Protest erupts after deputy cleared in boy's death

AP News
Posted: Jul 08, 2014 7:27 PM
Protest erupts after deputy cleared in boy's death

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Protesters are denouncing a Northern California prosecutor's decision not to file criminal charges against a sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a 13-year-old boy after mistaking the teen's pellet gun for an assault rifle.

Dozens of demonstrators rallied Tuesday outside the Santa Rosa office of Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch and called for justice for Andy Lopez.

Ravitch announced Monday that her office cleared Deputy Erick Gelhaus of any criminal responsibility for shooting Lopez on Oct. 22 as the eighth-grader walked near his home. Ravitch says Gelhaus believed the pellet gun carried by the teen was real and feared for his life.

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Ravitch says autopsy results showed Lopez had smoked marijuana about an hour before the shooting, and a medical expert concluded the drug likely impaired the teen's judgment.