My name is Mary L. Sheldon, I live in San Diego, CA and I perform national and local advocacy and outreach with mentally ill, homeless and disabled people and their families. A fellow outreach provider and long time friend of my family, Laura Dominguez, is in need of legal representation for her youngest 3 children. Please read on for their story.
Know that any amount helps and all donations will be provided, in full, to the Dominguez family immediately upon availability. Laura and/or Jesse Dominguez are the sole beneficiary of this account and will withdraw funds directly from this campaign. They will use these funds to pay an attorney to represent their children. All funds in excess of legal fees, travel and expenses incurred by this situation, will be provided directly to the family and devoted to the children's education and welfare. Please understand these are good kids, whom have been raised to rise above the typical, overcome obsticles and are being influenced to process this situation as a learning and growth experience. They are, at this time, very afraid and may need psychological assistance outside of personal support.
In an impressive show of unity after the recent school shooting, children across our nation planned walk outs at their schools to protest gun violence and to bring awareness to the utter fear our children live with as they receive an education in America.
The Dominguez kids, raised in Sacramento, have been raised with awareness of all social causes and have been provided with a solid education on their rights, balanced with a keen focus on respect of the laws, as they exercize their right to freedom of speech.
Laura's children moved to Stockton several years ago, and their family provided care for their ailing grandfather, whom was dying from cancer.
Living in Stockton has been a rollercoaster ride for these children. They have come through the rough start of both greiving the slow death of a family member, as well as the litany of challenges which all teens contend with in a city like Stockton, which is well known for violent crimes.
Alexia, Michael and Gabriel have a strong sense of family and have overcome threats of gang violence, anorexia, severe anxiety and their greif. They focus on sports, providing sound advice to friends whom succomb to the pressures of their peers to use drugs and engage in less than legal behaviors and they always cling to one another when the burden of rising above becomes heavy.
On February 23, 2018, I was made aware of the chaos near Stagg Highschool, where all 3 children attend, during a national walkout. As the school announced the children may go home or return to class, Alexia, Michael and Gabriel gathered with friends intending to walk home.
The 3 children did not have awareness of why, however, an officer ran up to Alexia, grabbing her hair and pulling her away from the group. Michael and Gabriel, surprised by this sudden escalation, hugged their older sister.
A few children, all whom had peacefully protested, gathered around the scuffle in confusion. It has been pointed out that Alexia, specifically, is well known for deescalating friends and being a good influence.
All that these 3 children were aware of was that a police officer arrived, plucked Alexia from the crowd and Michael and Gabriel wrapped their arms around their sister in efforts to protect her. Adding to the escalation and confusion, a man ran up, slapping and hitting all of the children. Alexia, Michael and Gabriel, acutely aware of the utter lack of respect for life and safety they have grown to know living in Stockton, struggled only to hug to protect one another.
All 3 of these children have gone to great lengths to avoid the many dangers this community endures. Community and police shootings are commonplace, beatings are a regular threat and occurence and these 3 kids did what their parents taught them, they clung to one another hoping they would not be severely injured or die after attempting to lean in and after spending a few hours encouraging friends away from the standard poor behavior they are exposed to daily.
All 3 children were charged with resisting arrest. Alone, this charge makes no sense as one must commit a crime to be arrested. One must also be informed of this prior to arrest for a resisting arrest charge to be valid.
None were made aware of "arrest" until after an officer attempted to pull them apart, slamming the youngest to the ground, wrestling with all 3, thus the resisting arrest charge is invalid.
2 of the children are charged with assault upon an officer regardless of photo evidence of a clear shoe print on the officer's uniform, which does not match any of the shoes these 3 children own.
Alexia was charged with attempting to take the officer's baton, although many videos clearly identify the person who did this as the officer sat on Alexia, whom remained calm enough to dial her mother's number and scream for help as she attempted to keep an arm around her brothers.
There was an 18 yr old arrested and the 3 children were cited. Their mother was given tickets for all 3 children and she took them to a parkinglot to comfort them as all 3 were notably shaking and absolutely traumatized.
These 3 children need a lawyer. They have been wrongfully convicted by the media for breaking windows on cars which happened as they were huddled and being manhandled by an officer whom confused them for the true culprits enciting violence. One of the people whom broke windows has come forward. The school has suspended all 3 Dominguez kids, stating their alleged crimes as validation and all 3 face being expelled from school. There is video and photos which prove these 3 children were INNOCENT of all the crimes they were charged with.
Unfortunately, violence and poor behavior is so rampant in Stockton, law enforcement and the schools appear to assume guilt regardless of evidence to the contrary. Legal representation is necessary and the Dominguez family can not afford this on their own.
All 3 children have good grades, frequently talk friends out of this type of poor behavior, are committed to sports and other extracurricular activities. Alexia is almost finished with highschool and wants to persue working with disabled children as she did through her highschool years.
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