Several citizen groups joined together to ask Fresno police to stop shooting

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The call for change came with music and poetry. A crowd of about 50 came together at Fresno Police Headquarters to ask officers for a cease fire. (KFSN)

The call for change came with music and poetry. A crowd of about 50 came together at Fresno Police Headquarters to ask officers for a cease fire.

"We are asking and now demanding police officers to restrain from shooting, hold back from shooting. We are calling this basically the "No shoot don't shoot" policy," said Rafael Avitia, Brown Beret's.

The groups have a list of proposed policy changes that include adopting a no shoot policy, using non-lethal tactics first.

"What's wrong with using the tazer gun? Why does it have to be a death bullet, a bullet," said Ron Brown, Black Lives Matter.

They want officers to call in mental health clinicians when confronting mentally ill subjects. They would like the Police Chief to stop describing police shooting victims in negative terms, like gang member, before the investigation into the shooting is completed.

They also want the Office of Independent review, which looks into police shootings to be a full time local operation with subpoena powers. They also want the Mayor to create a citizens review board to monitor police. Something new Mayor Lee Brand has already agreed to do.

The biggest concern is with the policy which allows an officer to shoot someone if they personally feel threatened. Under that policy unarmed Dylan Noble was shot by two officers last June.

"We don't want the cops to be the judge, jury, and the executioner," said Gloria Hernandez, Fresno Stolen Lives.

There were two fatal police shootings last year, three in 2015, and seven in 2014.

"All this needs to stop, because the hurt they are causing the families, for just shooting, unjustified shooting," said Roger Centeno, brother shot by police.

Centeno's brother Freddy was shot by police in 2015. He had a black nozzle in his hand that officers mistook for a gun.

The groups said they are not against police, but trying to send a message to political leaders they need to provide money and additional resources so officers have better training.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer was not available for comment.
Related Topics:
politicsshootingfresno police departmentfresnoblack lives matterFresno - Downtown
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