TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - About 100 people came together on Thursday, June 25, to honor the life of Carlos “Adrian” Ingram-Lopez, a 27-year-old Tucson man who died in police custody on April 21.
A vigil was held at El Tiradito Wishing Shrine; a place where the community has gathered for more than 20 years to pray for migrants who have lost their lives in the desert, as well locals who have passed on.
Several family members of Ingram-Lopez attended the event, put on by the Tucson Black Lives Matter group.
An aunt of Ingram-Lopez spoke out about the way her nephew has been portrayed by law enforcement.
“Two months ago, Tucson Police Department killed our son, our grandson, our nephew, our brother, and a father to a 2-year-old girl,” Diana Chuffe said. ”[Wednesday], they killed him all over again by smearing him in the media.”
On Wednesday, TPD released body-cam video of the moments leading up to Ingram-Lopez’ death.
KOLD News 13 spoke with Eduardo Coronado, a close friend of the family who is also their attorney. He told us the video was shown to his clients for the first time just hours before it was made public.
“It was very hard to watch,” Coronado said. “[Ingram-Lopez'] mother could not get herself to watch it. It was heartbreaking. Something that struck me is the very beginning of the video; the very first shot you see of Adrian is the expression of fear and immediately saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ and immediately getting on his knees. There was no sign Adrian was posing any type of risk to the police. We counted three times Adrian said, ‘I can’t breathe.’ No one deserves to die in fear, no matter what mistake they make.”
During the vigil, Chuffe talked about how difficult her nephew’s death has been, especially during the fallout of what happened to George Floyd given that Ingram-Lopez died in police custody one month prior. The family has been grieving in silence until now.
“Our pain is great, and we are demanding answers from the police department,” Chuffe said. “My sister deserves it; our whole family deserves it. The easy way out for police Chief [Chris] Magnus was to resign. Immediately, we contacted our mayor to tell her that was not the wish or the request of the family. We want him to stay on and we want him to deal with the mess that is in the Tucson Police Department. It does us no good for him to walk away.”
Those who attended the emotional gathering stood in silence for 14 minutes, then yelled “Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez” 14 times. Ingram-Lopez was restrained for 14 minutes before he died.
The family ended the evening saying “Thank you” to those who showed up in support.
“Please don’t forget him and help us fight!” Chuffe said.
Coronado says the family is considering their legal options and are waiting for more reports on the case to be released.