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Hundreds Protest Johnny Ray Anderson’s Shooting Death in Hawaiian Gardens

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Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Barry Bruce addresses crowd at protest. To his left is Mayor pro tem Rey Rodriguez. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

 

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Hundreds protest the shooting death of Johnny Ray Anderson. Photo by Tammye McDuff.

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Protestors at City Hall. Photo by Tammye Mc Duff.

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Family members console each other at protest.

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Protestors in Hawaiian Gardens. Photo by Tammye Mc Duff.

 

 

 

By Tammye McDuff

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Hawaiian Gardens to protest the death of Johnny Ray Anderson.

Sheriff’s deputies went to the 12200 block of 216th Street a few days ago after receiving a call about people hanging out in a vacant house.

That call was followed by a report that a prowler was knocking on doors asking to be let in.

A deputy in the area was looking over a fence  when Anderson jumped up from the other side of the fence and attempted to take his gun, said Capt. Rod Kusch of the sheriff’s homicide bureau.

The deputy fired one round that hit Anderson in the chest. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene

 Ralph Rios,Anderson family’s attorney, said a neighbor watching from a balcony saw Anderson putting his arms up to surrender when the deputy shot without warning. Anderson could not have reached for the deputy’s gun, Rios said.

The deputies who shot Anderson were from the Lakewood sheriff’s station. Capt. Keith Swensson, the commander of the station, said he could not speak about the details of the incidents, citing the ongoing investigation.

The protest ended up at Hawaiian Gardens City hall where Mayor Barry Bruce and Mayor pro tem Rey Rodriguez spoke.

Bruce addressed the shouting and chanting crowd and asked the Office of the Attorney General for a full investigation.

Bruce said, “It is really good to see so many of you come out on behalf of Kathy and Johnny. Our hearts are broken too. I have known Johnny since he was 7 years old. He was part of the programs here in Hawaiian Gardens and part of the Way Out Ministries and the Survivor Club.”

Bruce went on, “We all want justice.  Every single person here wants justice, I want justice but there are legal ways to go about it. To protest and make your sorrow and injustices known as you are today is exactly what should be done. I am someone who believes in protest and making noise when something isn’t right.” I have personally called OIG they conduct investigations and have unfettered access to department records and they report to the LA Board Supervisors of LA County not the sheriff’s department. “

Amid chants and projected profanity, Bruce continued stating, “OIG is the most independent form of review and investigation that we can possible get. It doesn’t get deeper than this.  I called them because I want them to investigate. I don’t want to just hear what the sheriff’s have to say, I want a deep thorough investigation.  We are all in this together trying to find out what happened and why.  We want to make sure that those parties responsible for this tragic death are made known. The only way we can do that is to wait for the investigation. I can’t promise that the officer will be arrested; he is currently on desk duty while the investigation is underway.”

Shouts from the crowd continued, “This was not an arrest, Johnny was killed. If anyone else had done this they would be sitting in jail!’

Bruce replied, “from what I understand the officer is no longer working the streets.”

The crowd responded by blowing whistles and shouted out chants of injustice.

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