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No Civil Rights Charges Against California Deputy Who Shot Replica Gun-Carrying Teen

July 02, 2015  | 

The U.S. Justice Department announced late Wednesday that it will not file criminal charges against a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy who shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez, ending a federal civil rights investigation into the 2013 shooting.

“The decision to close the file without bringing charges was based upon the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to prove that the deputy willfully used excessive force resulting in Andy’s death,” Justice Department spokesman Abraham Simmons said in a statement.

The decision comes one year after Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch concluded that Deputy Erick Gelhaus acted within the law when he shot Lopez as the teen walked down a southwest Santa Rosa sidewalk carrying an airsoft BB gun designed to look like an AK-47 rifle. An internal investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reached the same conclusion, the Press Democrat reports.


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

S.S. @ 7/2/2015 1:42 PM

Good news finally. Stay safe out there Deputy Gelhaus glad everything worked out.

kevCopAz @ 7/2/2015 2:51 PM

Sad that a young man was killed. Im sure the deputy will carry that all the rest of their life. BUT, why in the world sis it take 2 solid years to end this investigation? A full year for the County DA to clear the cop? Then another solid year for the DOJ???? Based on what was available on the web the facts seem pretty clear, the "gun" looked like a real rifle (sue the manufacturer not the cops) and the circumstances were such that the 13 year old should have known better then not to do as directed (unless he has problems Im unaware of). A 13 year old should know to do what the authorities tell you to do, thats the real reason he died, lack of respect for authorities, either he was taught that or not taught to respect the cops. Either way that is what got him sot just as much if not more then the "toy" weapon. Sad.

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