By Cindy Milstein
“It’s a war zone,” said the man, a neighbor across from this murder site, now a makeshift shrine, on Folsom Street near 24th. Amilcar Perez-Lopez, 21 and a Guatemalan immigrant here to forge a better life, was killed by two plainclothes SFPD cops just shy of 3 weeks ago, and still the candles are lit nightly, still new flowers and mementoes are added, still his girlfriend comes daily to weep.
“People are rising up,” this man says, “We neighbors have all come together because of this.” They are looking out for each other, gathering their own true versions of what the killer cops did, sharing food and emotional support.
“We all heard the shots. The police wanted us to stay inside so they could make up a story.” But they’ve come out, stronger than ever, fighting for a justice that starts with neighbors, friends, and family being cared for through the sorrow and fear of it all. The police picked the wrong street for this latest execution, the man affirms, even though he also mentions that everyone here has PTSD.
Just a couple blocks away, just a few nights ago, another suspicious fire burned another home, of another family and others precariously housed, and just yesterday one of those injured in the fire died. The evening air smells of smoke and greed, lost dreams and stolen lives.
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(Photo by Cindy Milstein, late night at Amilcar’s shrine on Folsom Street near 24th, SF’s Mission, March 17, 2015.)