Activists Demand Accountability From DA For Deaths Of Several Black San Antonians
About 50 activists gathered at the steps of the Paul Elizondo Tower on Tuesday for another day of protests in San Antonio.
“We are screaming justice for [George] Floyd, but we need to be screaming for the people who have died in our community,” organizer Kimiya Factory said.
People have demonstrated in San Antonio, across the U.S. and around the world since the death of Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis..
On Tuesday, the group’s main goal was accountability — specifically, holding Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales accountable for the deaths of several Black people while in police custody.
Last week, Gonzales said he would not reopen the cases of Charles Roundtree, Marquise Jones or Antronie Scott.
“I want DA Joe Gonzales to take this seriously. I want the people of San Antonio to show us they take this seriously by reopening and reinvestigating these cases and hold the officers accountable for the Black lives that have been lost due to police brutality,” Factory said.
Activist Oliv, who declined to give her last name, agreed that holding the police accountable is important.
“I’m here to show representation in my community. Our voices are needed right now,” she said.
Police reform is work that the city needs to do, and the people are here to lead them, Factory added.
“We’re here today to put more pressure on the system and to let Joe Gonzales know not only is it important that we can vote him out this season," she explained, "but that we’re also not going to stand for not reinvestigating these cases because they’re worth reinvestigating.”
Many protestors, including Griffin Mosqueda, held signs that supported reforms for “defunding the police” and accountability for police brutality.
“We have a systemic issue, and you can't fix a systemic problem by changing within the system,” Mosqueda said. “You have to completely overhaul the system. You have to defund it thoroughly and use that money to create a system to replace it.”
One way to make a change, Factory emphasized, was to vote.
Organizer Valerie Reiffert said she and about 30 other volunteers have registered about 300 new voters at protests since March 30.
“We’re going to give power to the good people now,” Reiffert said, referencing candidates who share her values.