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Family mourns 18-year-old killed by East LA Sheriffs

By Sol Marquez and Luis Sifuentes |
August 26, 2019
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Memorial for Paul Rea
Memorial for Paul Rea (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA - On August 23, over 70 people, including the family of Paul Rea, gathered for a memorial. 18-year-old Rea was shot and killed by East Los Angeles Sheriffs on June 27, after a minor traffic infraction. The East LA sheriff's station is currently under FBI investigation. Since 2014, there have been lawsuits against and reports that there is a Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department gang called Los Bandidos. Additionally, East LA sheriffs have a long history of brutalizing and murdering Chicanos.

The event featured tacos cooked on site and drinks, all at no cost to participants. Chairs, tables and flowers were positioned along Gerhart Avenue near the murder site. Multiple East LA sheriffs drove by the site, and two deputies parked around the corner. One highway patrol officer stopped and asked the family to contain the crowd within the site. Centro CSO members attended to show support for the family.

“While I was setting up, two sheriffs drove by slowly with their windows down,” said Leah Garcia mother of Paul Rea. “And they looked over at me, didn’t say anything, but they were laughing.” This intimidation tactic, along with frequent sheriffs driving by her house, are common among families who have been victims of police terror. The ongoing threatening behavior continues long after authorities have claimed lives.

A tree memorial was to be installed during the event, but a neighbor managed to stop it. The neighbor called the Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ East LA office and the Crisis Hotline to complain. Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc (SEA) offered to donate the tree memorial for Rea. This neighbor, however, also called the offices of SEA and complained that the memorial site was disrupting her neighborhood. Paul Rea's family formed a petition and have been given a deadline of September 1 to gather enough signatures to demonstrate support for the tree memorial. An online petition was created by Centro CSO and the link is here