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The poLice killing of Anthony Nuñez

by Lisa Ganser

On July 4, 2016, 18-year-old Latino Loved One Anthony Nuñez was in a mental health crisis in his home in San José, CA. Anthony had shot himself, grazing his head with a bullet, was bleeding, and was in desperate need of medical attention. Two pleas for life-saving medical support to 911 were made by Anthony’s family. Even in the life-threatening heat of the moment and with language barriers of Spanish and english, at the 911 dispatcher’s request, the gun was separated from Anthony well before emergency response units arrived. Anthony was no threat to anyone but himself that day, and after shooting himself, was wounded and needed immediate medical assistance. Unfortunately, medical help never made it to Anthony. Instead it was the militarized poLice, who committed to Use of Force before even arriving to the scene, who were first to Anthony. They arrived in massive numbers and in tactical gear and placed snipers, keeping medics and Anthony’s family from him. Instead of providing care and assistance, SJPD officers Michael Santos and Anthony Vissuz violently shot and murdered Anthony Nuñez in his family’s home.

Anthony Nuñez is very loved. He was a handsome Mexican teenager who often got haircuts (he loved getting good haircuts). His Momma, Sandy Sanchez, jokes about how he would constantly look in any mirror he saw. If he could see his own reflection, Anthony would look. Anthony loved to dance, to joke around, he liked to rap, he had a lot of friends. Anthony’s family members, including his cousins Natalie and Jason, say that Anthony was human, he made mistakes, like all teenage boys. They say he was an amazing young person, he was working at a new job the day he died, that he was held close by a strong family. Anthony’s death has taken a very serious toll on his family members, especially his Mom, Sandy, who has raised him since his birth Mom died when Anthony was very young. This made Anthony like a brother and sister with his cousins, they were raised together and are his siblings. Sandy is disabled and the impact of grief, trauma, the complete lack of accountability and lies of the poLice and the way it is pushing her family apart is literally killing her.

Sandy says that her Son, Anthony, was never treated for any mental illness or psychiatric disability, and no one but Anthony knows what was going on for him that day he died. It is not uncommon for boys and men, especially men of color, to not address or receive care for their mental health. Anthony’s death has forever changed those who love him. Anthony’s death has caused a ripple effect within his immediate and extended family, causing disconnect and serious health problems. Depression got ahold of Anthony Nuñez on July 4, 2016, and ultimately, it is the San José poLice who violently stole his young life. Rest in Power Anthony Nuñez.

Please support Justice for Anthony Nuñez by showing up with his family and friends for kourt support at the civil trial at the San Jose, CA Federal Kourt House on June 17th, 2019 at 9am, that trial is expected to run a couple weeks, Mon-Thurs. The family is also fundraising to have a headstone for Anthony at his gravesite. #JusticeforAnthonyNuñez

Lisa Ganser is a white, Poor, Disabled, Queer, non binary, artist and organizer living in Olympia, WA on stolen Squaxin, Chehalis and Nisqually land. They are a sidewalk chalker, a copwatcher, a dog walker and the Daughter of a Momma named Sam. Lisa uses they/them pronouns, has survived suicide attempts and poLice terror, and sends deep love to those mourning Anthony’s death.

Selfie taken by Anthony Nuñez, provided by Jason Reyes

Anthony Nuñez name chalked in purple inside a heart, there are flowers and a candle burning in side the heart.

Anthony Nuñez Justice pins hang from rosary beads inside Jason Reyes’ Impala, there is an SV-Debug “Protect Your People” sticker on the dashboard. #AnthonyNuñez #protectyourpeople

Sandy Sanchez (right) at the gravesite of her Son, Anthony Nuñez. She is with Crystal Chaplin (left) who is burning sage from Standing Rock and singing a prayer. There are flowers and lights placed for Anthony, and colorful chalked hearts on the cement.

Sandy Sanchez wears all black and is standing, holding a cane, in front of her family’s home, where her Son, Anthony, was killed by poLice. There is a blue heart chalked at her feet with Anthony Nuñez’ name.

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