MEMPHIS, Tenn. — “No justice no peace! No justice no peace!”
A group of mostly Hispanic protesters took their frustrations to the steps of the Southaven Police Department Thursday.
“Justice for Lopez! Justice for Lopez!”
They say the killing of 41-year-old Ismael Lopez is the latest example of problems between Hispanics and police.
“We know things like this have occurred in the past on many different ways and fronts, and it is starting to occur again and we say no. We have to stop that. The Latino community is not defenseless,” said Rolando Rostro, pastor of Nueva Vida Church.
Ismael Lopez was shot in his own home by Southaven Police when they showed up just before midnight Sunday.
It turned out he was not the man they were looking for. They went to the wrong house.
Police say Lopez pointed a gun. His family says he did not and police shot through the door.
The protesters refuse to remain silent about the killing.
“We want peace. We want to be left alone. We want to work, to buy a house, to do what every American can do,” said Eva Guerrero, who came all the way from Texas.
Issues with police even spurred a meeting between the Latino Community and Memphis Police Wednesday night. They wanted to talk with Police Director Mike Rallings about recent immigration round-ups.
Protesters plan to rally at immigration offices Friday.
“We can’t allow injustices to keep occurring. We have to show ourselves present in this manner,” says Rostro.
It’s all getting national notice as well. The Hispanic television station Univision changed plans and sent a crew to Southaven to check out this protest today and others planned.
“We have to stop that and see if we can bring light to the matter of corrupt police departments. They need to uncover what they did wrong and we demand justice for that,” says Rostro.
The protest at the Southaven Police Department lasted about 45 minutes before protesters moved to one of the busy intersections down the street.
Southaven Police never came out of the station during the demonstration.