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Family of Erik Salgado demand charges against officers who killed him

PIX Now Tuesday noon 6/6/23
PIX Now Tuesday noon 6/6/23 07:08

OAKLAND - A young man's family on Tuesday demanded that Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price file murder charges against three California Highway Patrol officers for shooting and killing him in Oakland three years ago.

Erik Salgado's family and supporters, including Addie Kitchen, the grandmother of another man killed by law enforcement, gathered Tuesday morning outside the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland to make their plea.

Salgado was allegedly shot at least 18 times on June 6, 2020, as he and his pregnant girlfriend were in what was alleged to be a stolen Dodge Challenger on Cherry Street in Oakland. Salgado died there. His girlfriend was wounded.

"I'm calling her out," said Salgado's sister Amanda Majail-Blanco of Price. "She needs to do her job. She needs to do right by her people." 

Majail-Blanco also demanded that California Attorney General Rob Bonta consider the case. Majail-Blanco would like to meet with Bonta and Price together.

Price was elected on a progressive platform in which she committed herself to holding law enforcement accountable. As district attorney, she has reopened a total of eight officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.

Majail-Blanco contacted Price in February or March and was told by email that her request will be added to a list of meeting requests. Majail-Blanco followed up in April and has not heard from Price.

Price's office did not respond to a request Tuesday for a comment on the plea by Salgado's family.

"Erik was somebody's baby," said George Galvis, executive director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, which supports the plea of Salgado's family along with the Anti Police-Terror Project.

CURYJ is working to end youth criminalization and mass incarceration while the APTP is working to end police terror among people of color.

"We believe everyone is a blessing," Galvis said.

He asked Price to fulfill her campaign promise.

Majail-Blanco said her brother was looking for parking the day the CHP officers shot him.

CHP officials said their officers were in East Oakland that day following up on a freeway shooting when they saw a red, two-door 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat being driven recklessly.

Oakland police said the license plate on the Dodge did not match the registration. CHP officers stopped the Dodge in the 9600 block of Cherry Street and got out of their vehicles.

That's when Salgado allegedly started ramming CHP vehicles with the Dodge and three officers opened fire, police said.
Police said the Dodge was stolen the previous week from a San Leandro car dealership along with 73 other vehicles.

Salgado's family and their supporters allege CHP Sgt. Richard Henderson, one of the officers who allegedly shot at Salgado, was carrying a 30-round clip during the shooting. Carrying a 30-round clip goes against CHP policy, family and supporters said.

CHP officials would not confirm whether Henderson was carrying a clip that size. CHP spokesperson Officer Andrew Barclay said he could not comment because of a pending lawsuit.

CHP officials did not immediately respond to an email asking whether carrying 30-round clips is against agency policy. Officers Donald Saputa and Eric Hulbert also shot at Salgado, court documents allege.

Attorney John Burris has filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against Henderson on behalf of Salgado's daughter, his mother and his girlfriend.

The case is pending in the United States District Court in Northern California.

"The officers have to be charged," said Kitchen, grandmother of Steven Taylor, who was shot and killed by a former San Leandro police officer at a Walmart in 2020.

Former Officer Jason Fletcher has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in Taylor's death. 

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