Lorenzo Cruz was a baby. Twenty-three years old and stolen from his mother’s arms. No blog in existence could accurately describe the horrible emptiness that now resides between those arms. Arms that not too long ago rocked him to sleep, arms that not too long ago soothed his tears in a momma’s hug, arms that will now for too long fall empty—robbed of their child.
Lorenzo Cruz was murdered by Rocklin Police Department on February 25th at 10:04am. Three officers fired into his unarmed body and changed his family’s journey forever. The official police statement provides conflicting details and gaping holes—leaving his loved ones no alternative but to fight. Fight for the boy that he was. Fight for the man that he was becoming. Rocklin Police Department feels justified in ending Lorenzo’s life and the Placer County DA has since cleared all three officers of wrongdoing, but neither entity will provide any transparency into what happened that morning. To date, the family has not received an official police report, existing dash camera footage, or been treated with the smallest margin of humanity by the department. Despite numerous attempts, the police chief refused to provide the grieving family any details, only meeting with them on March 1st to offer the department’s public statement released that day. No autopsy report was provided until the family’s lawyer made several endeavors and Black Lives Matter Sacramento held a press conference outside of Rocklin’s Police headquarters and then showed up to Rocklin’s City Council meeting where his family members and concerned community members spoke on the murderous behavior of Rocklin PD. Lorenzo was stolen from his family and in response law enforcement and their colluders did what all white supremacist organizations do—hide the facts, deny the truth, and blame everything on the dead Black body at their feet.
What they say publicly… Officers responded to a call on Bradford Place in Rocklin at 10am about an intruder who broke into a house and then fled after the homeowner brandished a firearm. Three officers found Lorenzo in a neighborhood car pointing a gun at them, and then fired at him in fear for their lives.
What they don’t say…
- Why ALL THREE officers “forgot” to turn on their body cameras that they have extensive training in the use of and have been wearing for a year???
- If Lorenzo, a young Black man in 2017, really pointed a realistically painted aerosol toy gun at officers—and the “if” is overwhelming—where is the toy gun? Where are photos of the toy gun? Where is the car owner’s statement that they indeed left a toy gun in their car for Lorenzo to happen upon minutes before being surrounded by Rocklin PD?
- If Lorenzo was pulled over earlier that morning and evaded police, as they have since suggested, where is the report on that interaction?
- If Lorenzo crashed his car into two metal gates earlier that morning, as they have since suggested, where is the report on that interaction? Why does his car not show any resulting frontal damage? Where are the photos?
- If Lorenzo only was there to rob a house on Bradford Place, why does his cell phone show that he has long-standing and consistent relationships with multiple people who live in that neighborhood and on that exact street?
- Why does an eye-witness account in the Placer County Herald not corroborate Rocklin PD’s version?
- WHAT IS ROCKLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT’S HISTORY OF RACISM?
Now that one we can answer. Extensive.
In 2014, Rocklin Police Officers brutalized, kidnapped, and falsely arrested a young Black athlete from Sierra College named Nebraska Huggins. After asserting his constitutional rights regarding search and seizure, officers threw him to the ground, “accidentally” kicked him in the face while he was handcuffed, and then drove him to a dark remote area to “obtain his statement” where he feared for his life and was forced to repeat what the officers said. This incident resulted in a civil rights lawsuit against the officers, department, and city.
In 2011, Rocklin police officers responded to a minor New Year’s Eve disturbance by beating a Black man to the ground, dragging him into a water fountain, and tazering him in the water as he tried raise his head to get air. The bystander video shows police repeatedly punching him without cause.
In neither case did Rocklin Police admit fault or discipline their abusive anti-Black officers—and we are still supposed to unquestioningly digest their bullshit filled account of Lorenzo’s last moments? Never. His family deserves answers and they will get them:
1. We demand immediate and public release of the police report, autopsy report, and video camera footage, including any footage provide by community members, of the actual incident.
2. We need charges brought on officers Chris Osborne, Officer John Constable and Officer Breanna Adams for any wrongdoings of Lorenzo Cruz.
3. We need a thorough funded community led investigation that includes all documentation of the incident.
4. We need monetary compensation to the family for the hardship that has been brought onto them by the city of Rocklin.
5. Last, we need an apology from the Mayor, Chief of Police, and Rocklin Police Dept.
Lorenzo’s mother will never have him in her arms again, and there can be no justice for her heartache, or for the theft of the life he would have led. Nothing will ease this family’s pain, but we promise to fight in his name by dismantling law enforcement’s violent grip on Black communities and creating the alternatives that would have kept him alive.
TONIGHT! The Sheriff is a Lie! Justice for Ryan Ellis!
May 10th *** 6:30-8:30pm *** Del Paso/Arden Corner
So according to the Sacramento Sheriff's triflin ass..this man was
-put into the back of a sheriff car
-managed to kick the window out of the car while deputies were in it
-managed to then position his body to jump out the car through this window
-sustain a head injury
-and later deceased
ALL WHILE BEING HANDCUFFED
We need to show up in the streets for Ryan.
One minute you are chilling with you girlfriend, and family.
The next you are in the back of the car of the shadiest law enforcement agency in sac.
Next, you are no longer with us.
This can’t continue in our city.
Black folks in Sacramento can’t keep fearing for their safety when they live their lives.
Please come out with us while we begin our fight for full transparency in the death of #RyanEllis
Rest in power beautiful soul!
When: Wed May 10, 2017
Where: Corner of Arden and Del Paso Blvd, in front of Wells Fargo
Address: 1501 Del Paso Blvd
Community Alternatives to Police
Colonial Heights Library *** May 13th *** 6-8pm
No Police Allowed
No Politicians Allowed
No Media Allowed
If you haven't been to a meeting yet, make sure you come!
If you have? Let's get to work May 13th!
Some neighborhood groups have already begun to sketch out a pilot for how to replace police for a particular issue in their community. Come hear what folks are bringing to life!
This is the 6th Community Alternatives to Police meeting and we are ready to start building an actual structure to replace our police with our community.
We are over-policed.
We are not treated with dignity and respect by our public servants.
They come into our neighborhoods and we no longer have safe spaces.
We are criminalized when we are breaking no laws.
We hear a lot of ideas on how to prevent police violence on Black folks.
We talk a lot about restorative justice, community oversight, police commissions, reform....
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to protect our communities from the police, while maintaining actual peace in our communities?
What does it look like when we take it upon ourselves to de-escalate situations the right way. While keeping dignity and respect for our fellow community members?
What does it look like when we care for, instead of criminalize, those without homes or those with mental challenges?
How do you envision it to work?
Let's talk about it as a community.
From there we can build a structure that helps to end state violence on Black folks.
Let's take our communities back!