The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 76/No. 36      October 8, 2012

(front page)
South San Francisco march
protests cop killing of teenager
Militant/Betsey Stone
Sept. 20 march in South San Francisco protests cop killing of 15-year-old Derrick Gaines.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 20—Seventy-five people participated in a march and rally here protesting the killing of 15-year-old Black youth Derrick Gaines by South San Francisco police officer Joshua Cabillo. Today would have been Gaines’ 16th birthday.

At around 9 p.m. on June 5, Gaines and a friend were stopped by Cabillo as they walked across the lot of a local Arco gas station. At some point Gaines tried to run away. Cabillo chased him and knocked him to the ground by hitting him on the back of his head with his service revolver. As Gaines fell, an inoperable pistol that he was carrying slid several feet away from his body. While standing on top of Gaines, Cabillo killed him with a single shot to the neck.

On Aug. 29, San Mateo district attorney Stephen Wagstaffe issued a report completely exonerating Cabillo.

Noor Gheith, a 17-year-old student at City College in San Francisco whose family came from Palestine, told the Militant, “Derrick was positive and smart. He made everybody happy.”

Gheith and several other marchers said that they had been harassed by cops from the South San Francisco Police Department, in particular Cabillo. “Cabillo arrested me for underage smoking,” Gheith said. “He picked me up after he saw me walking down the street smoking a cigarette.”

During the rally, Rosa Dubon, a resident here, described her family’s run-ins with the cops and Officer Cabillo. At one point, she said, Cabillo forced his way into her 23-year-old daughter’s apartment, despite a court order denying police access, and put his “gun to her head” demanding to know the whereabouts of her boyfriend.

The rally was chaired by Dolores Piper, Derrick’s great aunt. Other speakers included Rachel Guido Red, Derrick’s mother; Sid Patel from the International Socialist Organization; Lynn Tu, Gaines’ eighth-grade social studies teacher; Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, who was killed by the BART police in January 2009; Willie Cotton from the Socialist Workers Party; Georgean Farrar, a neighbor and friend of the family; and attorney John Burris.
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