Just over seven months ago, 37-year-old Ignacio Ochoa was shot and killed by police near the Garfield Ave and Richfield St intersection in the city of Paramount. The shooting has left his family outraged and questioning the excessive use of force.
Family and nearby residents explain that on the night of Tuesday, May 14th earlier this year, “Nacho” was riding his bike home after buying something to drink when he was ordered to stop by a Los Angeles officer. Ochoa was wearing his headphones at the time and could not immediately understand officer’s demands.
Resident then state that officers detained Ochoa and once handcuffed, witnesses state that Ochoa was shot in the back of the head and left to bleed to death.
Some residents state that when questioned about what had occurred in the neighborhood, one officer apathetically replied, “Don’t worry, it’s just another dead Mexican.”
Family has been asking residents and community members for any video footage that may help prove the officers’ unjustified use of lethal force. Since Ochoa’s killing in May, there have been at least thirty-two deaths at hands of LA County officers’ bullets, not including those slain by Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies.
Ochoa left behind two sons and a daughter.
Ochoa’s family has since protested the killing, maintaining that it was a case of murder of an unarmed man.
On Sunday, family and supporters held a rally in the intersection of Rosecrans Ave and Richfield St near the location where officers killed Ochoa. Ochoa’s family was accompanied by other victims’ families, which included the families of Martin Angel Hernandez (Anaheim), Joe Whitehouse (Anaheim), Manuel Angel Diaz (Anaheim), Michael Lee Nida II (Downey), Ignacio Ochoa (Cudahy), and Javier Arrazola Jr. (Reseda).
Sheriff deputies were quick to arrive as they stationed themselves across the street from the rally, with two deputies seen recording the event.
“He was not doing anything, you people killed my husband,” explained Nacho’s wife, Yuli, as she confronted the deputies patrolling the rally, “My kids, they don’t have – they miss his dad. We want justice. You killed us too!”
“I won’t stop ‘till they stop!” shared Nacho’s son, during an emotional speech, “I won’t rest ‘till they stop. I won’t close my eyes ‘till they stop. I want justice and I want it now! For my dad…and not just my dad – for everyone that has been killed by cops, for no reason! You took someone’s family away, someone’s memory, all there is, is just pictures – just memories, he’s not here anymore…And it wasn’t just another Mexican! It was not another Mexican! He was someone! He is someone! He will still be someone!”
“In April 9th he was killed by the Sheriffs,” explained a man who stopped his van near the demonstration to share about the recent killing of his nephew, Edgar Villarreal, by sheriff deputies, “They killed him at 1:30 in the afternoon by three sheriffs, one of them hid behind a wall so when he [Edgar] came by walking, they shot him in the back. When he [Edgar] was on the floor, he asked for an ambulance and he came [the officer] and spit on him and hot him four more times.”
Family and community supporters marched through nearby neighborhoods and stopped at the memorial site near the 7274 block of Richfield Street where Ochoa was killed last May. Here, they shared some final words of support and concluded the gathering by singing a birthday song for Ochoa on what would have been his 38th birthday.
Two other police killing victims whose families have also been protesting together shared their birthday on the same Sunday. These include Javier “Javi” Arrazola Jr. and Robert “Bobby” Henning. Javi would have turned 25 and Bobby would have turned 24. The Arrazola family attended Sunday’s event, and Bobby’s family and supporters in Sacramento organized a “Winter Solstice Giveaway” in memory of Bobby. They gave away warm clothing, warm shoes, blankets, books, and non-perishable food for the homeless in Sacramento.