Justice Reforms in honor of Sandy Guardiola

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Her name was Sandy Guardiola. 

On October 4th, 2017 Sandy Guardiola was killed in her home, in her bed, by a Canandaigua New York Police Officer. The police officer in question entered her apartment on a “wellness check” and left her dead, with three fatal bullet wounds. 

Sandy Guardiola was my mother. 

She was born in New York City in 1968 -- the proud daughter of Puerto Rican parents. She worked hard to create a happy life and home for my sister Alysa and I.

      She was a law enforcement officer for nearly 20 years. She worked as a correction officer and worked her way up to correction captain for the NYC Department of Correction, a court officer for the NYS unified court system, and as a parole officer for the NYS Department of correctional services at the time of her death.

      My mom moved to Canandaigua to be with nature. Soon after she moved, she got into a car accident that left her with a concussion and with multiple broken ribs. She was bedridden and on sick leave for 4 weeks. Parole colleagues and supervisors were informed about her injuries. But a police officer conducted a ‘wellness’ check as she had not reported to work on the day, she was set to return due to late paperwork. There was NO ATTEMPT to reach out to her emergency contacts before conducting this “wellness check.”  He entered her bedroom while she slept and shot her three times – in the head, abdomen, and arm. At the same time she was shot, her service weapon which she kept underneath her pillow was discharged. 

      There is only one person who was there for my mother's death and that was the police officer who murdered her. The state police, in which he has familial ties, conducted an investigation and declared the shooting justified. Like in many cases of police misconduct, they used her health issues against her to say that her prescribed medication caused her to point a gun at the officer.

      In an independent medical exam, Dr. Michael Baden has given his professional opinion that the officer’s statement of the events is scientifically faulty.  The forensic analysis and wounds show that the police officer shot my mom first as she turned her body to grab her weapon from under her pillow.  

      There was a 10-minute gap between the shooting and when emergency medical technicians were summoned to provide aid to my mother, who was alive and breathing at the time. Not only was she shot 3x in her bed, she was withheld of immediate medical attention. SHE WAS BREATHING. If the emergency medical services had been called earlier, she could could be alive today. 

 My mom was the light of our family. Her loss has left a hole not only in my family's life, but also in the lives of all the people she has touched. 

This painful story has been modified and covered up and the police officer that murdered my mother was not held accountable. He took my mother’s life and the Police of Canandaigua have not helped us achieve the justice we deserve. I know nothing will bring her back, but my mom, Sandy Guardiola, taught me to fight for what I believe is right. I will continue to fight for her justice. It is the least she deserves.

By signing this petition, we aim to achieve: 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo must speak on behalf of Sandy Guardiola and Attorney General Letitia James must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Canandaigua Police Department immediately. 

We ask our lawmakers to clearly define the parameters behind what constitutes a legal “wellness check.” A police officer can enter an apartment in an emergency, we ask our lawmakers to clearly define what constitutes an “emergency” and make it mandatory to contact emergency contacts before conducting these “wellness checks.” 

We ask our lawmakers to make it MANDATORY for all police officers to wear and activate body cameras when making “wellness checks.” 

We ask for support in a “Say Their Name” Reform Agenda where police disciplinary records must become transparent to the public, chokeholds must be banned, making false face-based 911 reports a hate crime, and Attorney General must act as an independent prosecutor for any police murder case. 

I want to take this time to thank you for listening to my story. I pray for those who, like me and my family, have unfairly lost a loved one by a police officer that was not held accountable. No one should have to endure such pain. We will forever miss the beautiful smile and loving presence. 

We love you mom and will not give up until justice and accountability is reached. #JUSTICEFORSANDY #SANDYGUARDIOLA #SAYHERNAME