By Mike Talavera
On Wednesday evening, family and friends of Alexander Gonzales, the 28-year-old Latino man murdered by the Austin Police Department (APD) the previous day, gathered at the site of the shooting to celebrate his life and honor his memory. The Gonzales family told Tribune that they hold APD and police chief Brian Manley responsible for his murder.
The family told Tribune that they were there to defend Alex’s name and to go against what Manley had said about him during a press conference on Tuesday, repeating the off-duty officer’s story that Alex had “cut him off” while driving and that Alex had pointed his gun at him. The family contests this account but is waiting to present details for an impending lawsuit against the department.
More than just seeking justice for Alex, the family expressed the importance of fighting against the police narrative as a duty on behalf of everyone who is targeted by the racist police. Alex Gonzales, Sr. told the Tribune how he was profiled by Austin police growing up in the 1970s.
“They’d come and harass me, jack me up, slam me on the ground,” Alex, Sr. said. “I’d ask them, ‘Why are you harassing me?’ and they’d say, ‘why don’t you go shave that goatee.’”
The family described Alex as a caring person, as a good son and brother. They said that the birth of his son, the infant who was in the backseat at the time of the police shooting, had changed his life, and before he was killed he had been making plans to move out to be with his family in Bastrop.
On Tuesday, activists had marched through the neighborhood where Alex was killed and held a rally demanding people’s justice, chanting “APD killed again! Organize and defend!”
On Wednesday, members of the Tribune Support Committee in Austin distributed pamphlets about Alex’s murder among the family and friends to share with their social circles. The family expressed determination in getting justice for their son and said that they could only count on the people’s support.
“The guys that did it, the guys that put that bullet in my son, I want them to [get] what’s coming to them,” Alex, Sr. said. “And APD, y’all murdered my son. Y’all didn’t take a criminal’s life – y’all murdered an innocent person.”
“My grandson was in the back,” Alex, Sr. said. “Two months old. He could have gotten hit by a bullet. What would y’all have done about that? Say that he pulled a gun too?”
The family is asking for anyone with any information, especially pictures or video related to Alex’s murder, to come forward and help them seek people’s justice for their son. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any leads related to this important case. We also encourage our reader’s to donate to the family’s online fundraiser.
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