South Central, Los Angeles– 15-year-old Anthony “AJ” Weber was shot 16 times by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officers Feb. 4 2018, in front of his mother’s apartment complex.
“This should be the headlines of the NFL. We should have a moment of silence at every Super Bowl for AJ, because he lost his life, while watching the super bowl game,” his brother said at the vigil Saturday afternoon.
Members of Weber’s family, along with community organizers and his friends gathered in front of the apartment complex where he was gunned down by police last year.
A woman who lives at the complex relayed she met AJ only a few times but shared words of pain and disappointment over what occurred and how police threatened Weber’s friends from rendering aid to him.
“His last words were, ‘someone please help me.’ These kids will be traumatized by what happened.”
She held up a board that was outlined with various building models. It was a mapped out plan for an art institute in Weber’s memory, to honor his name and make sure that his life was not ended in vain.
She promised that she would go to her grave in attempts to ensure the AJ Weber Art Institute becomes a reality for the youth of South Central.
Last year, Weber’s family sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s over excessive force in his death.
“In the three months since the shooting, attorneys for the parents and 1-year-old daughter of Anthony Weber said the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has not released additional information about the incident, including the 911 tapes, dispatch recordings or the identities of the deputies. Sheriff’s officials have placed the results of an autopsy on hold, blocking the coroner’s office from releasing information” (Los Angeles Times).
After gathering in front of the apartment complex, the scheduled march to the sheriff’s office turned into a carpool due to the rain. People gathered first outside, then inside shouting demands and relaying feelings of anger and frustration over another youth killed at the hands of police.
Police did not come into the lobby or engage with protestors. They were hosting a group of young, Black girls who stood at the door and windows watching the protestors from inside.