Stop Unfair Prosecution!
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We are asking that you stand with us to put an end to excessive punishment in Contra Costa County. Our youths' lives are at stake.
Azrael Vargas is a 20-year-old mixed-race Bay Area Native. He was raised by his mother, a public-school teacher, in San Francisco. Azrael grew up in the Mission district, where he has been an active and loved community member.
When Azrael was 14 years old he lost his best friend to a brutal murder. For several years, Azrael tried to work through his trauma and, by the time he left for college, he and his mother thought it was behind him.
Unfortunately, in November 2019 something happened to the younger brother of his deceased best friend and this retriggered him emotionally. Azrael committed an act, in which no one was hurt, in an attempt to help out his friend’s brother financially. He made a terrible mistake and wants to take responsibility, while also finally truly healing from the buried trauma.
DA Chris Sansoe offered him a shorter prison sentence, but only if he was an informant on his co-defendants. Azrael does not want to make statements against them, especially since they are also three young men of color.
Since bailing out of West County, Azrael has returned to school, work, and several forms of volunteerism. He also attends church, NA, and therapy. He is collaborating with RYSE, where he co-facilitates a men’s group, and with Center for Employment Opportunities, where he is a client. Azrael and his mother have also been participating in Reuniting Families Contra Costa’s participatory defense workshops. Additionally, Azrael and his mother have found organizations willing to facilitate a Restorative Justice approach if Ms. Becton approves.
The trial is set for March 26.
Help as we fight to let the Contra Costa County’s District Attorney know that the community is in support of him as he continues his journey to rehabilitate himself outside of prison. Please sign and call the Contra Costa County's District Attorney's Office to let them know that the community wants alternatives to incarceration when it comes to Azrael's case. 925-957-2200
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