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JUSTICE FOR SANCHEZ: Led by National Action Network (NAN) West Coast leader K.W. Tullos (Center) and The Rev. Shane B. Scott (to his right) of Macedonia Baptist Church of Watts rallied behind the husband (front) of 39-year old store clerk Martha Sanchez who was murdered by a Black suspect last week. (Kenneth D. Miller for Sentinel)
African American community leaders were joined by the Los Angeles Police Department in a boisterous plea for justice for slain store clerk Maria Sanchez on Friday September 20 at LAPD's 77th Street Division station
Led by National Action Network (NAN) West Coast leader K.W. Tullos and The Rev. Shane B. Scott of Macedonia Baptist Church of Watts, four other local peace activist organizations were joined by more than 200 local citizens who demanded the capture and conviction of the Black suspect accused of killing Sanchez. Sanchez was 39-years old.
“We really need to revisit the gun control issue. This is not just a matter of Black and Brown, it’s a matter of the human race,” decried Rev. Scott.
The LAPD announced a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the unknown Black suspect who walked into Happy Bargain 99 Cent Store at 7421 South Broadway on Sept. 17 and robbed the store and shot Sanchez to death.
“I have not seen this equal of outrage from the African American and Hispanic community in my more than 18 years on the force,” said LAPD Detective Eric Crosson who’s handling the case.
In addition to both Revs. Tullos and Scott, Black leaders such as Gerald Thompson, (Pathways to the Future), Melvin Snell (L.A. of Humanity Foundation), Paulette Gibson (Compton NAACP) and Vickie Lindsay (Project Cry No More) were represented.
“The reality of the situation is that we share many of the same communities,” said Rev. Tullos. “Subsequently what hurts or pain Hispanics also hurts and pains African Americans.”
Rev. Scott added that it is not unusual for Blacks to come out and support their Brown neighbors.
“This is not unusual in any way whatsoever for us as African Americans to rally behind a family in crisis, regardless of the color. We have demonstrated throughout our lives that we are a caring culture of people who want what is right for all of human kind,” Rev. Scott added.
The family of Sanchez, including her husband and four children stood alongside the Black leaders at the rally who marched to the location of murder from the 77th Street Station.
Local African American owned mortuary House of Winston pledged its services to the Sanchez family, which consisted of chapel, limousines and casket as a gesture of humanity for their loss, but the complementary gift was not accepted.
“I lost my daughter, although not to these tragic circumstances,” said House of Winston owner Mary Louis Winston. “I can’t imagine a family losing their mother to such a senseless tragedy. When I learned of their financial disability I offered the gesture.”
House of Winston Mortuary decided to donate $500 to the Sanchez family.
Community business owner Eva Alvarez of Eva’s Bail Bonds hosted a car wash on Sept. 22 from which all of the proceeds went to the Sanchez family.
“When I discovered that House of Winston was going to donate their services I cried. Even the mortuary where they (The Sanchez Family) decided to have her services said they had never heard of such a gift,” Alvarez told the Sentinel. “It was really unbelievable, but the family had already entered into a contract and made a deposit with another company.”
"She was my role model. She was my best friend. She was everything to me and now she's gone and it's not fair this man took her away from us," said Gabriella Sanchez, 18, one of the victim's four daughters.
Anyone with information regarding the robbery and murder of Martha Sanchez are urged to call Criminal gang/Homicide Division, Det. Crosson or John Ferreria at (213) 485-1383.