Protesters show up at concert
By Jason Kosareff , Staff Writer
About 200 protesters crashed the weekly concert attended by 3,000 people in Tony Arceo Park on Wednesday to protest the officer-involved shooting of a young man last week.
Family, friends and activists protested the shooting of David Viera, 23, of El Monte on July 20 by two El Monte detectives.
Protesters carried signs demanding the officers, Lt. Santos Hernandez and Detective Ralph Batres, resign.
Police had a strong presence in the park and earlier in the day had assurances from protest leaders that the action would not become violent.
As the protesters entered the park, the thousands packed around the band shell suddenly hushed and the music stopped.
Mayor Ernie Gutierrez approached the family, microphone in hand, and told Viera's mother, Lydia Viera, "I want to offer my deepest condolences for the death of your son and I publicly want to offer that right now.'
Some of the protesters demanded an apology.
The Rev. Beto Villalobos, of Church of the Nativity in El Monte, said a prayer for Viera and his family.
"If ever there was a time for prayer, it is now,' Villalobos said.
The protesters filed out of the park quietly and marched back to Valley Boulevard and Garvey Avenue in the heart of Five Points, where the shooting occurred.
"It's not over,' said Jesus Ramirez, protest organizer. "This is the beginning.'