"Justice in July" event demands police accountability

Dozens gathered Friday at Lake Merritt for a block party that organizers called a "Justice in July" event. 

Participants called on Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price to hold police officers accountable for police shootings and in-custody deaths.

"We expect her to charge the cops who killed out loved ones," said Cynthia Nunes, the cousin of Agustin Gonsalez, who was shot and killed by Hayward police in 2018.

The event was organized by the families of Agustin Gonsalez, Mario Gonzalez, and Erik Salgado. All three were killed at the hands of police in Alameda County.

Mario Gonzalez died in police custody in 2021. Body cam video the 26-year-old was restrained face-down on the ground for more than 5 minutes.

Agustin, also called "Augie" Gonsalez, was shot by Hayward police after officers thought he was armed with a knife. It was later determined that he had a razor blade.

Salgado was shot and killed during a confrontation with the California Highway Patrol in Oakland in 2020.

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District attorney Pamela Price announced earlier this year the office would reopen eight cases, including those of Mario Gonzalez and Augie Gonsalez, but family members said little has happened since.

"Pamela Price ran on a platform of police accountability and holding cops accountable," Nunes said. "Simply reopening the cases isn’t enough. Because if you are just reopening the cases all you are doing is retraumatizing our family over and over again. And we need to see actual change happening."

The D.A.’s office did not reopen Erik Salgado’s case. Salgado was shot 16 times when officers say he rammed his stolen vehicle into them during a failed traffic stop. His sister said they want answers and will continuing putting pressure on price to re-examine the case. 

"Of course, we want justice," said Amanda Majail-Blanco. "And of course, we want the police officers to get criminal charges. And then for my brother to not be one of them I’m very humbled still trying to fight and have faith. Because I want her to know we are also here."