Updated: Aug 1
On July 29, 2022, local immigrant worker David Pelaez Chavez was shot and killed by Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy Michael Deitrick. David had been in the midst of a mental health crisis when deputies Dietrick and Powers had responded to a call reporting suspicious activity at a residence in Healdsburg. Following what would be nearly an hour long on-foot pursuit and search, concluding in commands being yelled in English by deputies at a frightened and exhausted David (a monolingual Spanish-speaker), Dietrick ultimately shot and killed him, now the second individual to die at the hands of an on-duty Dietrick.
Click the following link to read a more extensive article dissecting the unjust killing of David Pelaez Chavez and community’s calls for transparency written by a member of NBOP’s Police Accountability Task Force: 365 Days, No Justice: The Unjust Killing of David Pelaez Chavez by a SOCO Sheriff's Deputy
One year following this local tragedy, David’s family is still waiting to hear if District Attorney Carla Rodrigez will file charges in a criminal case, or if the lethal force used to take their loved one will be deemed “justified,” as was the last killing by Deputy Dietrick.
We now call on the community to stand in solidarity with David’s grieving family, and demand that DA Rodriguez hold Deputy Dietrick accountable.
Contact District Attorney Rodriguez
We invite the community to customize and utilize these pre-written email templates and phone scripts when contacting DA Rodriguez.
Dear District Attorney Rodriguez,
My name is [ your name ], I am a resident of [ where you live / your district ] and a member of [ your affiliation/church/organization ].
I am writing to you as a concerned member of this community, urging you to you to hold Deputy Michael Dietrick accountable for fatally shooting David Pelaez Chavez one year ago.
We believe you have the opportunity and the authority to hold Deputy Michael Dietrick accountable for the killing of David Pelaez Chavez. Your own office has a guideline of 90 days to review a case and make a decision, but it’s been over 200 days and David’s family has heard nothing from your office, nor the County.
This delay threatens simultaneous accountability efforts in our community, including the family’s wrongful death lawsuit, the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) investigation into any misconduct, and the Sheriff’s Internal Affairs investigation.
A badge is not a license to kill. Deputy Dietrick has killed two men as an acting officer – Joseph Louis Melvin as a Police Officer in Lake County, and David Pelaez Chavez, here in Sonoma County. As a [ your role in your community: parent, student, immigrant, person of faith ], I urge that you take action to uphold the spirit of the laws designed to protect Sonoma County residents from excessive force and unwarranted killing of civilians by police. We urge you to prosecute Deputy Dietrick and remove him from his duties.
Our community refuses to forget, or accept, the impact of state violence on our families and our larger community. We seek justice for David Pelaez Chavez, and in working for a just future where no family will face this kind of loss again.
[ Your Name ]