By R. Zamora
In San Diego, 897 people have been killed by law-enforcement since the 1950s. My cousin, Jonathon Coronel, is among these statistics. My cousin was unarmed and surrendered on the ground, yet still shot 22 times by San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Villanueva.
As if riddling one body with 22 hollow-point bullets wasn’t terrorizing to our community enough, Christopher Villanueva tortured another human being to death, Sergio Weick, just eleven months prior to murdering Jonathon Coronel. Villanueva fired 26 gunshots onto Sergio Weick. Someone who is firing excessive shots, so excessive that he had to reload his gun, onto one human being clearly does not fear for his life but rather enjoys asserting his deadly power.
Officers like him have been empowered to continue their terrorizing behavior thanks to the District Attorney’s refusal to charge any officers that have overstepped their boundaries for murder. Between 2005 – 2015 there have been 155 police killings and all have been deemed “justified” by the District Attorney’s office. Summer Stephan is continuing this legacy by refusing to hold police officers accountable for illegal behavior, ultimately condoning the stripping of due process. She is expanding police officer’s role into one of judge, jury, and executioner.
The community has had enough. In San Diego, Black and Brown families of police brutality victims have been joining together to demand justice for our murdered loved ones. We recognize that the murders of our loved ones are not isolated issues, but rather systemic patterns of violence against Black and Brown people.
On October 22, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Heights Performance Annex on 3795 Fairmount Avenue, there will be a march against police brutality. The families of Jonathon Coronel, Sergio Weick, Raul Rivera, Victor Ortega, Andrew Guzman, Jacob Velasquez, Simon Hubble, Marc Carasco, and Alfred Olango, all of whom were killed by police officers, will be leading this march. Among many of the demands is the recalling of Summer Stephan.
It is not easy to revisit a trauma as pervasive as the murder of a loved one by the police. It is not easy to see a person you loved and cared for killed like an animal with impunity. It is not easy to see police murder after murder and decide to still get up and fight back. Yet we have been brave enough, fed-up enough, and hopeful enough to constantly do this. Giving up is not an option. The fury and love of a mother, father, brother, sister, family who has had their loved one unjustly killed by the state is a powerful force that cannot be constrained. Now imagine that power backed up by the power of the people standing up and supporting us?
I am asking you not to give up on Black and Brown people. Remain outraged and voice it. Show up for victims of police brutality. Fuel our power and stand with us.
More by R. Zamora here.
Ed. Note: Here’s a complete list of San Diego’s
National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality Actions
Monday, October 22
Hall of Justice
330 West Broadway
Families of victims of police violence and community support groups are gathering outside the San Diego “Hall of Justice” to petition our government to redress the wrongs inflicted on too many.
Teach-In on Police Practices & Brutality
San Diego City Community College.
For More Information
Press Conference with Justice 4 Earl
following Teach-In at San Diego City College
Rally and Candle Light March
City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex
3975 Fairmount Avenue
For More Information
Post Rally & March
Overpass Light Brigade Action
University Ave I-15 Overpass