Little did teenager Devin Brown realize during his short life that he would wind up as another homicide statistic.
The 13-year-old Brown was shot multiple times on Feb. 6, 2005 after leading police on a high speed chase in a stolen red Toyota Camry.
In what became a high profile case in the city of Los Angeles, Brown was chased to the intersection of 83rd Street and Western Avenue when Officer Steven Garcia fired 10 shots at the Camry, striking the teen seven times.
Although the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that Garcia had violated department rules, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office decided that no criminal charges would be filed against Garcia.
The Brown family filed a wrongful death lawsuit and the Los Angeles City Council paid the family a $1.3 million settlement.
Brown’s death shed light on police procedures and conduct, causing the LAPD to change their policy regarding shooting at moving vehicles.
Outraged by the Brown shooting and the subsequent ruling by the district attorney’s office, community residents came together two days after Brown’s death to form the Community Call to Action and Accountability (CCAA), a grassroots organization whose mission is to deal with issues of police brutality, gang warfare and other socioeconomic ills affecting the community.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. in honor Brown’s memory, the organization plans to hold a “Third Year Commemoration for Devin Brown” to recognize all murder victims who have died violently in the streets of Los Angeles.
The CCAA, along with Project Cry No More and Project Cease Fire, will hold a march and vigil from 83rd Street and Western Avenue where Brown died to Bethel AME Church at 79th Street and Western Avenue.
A town hall meeting and commemoration ceremony will follow the march at Bethel at 7 p.m.
“There are untold numbers of others who have died in our community and have experienced great pain as a result of police actions or gang warfare,” said Akile, a board member of CCAA.
“We will be remembering Brown, Susie Pena, Matthew Powell and all the others who died violently at the hands of police. This is an opportunity to share, reflect and recommit ourselves to ending police brutality and gang violence. It’s a program for people who have suffered or lost others to violence in the streets,” he said.
For more information, call CCAA member Vicky Lindsey at (310) 438-0075.