As many of you know, on June 4, 2012, 31 year old Victor Ortega was executed by San Diego Police Officer Jonathan McCarthy. According to witnesses Victor was lying on the ground and in compliance with the officers’ demands.
As many of you also know, Uaptsd.org‘s mission is to keep alive the county list of recorded people killed by law enforcement agents from 1980 to the present. Through grassroots efforts, over 200 local cases were documented. http://uaptsd.org/victims/victims-murdered-by-sd-law-enforcement/
Recently, we have received increased intimidation by police during these rallies. Many, if not all of these actions, involve families like the Ortegas who have young children and, like Victor himself, did not and do not pose a threat to police or to public safety. Police intimidation is a tactic to silence families and anyone who speaks up against these injustices. We are calling on our community for united support in these actions for these families cannot and should not be harassed when speaking the truth about the death of their loved ones. Like Ferguson’s fight for justice for Mike Brown, our duty is to fight San Diego’s stolen lives murdered by those who supposedly “protect and serve” our community.
Initially, McCarthy claimed he shot Victor because his back-up gun fell from its holster and Victor reached for it. He later claimed he shot Victor because he was “too tired to continue with the arrest.” A witness heard the officer shouting “Get on the ground!” at Victor and Victor responding, “Are you kidding me?” right before he was shot. Victor was already on the ground face down with both arms cuffed before he was shot, a police lieutenant later admitted.
The Ortega family filed a federal lawsuit claiming Ortega’s civil rights were violated, and that the officer had no reason to pull the trigger. U.S. District Judge has recently noted inconsistencies in some of the statements made by McCarthy, who claimed Victor tried to take away his service weapon. There is a further inconsistency around Officer McCarthy’s use of a non-lethal Taser and the facts leading up to the struggle between McCarthy and Ortega. Victor Ortega was a loving father, husband, son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend to many.
Michelle Ortega then took the bullhorn. While Shakina lost a husband, she lost a brother. Michelle said that ‘this police brutality thing is a world wide thing. My goal is to get Victor’s name out there, and get the awareness, and get Jonathan McCarthy (the officer) to go to jail, which he will eventually.’ She, like Shakina, added ‘it means a lot when you guys come out, especially on a hot day like this.’ (The temperature was hovering around 90.) According to Michelle, ‘this is actually putting pressure on them, even though it might be 20 or 30 people out here. It does really make a difference.’ She was emphatic,’they don’t want us out here. Every time we come out here just for Victor Ortega, they are mad about that. They don’t want the media, they don’t want the attention of the community to know what they really did.’ At one point the sister of Victor Ortega got on her knees in front of the officers protecting the sign. She put her hands behind her back, and told them to arrest her and shoot her. That way her mother could lose another child. The officers did their level best to ignore it and looked everywhere but at her.
She also asked them if any of them was a good cop? She asked them to stand up and denounce the bad officers in the department. Officers just stood there.
We thank you in advance for your help and support.
Family of Victor Ortega Speak Out at San Diego Stolen Lives Rally