Let’s Keep Each Other Safe by Banding Together for a National Day of Action, Oct. 22

by Nissa Tzun | October 19, 2020 9:49 pm

Alma Chavez shares the story of the police murder of her son, Rafael Olivas, who was shot in front of her on July 14, 2011, at the event titled, “Families Are The Frontline,” where families impacted by police violence from across the country gathered in Las Vegas, NV to show their solidarity to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. From left to right: Dre Howell, great nephew of NYPD homicide victim Alberta Spruill, Victor Dempsey, brother of NYPD homicide victim, Delrawn Small, Alma Chavez, Tammy Davis, mother of St. Louis police homicide victim Katt Davis, Quentin Heyward, brother of NYPD homicide victim Nicholas Heyward, Jr., and Katrina Johnson, cousin of Seattle police homicide victim, Charleena Lyles. June 5, 2020, Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Nissa Tzun

We all deserve to live in a country where we are safe in our homes, at our places of work, and all the places in between. But for a long time, our Black and brown families know that the people tasked with protecting and serving are not doing so equally among all our families. The list of “say their names” is too long for us to even recite in one sitting. It’s inexcusable. That is why, in the upside down year of 2020, we are further steeled to unite across our shared experiences. We are determined to keep our voices raised until we can stop whispering a prayer each time we tell each other “get home safe.”

Join us Thursday, October 22, 2020 for the 25th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Families across the nation will be mobilizing in their home cities to demand police accountability and an end to police violence. This year, we have seen historic progress in regards to this movement; the killing of George Floyd has created a national conversation for families impacted by police homicide, providing a sustained platform allowing for our voices to be amplified.

Ariah Justin shares at a press conference who her father, Joseph Justin, was and how he was killed by two LVMPD officers on August 22, 2007, one being recently-retired captain Nichole Splinter who served as Bureau Commander for the Office of Internal Oversight and Constitutional Policing, the division that oversees internal investigations of police homicides. Her family stands behind her, holding up Joseph’s portrait. From center, clockwise: Ariah Justin, daughter of Joseph Justin, Joey, brother of Ariah Justin, Donna Justin, mother of Joseph Justin, and Keylee Justin, daughter of Joseph Justin. August 22, 2020, Las Vegas, Nev. Photo by Nissa Tzun

 

In Las Vegas, Nevada, Families United 4 Justice Las Vegas, a local group of families impacted by police violence, will convene in solidarity with the national day of education and mobilization. This panel of mothers, brothers, sisters, daughters, and aunts will share the stories of their loved ones and discuss the barrage of barriers that keep them from achieving justice in their cases. They will also continue to petition for a series of changes they organized for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), Nevada police, and local, state, and federal governments. The demands aim to make our communities safer for all. You can sign the petition today!

The Jorge Gomez family embrace each other during a press conference to announce that the family was filing a civil lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan police due to their violations of Jorge Gomez’ civil and human rights on June 1, 2020, when he was shot by five officers while he was protesting the police murder of George Floyd while legally carrying a firearm. From left to right: Jorge Gomez, father of Jorge Gomez, Jazmin Gomez, sister of Jorge Gomez, Jeanne Llera, mother of Jorge Gomez, and Rene Amador, stepmother of Jorge Gomez. July 22, 2020, Las Vegas, Nev. Photo by Nissa Tzun

 

Join us Thursday, October 22 on Zoom from 6 – 8 p.m. PST by registering at:  https://bit.ly/37kIjWc -or- catch the livestream at: Facebook.com/ForcedTrajectoryProject to learn about what you can do to support local individuals and families impacted by police violence and support change in Nevada policing.

Hear from:

  • Alma Chavez – her son, Rafael Olivas, was killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (LVMPD) on July 14, 2011.
  • Jeanne Llera – her son, Jorge Gomez, was killed by LVMPD on June 1, 2020
  • Jacqueline Lawrence – her son, Keith Childress, Jr., was killed by LVMPD on December 31, 2015
  • Teena Acree – her uncle, Byron Williams, was killed by LVMPD on September 5, 2019.
  • LJ Radney – her brother, Thomas McEniry, was killed by LVMPD on November 24, 2015.
  • Nasha Myart – her nephew, Stephon Clark, was killed by Sacramento police on March 16, 2018.
  • Eric Farah – his brother, Nicholas Farah, was killed by LVMPD on March 31, 2019
  • Ariah Justin – her father, Joseph Justin, was killed on August 22, 2007.
  • Milu Gonzalez – her brother, Cesar Gonzalez, was killed by California Highway Patrol on September 13, 2007
  • Laurie Benson, her son Nathan Benson is a police shooting survivor and has been incarcerated in pretrial detention for seven years mostly in solitary confinement
  • Terry Rogaczewski, police shooting survivor
  • Cristina Paulos, police brutality survivor
Milu Gonzalez speaks out for her brother, Cesar Gonzalez, who was brutally beaten and burned by two California Highway Patrol officers in Baker, California August of 2007. Cesar’s injuries and burns were so severe that he was completely unrecognizable to his family. He died from his injuries weeks later at University Medical Center in Las Vegas on September 13, 2007. June 6, 2020, Las Vegas, Nev. Photo by Nissa Tzun

 

We can keep each other safe and cared for, but it’s going to take all of us pulling together. Through the power of our coalition, sharing the stories of our lived experiences, and creating solutions through our local organizers, we demand a better, brighter future for our families.

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