Two years after the killing of Andres Guardado at the hands of Los Angeles Sheriff deputies, UNITE HERE Local 11 and allies continued the call for accountability, justice, and transparency.
Although an independent investigation was launched by the FBI into the killing of Andres in late 2020, allies say more needs to be done within the department to make sure this never happens again. Saying true transparency and accountability could be achieved through a charter amendment.
The union and allies also heard testimony from the Guardado family and other families impacted by violence within the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“It has nearly been two years but it feels like just yesterday our son was taken from us.” said Cristobal Guardado, father and UNITE HERE Local 11 member. “ It means the world to me knowing that my son and his memory is not being forgotten.”
On June 18, 2020 while working as a security guard in Gardena, LASD deputies shot Guardado five times in the back, as reported by two independent autopsies. The eighteen-year-old had gotten the job to help provide for his family after his father, a hotel worker and UNITE HERE Local 11 member, was laid off due to COVID-19.
Shortly after, UNITE HERE Local 11 and other allies called for Sheriff Alex Villanueva to resign. Thousands of people and groups like CLUE, ACLU SoCal, Check The Sheriff, and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles have joined the call. Most recently, voters across Los Angeles County overwhelmingly voted for new leadership to lead LASD, with Villanueva only receiving 31% of the vote so far, a runoff election is set to happen in November.
“Voters across Los Angeles County spoke up this past primary election. They want change. They want justice, accountability and transparency within the Sheriff’s department. As a union, we will do whatever it takes to make sure justice is served for the Guardado family and all families impacted by the recklessness of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.
”We are urging the Board of Supervisors to refer to voters a County Charter amendment to finally establish meaningful checks and balances of the sheriff and the department—no matter who the sheriff is,” said Pastor Cue, Clergy for Black Lives and Pastor of The Church Without Walls in Skid Row.