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Vehicle in Los Angeles kills activist’s son, 22, injures 8-year-old

Late Tuesday evening, William Gude took to his Twitter account @FilmThePoliceLA – which is generally dedicated to the accountability of the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies in the region – in a sudden explosion of personal grief.

“My 22 year old son was shot,” he wrote. “I don’t think he did.”

Gude later confirmed the worst after receiving a call from the sobbing mother of her son and getting in touch with a social worker at the hospital: her son, Marcelis Gude, was dead.

Police said a gunman ended up where Marcelis was standing, on the sidewalk at the mouth of an alley near the intersection of East 102nd and San Pedro streets in south Los Angeles, and opened fire.

An 8-year-old girl riding a bicycle in the area was also struck and injured, police said. She was taken to an area hospital and was stable, police said.

“We have to do better,” tweeted LAPD chief Michel Moore of the shooting.

On Wednesday morning, William Gude, who works in finance and lives in the Hollywood area, said he is still trying to figure out what happened.

Over the past year, he has roamed the streets of Los Angeles documenting crime scenes and police work, filing complaints for what he viewed as police abuse – often against young men. black like her son – and trying to step in to help victims of crime whenever possible.

Now her son was the victim.

“One day I email Chief Moore about some complaints they missed, or I tweet about him being upset by the charges that were dropped. [against protesters] in Echo Park, and the next day he tweets about my son’s murder, ”Gude said in an interview with The Times.

“But you know what? He’s right. We have to do better,” Gude said. “I can’t blame the cops for this one.”

Police said on Wednesday they were still investigating the shooting and trying to better understand the circumstances. It often takes a while for detectives to connect the dots in shootings, develop motive theories, or identify suspects. Sometimes they never do.

Gude said based on information he received from his son’s friends, he believed his son had spoken to a girl and been mistaken for someone else by gang members who control the region.

Gude said her son’s friends were all in shock. “They don’t understand it because my son is not a gangbanger, the violent type,” he said.

Gangs have led to a surprising increase in shootings and homicides in Los Angeles since last year, especially in southern LA

Until the end of last month, homicides have increased by over 23% from last year and by 32% from 2019. Homicides that police specifically attribute to gangs have increased by 43% from last year. to last year. Filming has increased by over 65%.

Police supporters have cited violence as a reason to defend the Los Angeles Police Department against budget cuts and to increase the presence of police on the streets. Police critics have called for the LAPD’s budget to be cut in favor of social services which they believe will go further in reducing crime.

William Gude said his son’s shooting had made him deeply saddened by the state of affairs in Los Angeles and that he was considering the best way forward.

Marcelis Gude had lived in Maryland with her mother before moving to Southern California to live with her father and attend high school, graduating from Long Beach Polytechnic High School, her father said.

Most recently, he was doing odd jobs like reselling shoes on Instagram and working for family friends, his father said. In his last texts to his son, William Gude asked Marcelis if he wanted to do video editing for him, because Marcelis has always been creative in this direction.

William Gude said he was “so happy” with their final exchange that he was choking.

Marcelis often smiled, his father said. He was always calm, relaxed, reserved. He hardly ever cried when he was a baby. He never fought with other children, his siblings or his cousins. He “absolutely loved” California and LA

Gude’s activism filming the police really intensified after the George Floyd protests last year. He initially hid it from his son, but eventually Marcelis found out – and told his father he was proud of him.

Gude walked a lot and felt like he saw abuse by agents against whom no one was doing anything. So he started to file a complaint. He’s not anti-police, he said, but wants more justice for young black men in LA

Such justice must take many forms, he said. His son’s shooting was proof of that.

“There is a problem of excessive police. I think we are spending too much money on the police when we should be spending more on other things, ”said Gude. “At the same time, someone murdered my son. Do we think they shouldn’t be held responsible? “

Late Wednesday morning, Gude tweeted again, noting that the police chief’s tweeting about his son’s murder was “surreal and heartbreaking.”

But he wasn’t surprised. Even though her son was not involved, Gude said he would also tweet about the murder of an 8-year-old girl.

“If it wasn’t for my son, I would tweet the story saying, ‘WTF are we doing here?’,” He wrote. “I never thought it would be my child. We all think that way until it happens.

When someone suggested that the others come out and film the police while Gude was crying, so that he didn’t feel his mission would be neglected, he responded by saying that he intended to continue to be there. himself.

“Nothing stops,” he wrote. “The murder of my son will not end because of the political police, nor the need to hold them accountable. “

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