Justice For Luis D. Gongora Pat

TwinWalls - Marina Perez Wong and Elaine Chu, Clarion Alley, 2018, Current

In the Mission District, the Virgin of Guadalupe casts a vengeful eye from Clarion Alley across Valencia Street. The building that she is casting her wrath towards is the Mission Police Station whose officers murdered Luís Demetrio Góngora Pat, a 45-year-old man from the Mayan village of Teabo, in the Mexican province of Yucatán.

Luís Demetrio Góngora Pat was a resident at an encampment on 18th and Shotwell streets. To those in the neighborhood, Luís was known as the “homeless guy with the soccer ball”. But Luís had a home, one that was built with the remittances he sent back to Teabo, even after being evicted from his apartment and forced to reside on the streets. Luís never had the chance to live in the house he worked so hard to construct – a home that Góngora’s wife Fidelia and their three children will live in without their husband and father.

On 7 April 2016, Luís Góngora was shot by two police officers in an unjustified act of police brutality. Within 30 seconds of exiting their patrol vehicles, San Francisco Police Department’s officers unloaded four beanbag rounds and seven live rounds at Luís. The SFPD’s officers’ statement alleges that Luís lunged at them with a knife.

However, eight eyewitness statements, security video footage, images of Luís’ body presented to the press from the independent autopsy and the Medical Examiner’s Report contradict the officers’ account. According to forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts, Luís never threatened the officers. He did not hold a knife. He was facing away from the officers when they shot him with beanbag rounds. He was killed by a bullet to the head following a steep downwards trajectory as the officers continued to shoot him after Luís had fallen. (Learn more about the facts here: justice4Luis.org/Luiss-story/) continue reading …