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Wed Dec 11, 2013, 06:06 AM


Two arrested as Lopez protest halts meetings [View all]


A preliminary internal review by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office has found that a veteran deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy did not violate department procedures, sheriff's officials said Tuesday, as angry demonstrators marched through Santa Rosa and temporarily halted public meetings by city and county officials.

Two people were arrested during the demonstrations, which were largely fueled by Deputy Erick Gelhaus' return to work Monday, nearly seven weeks after he fatally shot Andy Lopez. The 24-year deputy and firearms instructor reportedly mistook the airsoft BB gun the boy was holding one made to look like an AK-47 for a real assault rifle.

Gelhaus' return to duty amid ongoing investigations escalated tensions between local law enforcement officials and demonstrators seeking quick justice for Lopez's killing to their highest level since the Oct. 22 shooting.

Critics of law enforcement have branded the incident a blatant use of excessive force while frequent protests have spotlighted a shattered relationship with local government, a rift widened by racial and economic divides, protesters say.

Read more: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20131210/articles/131219956

Forrest Schmitt places 56 crosses in front of city hall - the number of people killed by Sonoma County Officers since 1995

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