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Police accountability demonstration planned for Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa

Police accountability activists are expected to stage a demonstration Saturday afternoon in Santa Rosa to protest the shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.

The protest, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Juilliard Park, is among several actions taking place in cities across California, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Oakland.

Lopez was shot by Sonoma County Sheriff's Dep. Erick Gelhaus on Oct. 22, after the deputy spotted the boy walking along Moorland Avenue in the middle of the afternoon carrying an airsoft BB gun that resembled an AK-47 rifle.

Gelhaus told police investigators he thought the gun was real and feared for his life when the boy failed to comply with an order to drop the weapon and instead turned toward the deputy.

But critics question whether Gelhaus gave Lopez enough time to understand what was happening. Police accountability advocates are demanding that District Attorney Jill Ravitch file criminal charges against Gelhaus.

Activists at today's protest in Santa Rosa will attempt to gather stories and testimonials from local residents about police brutality. Testimonials will be recorded by volunteers.

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