Surrounded by supporters chanting “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace,” the family of a man shot and killed by San Diego police took their fight for justice back to the intersection where the shooting occurred.
At the corner of Tocayo Avenue and Hollister Street Tuesday night, Raul Rivera's family held a vigil nearly a year to the day after he was shot.
While remembering their lost loved one, they demanded transparency from the San Diego Police Department, accountability for the three officers involved in the shooting, and advocated for a state law that could limit the way police use lethal force.
“Excessive force, there’s no other way to put it,” exclaimed Rivera’s sister Flora Rivera.
Investigators say Rivera was acting erratic, holding a knife and refusing officers’ commands to drop his weapon.
Flora and other family members say Ruiz was suffering a mental health episode and needed officers to help deescalate the situation, not shoot him.
“Not having him around is extremely difficult,” said Rivera’s niece Bri Rivera. “But we're trying to advocate for better accountability and transparency from police because we don’t want this to continue to happen.”
Hoping to put a stop to it, the Riveras are advocating for AB 392, which would limit officers’ use of deadly force to situations where there is "an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to themselves or others."
Draped in a shirt with her uncles' picture, Bri Rivera says she’ll continue the family’s fight for justice.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office deemed the officers’ actions were justified, and released partial body camera footage from the shooting. Rivera’s family wants the DA’s office to release the entire raw clip.
A spokesman for the San Diego Police Department said it is “gathering all of the information regarding this incident including body worn camera footage and will be releasing it pursuant to a public records request in the near future.”