Riverside community outraged at latest racist police killing

Cop shoots mother, Brown Beret in the back

February 10, 2009

On Jan.21, a Riverside County Sheriff’s deputy fired six bullets at 28-year-old mother Annette Garcia as she was walking away, with one bullet striking her in the back. Receiving no medical attention for more than one hour, Garcia died. Her husband and some of her children witnessed the attack.

Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Annette Garcia placard
From Oakland to New York City to
Riverside, police killings are no
isolated incidents.

The Riverside-area police have a sordid history of attacking and killing the poor and people of color, taking 22 lives in 2008 alone. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department—the largest in the area—killed nine and wounded four people that year. One-third of those killings happened on the Soboba Indian Reservation.

The courts collude with the police to allow these officers to go free. The Press Enterprise reports that "shootings are almost always ruled justified under the criteria that an officer feared for his life or the lives of others." The officers’ names are almost never released. The cops in Riverside County know full well that they can pull the trigger on oppressed people with impunity.

The department has suggested that because Garcia was carrying a knife, she represented a danger to the deputy. The deputy had responded to an initial suicide threat report—not a violent conflict. Garcia did not pose a danger to anyone; as a matter of fact, she was walking away when she was shot in the back.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s department has put the deputy on paid administrative leave. They will not speak openly about the investigation, but continue to make statements to justify the shooting.

Garcia was a member of the Brown Berets—an organization that grew out of the struggle against racism and national oppression in the late 1960s. Around 100 people attended a Jan. 23 vigil organized by the Brown Berets and members of the community to protest the racist police murder.

Content may be reprinted with credit to LiberationNews.org.

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