Letters to the Editor: A Callout of Andy Lopez Documentary

Three Seconds in October

I’m glad to see the documentary Three Seconds in October: The Shooting of Andy Lopez being promoted by Kathleen Finigan—in this paper and on its website. I believe that a national airing is being planned. It’s an important work which sheds light on details most of the public does not know.

But in one way it is very misleading. It gives credit to the Board of Supervisors for the creation of IOLERO—the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach—and the Board should get next to none. IOLERO exists—for what it’s worth under the mis-leadership of Director Karlene Navarro—solely as the result of sustained action by the Latino community and local activists.

Sonoma County had been asked, for at least 15 years, to create some form of oversight of law enforcement. The supervisors had, for at least 15 years, refused. And after Andy was killed and an angry community came to their chambers, the supervisors told them to be nice, to be polite and not to be angry. This was unacceptable to us, and we persisted, and they were forced to act.

And it is particularly galling to see Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane represented in a positive light and rewriting history. She and Supervisor David Rabbitt were major stumbling blocks. Several times, in meetings, Zane told us how much she loves men in uniforms. One time she even leaned out towards the public and asked, “Aren’t I right, ladies?”

That the public will come away giving credit to local government instead of the community is a major flaw in an otherwise excellent documentary. It takes public pressure to make change. Always has and always will.

Susan Collier Lamont

Santa Rosa

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