OAKLAND (KCBS)— About 200 demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Oakland Wednesday afternoon as part of a rally and march against police brutality. The event coincided with the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez from Santa Rosa, by a sheriff’s deputy.
The march appeared to be wrapping up shortly after 5 p.m. Demonstrators went from the police department headquarters at 7th and Broadway to 14th Street in front of Oakland City Hall.
Lopez was shot and killed in 2013 by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus. Lopez was shot seven times as he walked along Moorland Avenue with an airsoft BB gun designed to resemble an AK-47 rifle.
Santa Rosa police, who investigated the shooting, said Gelhaus believed the weapon was real and friends of Andy have said an orange tip on the gun indicating it was fake was either taken or broken off.
Protesters in Oakland said they were upset about Lopez’ death and that police brutality was happening in their neighborhood and they want it to stop.
March organizer Opie Santos said protesters are taking their cue from demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri dealing with the shooting death by the police of black, unarmed teen, Michael Brown.
Santos said they’re trying to be more demanding in what they’re trying to accomplish.
“Before we would confront these tanks and these forces and back down. Now they’re saying, ‘No. Don’t back down and actually stand there and defend yourself’,” he said.
Organizers and some marchers gathered in clusters in front of Oakland City Hall at Frank Ogawa Plaza to talk about different strategies that they want to pursue going forward.
A large police presence of several dozen officers remained on hand to keep an eye on the marchers who remained for the most part peaceful. KCBS was attempting to confirm if there have been any related arrests.