Protesters call for justice after California deputy cleared in teen's October shooting death

The Associated Press
July 7, 2014 08:16 PM

File - This Nov. 4, 2013 file photo shows Rodrigo Lopez, left, and Sujay Cruz, parents of Andy Lopez, as they walk to a news conference in San Francisco. Prosecutors said Monday, July 7, 2014, that they will not file criminal charges against a Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed Andy Lopez, an unarmed 13-year-old boy, whose death last year sparked protests and criticism that the officer acted too quickly. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)

SANTA ROSA, Calif. - 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.

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.

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