Autopsies contradict SFPD account of year-old, fatal officer-involved shooting

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It's been one year since a young immigrant from Guatemala was shot and killed by San Francisco police.
Initially, police had said they shot 20-year-old Amilcar Perez-Lopez when he lunged at officers with a knife.  But two separate autopsy reports show that the man was shot in the back.

About two hundred protestors rallied at the scene of the shooting on Folsom Street between 24th and 25th Streets.

An ancient Mexican dance was performed as part of a blessing ceremony for Perez-Lopez. Two plainclothes police officers shot and killed him February 26, 2015.

"The tears, the grief that we still feel…the fact that this young man was running for his life when he was shot in the back by SFPD," said Reverend Richard Smith with St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church.
The attorney for Perez-Lopez's family says he came to the United States to work so he could send money back to his parents and five siblings.

On the night he was killed, supporters say Perez-Lopez chased after a man who had stolen Perez-Lopez's cell phone.
Police originally said the officers shot Perez-Lopez because he lunged at them with a knife, but a private autopsy and one done by the San Francisco Medical Examiner's office came to the same conclusion— that Perez-Lopez was shot in the back.

"It's a bald-faced lie to suggest somebody charging at you with a knife is going to be shot six times in the back. It just doesn't make any sense," Arnoldo Casillas, the family's attorney.

Casillas says he spoke with Perez-Lopez’ parents on this anniversary.

"They're beside themselves in sadness. They've lost the son who was basically supporting the family," said Casillas.

From the site of the shooting, supporters marched with candles in hand to the Mission Police Station.

"Nobody can put that light out. It's always there for us to help us find our way through the darkness," said Reverend Smith.

Supporters say Perez-Lopez’ life was stolen and they’re calling for an end to officer-involved shootings.
"We're marching for Amilcar and demand accountability for what happened to him. We are tired of these deaths," said Adriana Camarena, a neighbor and community activist.

KTVU caught up with Mayor Ed Lee at an unrelated event.
"I still have faith in Chief Suhr in his management," said Mayor Lee.

He says police reforms are underway to reduce the use of deadly force, "We're doing everything we can to reinforce the need to change culture and practice to make it safer and less lethal force is used."

The District Attorney's office says its investigation into Perez-Lopez case is ongoing, but the family attorney says the young man's parents are asking why there still is no justice for their son one year after the killing.
"They're hopeful that there's going to be a prosecution and they're praying for that," said Casillas.

Community activists say they've been in touch with the District Attorney's office and hope to get some answers by the end of March.