NORWALK— On July 9, Frederick Holder’s family, friends, along with Black Lives Matter activists, gathered to demand justice over the fatal shooting of Holder by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Holder, 28, was shot and killed on June 23 at the 605 Freeway entrance in Norwalk. Deputies claimed they saw that he was armed, but it turned out the item in his hand was merely a butane lighter.
His family was not informed until a week after the shooting. Deputies also say there is no body camera or dash camera footage of the shooting. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau is investigating and did not respond to inquiries about the case.
The evening started with family and friends, still grieving, sharing their stories and feelings for Frederick Holder.
After some somber and tearful moments, the family broke out into song along with activists. After, Frederick's mother called for protesters to be peaceful as vigil attendees prepared to march.
Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles led the gathering to the freeway off ramp at Alondra Boulevard & Piuma Avenue, the location where Frederick Holder was killed two and a half weeks prior.
Activists and loved ones held space and stopped traffic in order to create a candlelight vigil in honor of Holder.
The protest had some tense moments as some drivers and folks in the area were agitated by the stopped traffic.
Family and activists emphasized how sad it was that people were more bothered by a traffic jam than they were an unarmed Black man being fatally shot by deputies.
The gathering and candlelight vigil ended with a reading of Assata Shakur.
The Sheriff's Information Bureau has struggled to give the media a lot of information about this shooting. Some activists noted the unusual amount of secrecy.
Even though the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is supposed to release names of deputies who commit shootings, the names of the deputies involved in the killing of Frederick Holder have still not been revealed.
There is also serious concern over the lack of body camera footage from this incident. Out of the 165 deputies at Norwalk station, only 30 are not yet equipped with body cameras.
It just so happened that all of the deputies on the scene for the shooting of Frederick Holder were among the 30 who did not have body cameras yet. Additionally, the department informed us that dash cameras are not standard on Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department vehicles.
Despite allegedly taking steps for more accountability; the most recent fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man by the Sheriff's Department leaves the community with far more questions than answers.