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Racial Justice Group Says District Attorney Must Prosecute Police Abuse Or Resign

Members of the Racial Justice Coalition San Diego gather in front of the Hall...

Credit: From pool video

Above: Members of the Racial Justice Coalition San Diego gather in front of the Hall of Justice on July 24, 2020.

A racial justice organization in San Diego is calling on District Attorney Summer Stephan to prosecute officers and deputies who have shot people in the line of duty or used excessive force.

The Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego released a video Friday morning with the message, "Prosecute or resign." Members of the group said Stephan has neglected to punish what they call abuse and illegal behavior by police.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

The video called "You About To Lose Yo Job" shows a number of people who’ve been killed by law enforcement in San Diego over the last 20 years and says Stephan should prosecute the officers involved. Last week, Stephan's office charged a former San Diego Sheriff's deputy with murder. He pleaded not guilty.

RELATED: County Supervisors Approve Racial Justice, Law Enforcement Policy Package

The video’s demand was echoed by members of the coalition in front of the Hall of Justice on Friday morning.

“The officers must be prosecuted and charged for their criminal acts,” said Buki Domingos, the founder of the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego.

Family members of some of the men who were killed joined in the call for Stephan to act. Maria Hoyt is the aunt of Sergio Weick, shot dead by Sheriff's deputies in August 2016 following a pursuit.

“I’d like to start by demanding the resignation for the prosecution of officers Christopher Villanueva and Peter Myers,” Hoyt said.

A citizen’s review board later found the shooting of Wieck justified.

Reported by John Carroll

Desiree Smith’s son was involved in a violent incident with San Diego police at Lincoln High School in 2014. Smith said he was choked. He survived.

“We are tired of our people being killed with no justification and no prosecution, so my message is prosecute or resign,” Smith said.

The District Attorney’s office chose not to make anyone available to answer questions. Instead, they released a statement which said in part:

“Our office takes great care to make sure our analysis follows the law, is independent, objective and thorough. When the evidence and facts support criminal charges, we will file them, as we did recently against the Sheriff’s deputy who is charged with murder.”

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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