On Friday, September 28th family and friends of Rafael “Pito” Rivera gathered at Niagara Square to demand justice for his murder. Pito, a son, father brother and friend, was killed on September 12 by Officer Elnur Karadzhaev.
He was described as “ an amazing person who looked out for his family. He was a lover of learning and knowledge who touched many lives in this community.” His loss, supporters declared, will not go without justice.
Officer Elmur Karadzhaev took the life of a beloved community member. “I want justice for my nephew,” said a relative at the rally. “Three shots were too much!”
Another declared, “we are not about to let this get swept under the rug!” One protestor summed it up this way: “When they killed Pito, the police shot and killed all of us….”
India Walton, a community organizer for Open Buffalo stated in an op-ed piece in the Buffalo News: “Justice for Pito doesn’t just mean Officer Karadzhaev will be fired. It doesn’t just mean that District Attorney John Flynn will bring appropriate criminal charges against the perpetrator of this tragedy. Justice for Pito means that tragedies like this won’t happen in the first place. It means perhaps officers will think about who they must answer to before using force.”