cases resolved by the D.A., he has found that officers acted lawfully or he couldn’t find enough evidence to charge them.”
At the past February meeting with the family, D.A. Gascón told Luis’s family that the law made it difficult for him to charge officers. Camarena added, “Instead of taking a stand and pushing to change judicial precedents, Gascón prematurely dismisses cases by saying the law would make it hard for him to convince a jury. It’s incredible that we have to remind him that his job is not to be the jury. His job is to be the prosecutor in a homicide case! We believe there is enough evidence in Luis’s case that the officers acted criminally.”
Luis Góngora Pat was a Mayan Mexican migrant worker, living homeless at the time of his death. Based on a partial video, the official autopsy report, and eight eyewitness testimonies of the killing on April 7th, 2016, the two officers exited their patrol car with weapons drawn and rushed Luis, who was sitting on the ground cowering away from them. They yelled commands in English that the victim could not understand, escalated by shooting five bean bag rounds into his back that brought Luis to his feet, and immediately gunned him down with seven bullets to end his life; all within 28 seconds.
María Cristina Gutierrez, a Mission Latina mother, who started the longest standing hunger strike in the history of San Francisco after the killing of Luis, with four other black and brown native San Franciscans, was present at the rally. She called out, “For the love of God, charge those killer cops! My children are at risk, your children are at risk! We need to end the killings now of people of color, but they will not end until officers face the same consequences as anyone else who murders in cold blood! Gascón is failing us all if he cannot stand up for us! He is failing his duty as D.A. and he has got to go if he won’t charge killer cops!”
Camarena concluded, “By refusing to do his job, Gascón is 100% in favor of police impunity in San Francisco! There need to be consequences if we are going to end police brutality against people of color.”
At the February meeting, D.A. Gascón promised to set up another meeting with the family to explain his decision. He has not called them yet.
During the weekend prior to the protest, on Saturday 7th, the family marked the second year since Luis Góngora Pat’s brutal killing with a ceremony at his street altar and opening of the Mayan War Room in his honor at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA). Justice for Luis will be holding office hours there throughout April from TUE-SAT 1-4pm. MCCLA is on Mission Street near 25th Street. Please stop by!
Report back and Recording of February 28th meeting with the family of Luis Góngora Pat: https://justice4luis.org/2018/03/07/report-back-recording-meeting-da-02282018/
On Impunity perpetuated by D.A. Gascón:
SCULAW Clinic informs on fallacy of D.A. Gascón’s arguments to family of Luis Góngora Pat https://justice4luis.org/2018/04/11/da-georgegascon-applies-higher-charging-standard-sculaw-ihrc
Clinic Informs International Body About Ongoing Impunity of Police Killings in the United States, SCULAW, January 22, 2018 http://law.scu.edu/ihrcblog/clinic-informs-international-body-about-ongoing-impunity-of-police-killings-in-the-united-states/
D.A. Gascón’s Scorecard on Police Accountability: A 100% Police Impunity Rate! https://justice4luis.org/2018/02/20/gascons-scorecard-ois-2011-2017/
Police shootings in San Francisco from 2011-2017: The Disproportionate Killing of Black and Brown People! https://justice4luis.org/2018/02/20/ois-san-francisco-2011-2017/