Justice for José Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez

April 25, 2008

OAKLAND, Calif.--José Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez was killed by three police officers in a hail of bullets March 19 as he walked down a sidewalk in broad daylight just blocks from his home.

More than a month later, the city still refuses to release the names of the officers involved in the shooting, according to Maria Zepeda, Buenrostro's aunt. "We are still demanding justice and we are going to speak up until we get it," she said in an interview.

Despite their unsubstantiated claims that 15-year-old Buenrostro had "affiliations" to a gang and their contention, disputed by witnesses and family members, that Buenrostro was armed, Oakland police refused to provide extra security for a religious service held for the boy on March 24, five days after he was killed.

When an unidentified assailant in a car opened fire on St. Anthony's Church, wounding a 13-year-old boy in the foot, the parish priest had to call the police three times before police responded to the gunfire. Police didn't pursue the shooter, nor have they made any arrests.

Citing the lack of security, family members and teachers and activists from Acorn Woodland Elementary School canceled a community march to the police station scheduled for the following day.

After retuning from Buenrostro's funeral in La Palma, Michoacan, the family has continued to demand justice.

They are considering filing a lawsuit against the city of Oakland and plan to speak at May Day marches in Oakland and San Francisco, which are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on May Day at the corner of Fruitvale and International Boulevards in Oakland, and at 2 p.m. in Dolores Park in San Francisco, marching to City Hall for a 5 p.m. rally.

"We have to let the people know what happened to José Luis," said Zepeda. "It's important that people marching for their rights know about José Luis."

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