Santa Ana Councilmember, Jonathan Hernandez, remains in shock nearly a month after the sudden loss of his cousin, Brandon Lopez.
"I never thought in my wildest of dreams, of nightmares rather, that my family would experience such trauma," Hernandez said.
On Thursday, Hernandez said the wound left behind after Anaheim Police shot and killed Lopez affects his entire community. After organizing a vigil, the councilmember teamed up with his friend, artist and songwriter Aloe Blacc, to help the city of Santa Ana heal through a concert.
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"We want to create a moment where we are honoring the life of Brandon Lopez who was taken way too soon, and in our own way, protest the kind of misconduct that occurs in policing in some of our black and brown communities," Blacc said.
The deadly shooting happened on the night of Sept. 28 on the corner of Bristol Street and Santa Ana Boulevard.
Hernandez said the experience is common in low-income, Black and brown communities like Santa Ana and feeds the distrust of law enforcement.
According to a press release from the Anaheim Police Department, Lopez was wanted for armed robberies. Investigators said they saw Lopez driving a stolen vehicle in Santa Ana.
Officers went after him with the help of Santa Ana Police.
Both agencies stopped pursuing on the road "due to the suspect's dangerous driving."
The APD helicopter "continued to monitor the suspect's driving activity."
According to police, the car Lopez was driving became "disabled in a construction area on Santa Ana Boulevard, east of Bristol Street."
SAPD units responded, and after an hours-long standoff with Santa Ana Police, Anaheim PD SWAT stepped in and deployed tear gas.
Lopez exited the car and an officer-involved shooting ensued. He was then killed. Lopez leaves behind four children.
Anaheim PD did not issue a comment on Thursday as the Department of Justice continues its investigation.
Under California law, the DOJ's involvement is triggered when the suspect in an officer-involved shooting is unarmed.
"There are a number of significant discrepancies, major discrepancies, that occurred prior to them murdering him," Hernandez said.
The councilmember said he and his family are even more proactive now in their fight for justice, which he says starts with accountability for those who killed his cousin.
"We know it's not going to be the last case of police [or] officer-involved shootings where they murder someone, but we're going to do everything that we can to make sure that no one else has to go through this," Hernandez said.
For those still living through the pain, Blacc hopes fellowship in music will help with processing the grief.
"What brought me to this moment, really, is just the empathy and compassion I have for humanity, and I recognize what my voice can do, and so I accept the responsibility. I take it very seriously," Blacc said.
A mural honoring Lopez will be unveiled on the intersection where he was killed.
Roses from the Concrete, organized by L.A.-based Artivist Entertainment, is slated for Saturday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.