East Los Angeles, CA – June 27 marked the two-year anniversary of the killing of 18-year-old Chicano Paul Rea in East Los Angeles, during a traffic stop. Rea was killed by Deputy Sheriff Hector Saavedra, a known member of the Banditos deputy gang. Since Rea’s death, his family has been subjected to harassment and intimidation in a deputy attempt to silence them from seeking justice. This is a common occurrence for families who are vocal and fight back against police crimes.
On the evening of his death, Rea and a friend were driving close to his home when two Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies pulled them over for allegedly running a stop sign. The sheriffs accused Rea’s friend, driver of the car, of being high on marijuana. When they attempted to detain him, the deputies allege Rea broke free and ran. Deputy Hector Saavedra fired a number of shots, striking Rea on both forearms, right thigh, and neck.
Families who have lost their sons to killings by the ELA Sheriffs rallied for justice, a stop to police brutality, and the jailing of killer cops at Belvedere Lake – where the station is located.
Paul Rea’s mother Leah Garcia and his grandmother Julie Martinez spoke at the rally, united with other mothers, aunts and siblings whose loved ones have been victims of police killings, including Anthony Vargas, Marco Vazquez, David Ordaz Jr., David Sullivan and Eric Rivera. The Chicano families were joined by Centro CSO, BLM-LA Greg Akili, American Indian Movement-SoCal, the National Lawyers Guild, and local supporters.
After the rally the protesters marched to the ELA Sheriff’s Station for a protest in front of the station. The protesters were met with barricades and a lineup of deputies, who were taunting grieving families. The ELA Sheriffs have a long history of killing young Chicano men. In these cases, no deputies have been held accountable and they are still patrolling our neighborhoods.
After the protest and rally, Paul Rea’s family held a memorial at the site where he was murdered. There they did a balloon release and provided free food to all attendees.
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