Father of Luis Garcia: If police experienced been at East Large, ‘maybe my son would continue to be below with us’

The relatives of Luis Garcia returned Friday to the City Park Esplanade, a paved highway that operates in entrance of Denver’s East Large Faculty and loops into the park, for the initial time considering that the 16-year-old was fatally shot there in February.

They noted the existence of Denver police at the university — a security measure that was absent when Luis was shot while sitting down in his auto, parked on the Esplanade. Denver law enforcement officers didn’t return to East until eventually a month and a 50 % afterwards, soon after one more shooting in which an East college student shot and hurt two deans within the university.

“All the grownups in cost that are intended to make university protected unsuccessful my brother,” Luis’ 20-yr-outdated sister Jovana Garcia stated at a press convention with the family’s attorney Friday. 

“No variety of stability or security. But that’s not the worst aspect. The worst aspect is that months soon after my brother handed, there was an incident the place two other adults have been wounded. Wounded, not useless. And then they desired alter. Was Luis’ lifetime not sufficient?”

The spouse and children has presented Denver General public College see that it programs to file a wrongful dying lawsuit against the district, said lawyer Matthew Barringer. The recognize also names the school board, which voted in 2020 to clear away law enforcement officers from Denver universities.

A boy in a red and white soccer uniform plays against a boy in a white and burgundy uniform

Luis Garcia, ideal in the purple and white jersey, performed on the East Higher Faculty soccer crew.

Courtesy of Reid Neureiter

The murder of Luis, a proficient soccer player whose father explained him as “the joy of our household,” continues to be unsolved with no an arrest. Police have reported it appeared the gunshots that strike Luis had been fired from another car or truck.

Luis’ father, Santos Garcia, explained that if police had been within East in February, with their patrol cars parked out front, “I think maybe my son would however be in this article with us right now.”

When the family members requested why there was no safety at the college, Garcia said the law enforcement informed them that the university board didn’t want officers arresting college students or ticketing for issues like drugs. 

“They are taking treatment of those young children, but who is using treatment of our little ones?” Garcia explained. “The young ones that go to faculty, that they work, that they truly do sports. The superior young children. 

“Who requires treatment of them?”

In getting rid of police from educational facilities, the board cited a motivation to disrupt the so-termed faculty-to-jail pipeline, which disproportionately influences learners of coloration. Black college students were being extra very likely than white learners to be ticketed and arrested in Denver educational facilities.

Soon after the two deans were being shot in March, the university board temporarily suspended its ban on police. East Superior and 12 other campuses have university source officers by the conclusion of the faculty 12 months, and the board is expected to focus on before long irrespective of whether to completely carry the ban.

Garcia stated his household would like to see the additional safety remain.

“We don’t want 100, 200 policemen,” he said, “but we want some kind of stability so the college students come to feel safe. We do not want them to worry. We just want them to sense safe and sound.”

Friday’s push meeting was the most up-to-date in a collection of weekly events hosted by Dad and mom – Safety Advocacy Group, a team that formed in the wake of the March taking pictures. It was also the to start with time that many of Luis’ relatives users spoke publicly about his loss of life.

Boy in blue t-shirt and blue jeans speaks at a microphone with people holding signs behind him.

Omar Bobadilla, 17-year-outdated cousin of Luis Garcia, speaks to the media Friday.

Melanie Asmar / Chalkbeat

Several spouse and children users explained Feb. 13, the working day Luis was shot. Luis’ father recalled his past dialogue with him that early morning, in which he instructed his son to have a excellent day. 

Cousin Omar Bobadilla, 17, remembered speaking with Luis 20 minutes just before he was shot. It was Omar’s birthday, and they have been building plans to hold out afterwards.

Luis’ sister Jovana recalled how DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero, who she called “a stranger to us,” arrived to the medical center and requested to see her brother. 

“The entitlement he experienced to even ask, when not even his siblings ended up permitted to see him,” she said. “That was the very last time I individually noticed him display up for my brother.”

Luis’ 20-calendar year-outdated brother, also named Santos Garcia, reported he under no circumstances wishes a further family to knowledge what his relatives has. “You experience shed,” he stated. “You feel a hole. And I just want a modify in who helps make the selections and for people to choose accountability.”

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, covering Denver Public Universities. Get in touch with Melanie at [email protected].

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