On Thursday, June 18, Andres Guardado was reportedly shot and killed by LA Sheriff deputies in Gardena. The 18-year-old Salvadoran man was shot in the back six times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. On Saturday, Congresswomen Nanette Diaz Barragán and Maxine Waters released a joint statement urging for justice.
“Another day, and another Black or Brown kid has been shot in the back by police,” they wrote. “These killings must stop. We demand it. The American people demand it.”
There have been nearly 900 reported killings at the hands of police in LA County since 2000. Nearly 80% were Black and/or Latino.
“Andres Guardado is the latest young man of color killed by police gunfire,” the congresswomen continued. “The officers involved did not wear body cameras. We demand answers and call for an independent investigation into this tragic death.” They called out California Attorney General Xavier Becerra directly and asked him to conduct a full, transparent investigation.
“Far too often, young Brown and Black men are caught up in a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ scenario with police officers,” they continued. “Change must come now.
For the last three weeks, people across the United States, and the world, have raised their voices and protested consistently amidst a pandemic to demand an end to systemic racism. The demonstrations have not gone unnoticed.
“For weeks, the American people and the world have marched to demand accountability, put an end to aggressive and violent police tactics, and equal justice for Black and Brown communities,” Barragán and Waters wrote. “We must show them their pleas are being heard. Now. That begins with making sure we get justice for Andres Guardado.”
On Sunday, hundreds of peaceful protesters gathered in Gardena, Guardado’s hometown, to demand justice.
“What happened to Andres was not only a tragedy, it was an outright crime,” said Ron Gochez, member of Union del Barrio, to the Los Angeles Times. “This is the unity between the Black and Brown community saying we are tired of this.”