‘Cop killed Cesar Rodriguez for not paying $1.75 fare’

By Laura Garza
September 21, 2020
Militant/Laura Garza

LONG BEACH, Calif. — “We’re here to continue fighting and telling his story because it’s unfair he was killed for $1.75,” Evelia Granados, the 25-year-old sister of Cesar Rodriguez, told 75 protesters at the police station here on the third anniversary of her brother’s death Aug. 29. “We want justice, we want for that police officer to be charged with murder.” Granados, left, spoke along with Rodriguez’s mother, Rosa Moreno, at mic.

Rodriguez, 23, was stopped in 2017 at a Metro station for not paying a $1.75 fare. In a scuffle with one of the cops caught on video, he ended up with part of his body hanging off the platform when a train pulled into the station, pinning him between the platform and the train. He died shortly after.

“We weren’t notified until four days after he died. They didn’t speak to us until the press called them after some protests. They told us he fled and fell and was pinned,” Granados said. But the video shows that isn’t true.

Two days before the protest the Los Angeles district attorney‘s office exonerated the cops involved. They said officer Martin Ron “used reasonable force,” in spite of the fact that his actions led to Rodriguez’s death.

Protests have also taken place over the last two weeks to demand charges against the cops who shot and killed Anthony McClain Aug. 15 in Pasadena. McClain was a passenger in a car pulled over for not having a license plate displayed in the front. The driver told the cops it had fallen off and showed it to them, but both he and McClain were ordered to get out of the car.

A video released by the cops shows McClain running from the scene, then being shot twice in the back by the cops, who claimed he reached for his waistband and threw down a gun. He was 32 and had three children.

Over the next two weeks dozens joined protests both in Pasadena and Los Angeles, demanding the cops face charges.

“I keep my faith by going to the protests, getting educated,” June Williams, a friend of McClain, told this Militant worker-correspondent. We were both visiting the memorial at the site where he was shot that’s maintained by his family, friends and community members.