Justice for Marco Vazquez

Justice for Marco Vazquez

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Marco Antonio Vazquez Jr. was shot and killed by Pico Rivera Sheriff’s department on the night of October 6th, 2019.

Marco suffered from mental illness and was worried for his family's safety during a mental health crisis. The Psychiatric Emergency Team (PET) and LASD arrived and concluded that there was no need for a 51/50. Family members asked the Pico Rivera Sheriff's department and PET to stay but they made the decision to leave as they felt that he was not a threat to himself or others. Deputies suggested family members leave so that the victim could calm down and go to sleep. PET was contacted again following the first call, worried for Marco’s safety and well-being. Family members were redirected back to 911 as they were told the PET was now closed. A family member asked for a psychiatric evaluation because the victim was making suicidal threats. They also stated he was unarmed and the deputies returned to the scene with armed rifles aimed towards the victim. Within a matter of seconds, deputies began fire. They shot Marco multiple times, including one fatal shot to the head and he instantly fell to the floor in the driveway of his home. The victims brother was grazed by a bullet on his left foot and was taken to the hospital for care hours later. Family members were antagonized following the incident where they were then removed from their home and taken to the sheriffs station where they were then held for approximately 11 hours and released the following morning. The LASD released a statement claiming that Marco charged at the officers and refused to follow orders given, in attempt to cover up the wrongful murder of Marco.

We ask that you join us in support to demand the following:

1. Arrests of the officers involved, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and any other officer involved in the death and coverup of the death of Marco Antonio Vazquez Jr. must be made. There have been no charges thus far. According to LASD officers were put on suspension following the incident but it is unclear as to whether or not their suspensions have been released.

2. Provide Mental health crisis professionals around the clock. Retrain PET and enforce mandatory license renewals after an allotted time. Seek to revoke the license of the PET professional who decided Marco did not require medical and professional attention.

3. His family be paid in damages for the wrongful death of Marco and the negligence of the LASD. 

4. Reconstruct and prioritize training in mental health, de-escalation, trauma and listening. Adults with severe mental illness account for one in four people killed in police encounters, according to a report from 2015. Individuals with untreated mental illness face a 16-times-greater risk of being killed in a law enforcement encounter compared to other civilians.