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Gunning Down a Boy with a Toy Gun

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As Molina spoke, there were police helicopters in the air and fully armed and heavily equipped sharpshooters peering down from the roof of the Sheriff's Department. There was also an armored personnel carrier nearby.

Michael Rothenberg, a local poet and activist, is working with a small group of community people who are helping the Lopez family navigate the various aspects of the massive outpouring from the community, as well as helping them communicate with the lawyers, the public and law enforcement in the aftermath of the killing.

"It was murder," Rothenberg said in a written statement, "Sheriff deputies shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez for carrying a toy gun. A cop who fancied himself, promoted himself, as an expert and skilled killer took only seconds to come to a judgment on the life of Andy Lopez. He assassinated an innocent child. ... We can never have real peace unless the police are held responsible for their crimes against the community."

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Dennis J Bernstein is the host and executive producer of Flashpoints, a daily news magazine broadcast on Pacifica Radio. He is an award-winning investigative reporter, essayist and poet. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Nation, and (more...)

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Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus, undeniably, suffer... by Allan Wayne on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 3:35:05 PM
Gelhaus' military background should have disqualif... by Richard Pietrasz on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 7:14:18 PM
Or at least he should have taken a PTSD screening ... by Allan Wayne on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 8:15:44 PM
PTSD compounds the problem, but military training ... by Richard Pietrasz on Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013 at 8:28:27 PM
my story still relevantclick here... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 8:01:44 AM
As you train,  so shall you act.   ... by sesquiculus on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 11:23:45 AM
I wonder whether Mr. Burris could convince a grand... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 12:40:08 PM
You cannot hope to fire a rifle, especially as pow... by Scott Miller on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 3:53:29 PM
This is one more unnecessary tragedy. But, I can't... by Theodora B Crawford on Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 4:23:23 PM
Lets issue toy guns to all the police on routine p... by james houle on Friday, Nov 8, 2013 at 2:30:54 PM
I don't get it. I don't know much about guns, but ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Friday, Nov 8, 2013 at 3:28:43 PM
In the places the shooter served,  a thirteen... by sesquiculus on Saturday, Nov 9, 2013 at 5:20:52 PM