Vigil and protest for man shot to death by South Whitehall Township police officer

- A vigil and protest was held Wednesday for a man shot to death by a South Whitehall Township police officer.

READ MORE: Man shot and killed by police in Lehigh County identified| Vigil organized for man shot by police in Lehigh County

"I lost my brother. A good friend and I will never get the answers. I will never get the answers to the questions I have. why?"

Edwardo Santiago wants justice for Joey his 44-year-old brother who a South Whitehall Township Police officer shot to death last Saturday.

"If he was white would they have went a different route?" said Santiago.  Family of Joseph Santos grieved before a community of people gathered across from Dorney Park in Allentown near where Joseph lost his life.  The organization Make the Road PA which works for power and justice in LatinX communities organized the vigil and protest.

"They murdered him. they took him away and we can't have that we need to speak for him," said Arlene Figueroa the mother of the victim’s daughter.  Family members spoke on behalf of the victim's three children ages 22, 18 and 8.

"That's all I want is justice for him and for his kids because they don’t have a father," cried Ruthy Santos the mother of one of the victim’s sons.

Investigators say witnesses reported seeing Santos damaging cars and interfering with traffic that night.  They say an officer confronted Santos and eventually shot him several times.

"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now," the crowd chanted.  Community leaders are also demanding to know why the officer used deadly force.

"We're not going to take this lying down and that we're going to fight until we can feel safe in our own communities," said Adanjesus Marin, director of Make Roads PA.

Protestors showed up across the street in support of police as the vigil continued.

"They took him away from his family. Why? Why?" cried Figueroa as the crowd chanted “Say his name. Joe Santos. Say his name. Joe Santos."

Family members say Santos had a clothing line in the town of Patterson where he lived called DREAM. It stands for Drugs ruin everything around me. Santos was also part of a recovery program helping others get their lives back on track.

The officer is on administrative leave right now.

The District Attorney will decide if the deadly shooting was justifiable after state police finish with the investigation.

 

 

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