Household of Luis Garcia, shot outdoors East Excessive, desires safety in colleges — science weblog

The household of Luis Garcia returned Friday to the Metropolis Park Esplanade, a paved highway that runs in entrance of Denver’s East Excessive College and loops into the park, for the primary time for the reason that 16-year-old was fatally shot there in February.

They identified the presence of Denver police on the college — a safety measure that was absent when Luis was shot whereas sitting in his automobile, parked on the Esplanade. Denver cops didn’t return to East till a month and a half later, after one other capturing during which an East pupil shot and injured two deans inside the varsity.

“All of the adults in cost which can be alleged to make college secure failed my brother,” Luis’ 20-year-old sister Jovana Garcia stated at a press convention with the household’s legal professional Friday. 

“No sort of safety or safety. However that’s not the worst half. The worst half is that weeks after my brother handed, there was an incident the place two different adults have been injured. Injured, not useless. After which they needed change. Was Luis’ life not sufficient?”

The household has given Denver Public Faculties discover that it plans to file a wrongful demise lawsuit towards the district, stated legal professional Matthew Barringer. The discover additionally names the varsity board, which voted in 2020 to take away cops from Denver colleges.

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

Luis Garcia, proper within the crimson and white jersey, performed on the East Excessive College soccer crew.

Courtesy of Reid Neureiter

The homicide of Luis, a gifted soccer participant whose father described him as “the happiness of our residence,” stays unsolved with out an arrest. Police have stated it appeared the gunshots that hit Luis have been fired from one other automobile.

Luis’ father, Santos Garcia, stated that if police had been inside East in February, with their patrol vehicles parked out entrance, “I feel possibly my son would nonetheless be right here with us right this moment.”

When the household requested why there was no safety on the college, Garcia stated the police informed them that the varsity board didn’t need officers arresting college students or ticketing for issues like medicine. 

“They’re caring for these youngsters, however who’s caring for our youngsters?” Garcia stated. “The children that go to high school, that they work, that they really do sports activities. The nice youngsters. 

“Who takes care of them?”

In eradicating police from colleges, the board cited a need to disrupt the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts college students of shade. Black college students have been extra probably than white college students to be ticketed and arrested in Denver colleges.

After the 2 deans have been shot in March, the varsity board quickly suspended its ban on police. East Excessive and 12 different campuses have college useful resource officers by means of the tip of the varsity 12 months, and the board is anticipated to debate quickly whether or not to completely raise the ban.

Garcia stated his household wish to see the additional safety stay.

“We don’t need 100, 200 policemen,” he stated, “however we would like some sort of safety so the scholars really feel secure. We don’t need them to concern. We simply need them to really feel secure.”

Friday’s press convention was the most recent in a sequence of weekly occasions hosted by Mother and father — Security Advocacy Group, a gaggle that fashioned within the wake of the March capturing. It was additionally the primary time that a lot of Luis’ relations spoke publicly about his demise.

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

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

Melanie Asmar / Chalkbeat

A number of relations described Feb. 13, the day Luis was shot. Luis’ father recalled his final dialog with him that morning, during which he informed his son to have a beautiful day. 

Cousin Omar Bobadilla, 17, remembered talking with Luis 20 minutes earlier than he was shot. It was Omar’s birthday, and so they have been planning to hang around later.

Luis’ sister Jovana recalled how DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero, who she known as “a stranger to us,” got here to the hospital and requested to see her brother. 

“The entitlement he needed to even ask, when not even his siblings have been allowed to see him,” she stated. “That was the final time I personally noticed him present up for my brother.”

Luis’ 19-year-old brother, additionally named Santos Garcia, stated he by no means desires one other household to expertise what his household has. “You are feeling misplaced,” he stated. “You are feeling a gap. And I simply desire a change in who makes the selections and for folks to take accountability.”

Correction: A earlier model of this story listed the flawed age for Luis’ brother Santos.

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, masking Denver Public Faculties. Contact Melanie at

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