Remembering the life of Paul Rea and how we can support families devasted by LASD violence.

By Rocío Oretga, LA Progressive

Paul David Rea, 18, had his whole life ahead of him. Paul liked to be playful with his family, make funny videos with his friends, and was an adventurer. Paul was full of life and didn’t take a day for granted. If you ask his grandmother, Julie Martinez, how she would describe Paul, she will say he was a family man, and was always willing to help his friends and people he loved the most.

Police guard as a protest outside a Sheriff's Station to demand prosecution of the deputies who were involved in the shooting deaths

Tragically, his life was cut short on June 27, 2019, when Hector Saavedra, a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy from the East L.A. station, shot Paul multiple times. Paul’s life was stolen instantly. Paul was simply a passenger in a car when he and his friend were stopped during a traffic stop.

Julie says that Paul was a victim of violence by the L.A. Sheriff’s Department (LASD). “My grandson, Paul, was shot and murdered by a member of a gang called Banditos. This gang operates inside the LASD, specifically at the East L.A. station. My grandson was only eighteen-years-old. They stopped him and killed him on the street where he grew up,” says Julie.

Julie’s family has lived in East L.A. for generations, and according to her, the children and young adults in her family and community are frequently harassed by LASD. The sheriff’s deputies have a reputation for being violent. This is what motivates Julie to take action and fight for justice. Julie has always been a human rights activist — especially for immigrants — but when it was her turn to seek justice for her grandson, she didn’t know it would be this difficult.

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