Man pleads not guilty to charges related to Andy Lopez protest
Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 10:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.
Sonoma County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a second person with obstructing police officers during a protest of the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
David Douglass, 24, of Santa Rosa, faces possible jail time for allegedly refusing to get off the street during a Nov. 26 march down Mendocino Avenue.
The UC Berkeley student pleaded not guilty before Judge Rene Chouteau as about two dozen supporters looked on. Chouteau asked him to try to settle the case with prosecutors before returning to court Jan. 28.
“It's just ridiculous,” Douglass said, standing beside his mother and a lawyer after the hearing. “These are bogus charges. They are targeting political leaders.”
He was the second person to be charged in two days for conduct during recent demonstrations over the death of Lopez. The teenager was shot to death Oct. 22 by Sonoma County sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus, who told police that he mistook an airsoft BB gun Lopez was carrying for an assault rifle.
Ramon Cairo, 30, of Santa Rosa, was charged with a felony and two misdemeanors Monday in what police said was an assault on a police officer during a Dec. 10 protest at City Hall. A third man, Joseluis Godoy, 24, of Santa Rosa, will appear in court Dec. 31 to face possible misdemeanor charges stemming from the same demonstration.
Protesters said a number of others received citations for minor violations. Organizers on Tuesday accused prosecutors of trying to silence law enforcement critics by charging them with crimes.
A spokeswoman for District Attorney Jill Ravitch has said the allegations target specific behavior.
“We are going to keep fighting for justice for Andy Lopez,” Yvette Felarca, an organizer for the Oakland-based group, By Any Means Necessary, said outside of court.
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