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By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A woman whose brother was fatally shot during last summer's unrest in suburban Chicago filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging that two paramedics allowed a photo to be taken of the dying man, and that a retired fire department lieutenant posted it on Facebook along with a disparaging caption.

In the lawsuit, Adriana Cazares contends that her brother, Victor Cazares Jr., was shot by an unknown gunman on June 1 after going to a grocery store in the town of Cicero. She said he went there to “discourage any criminal conduct” amid widespread unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

The lawsuit contends that two paramedics, Justin Zheng and Gene Lazcano either took the photograph or allowed someone else to take it within minutes of their arrival at the scene of the shooting. It allegedly showed the 27-year-old Cazares on a stretcher, his head wrapped in what appears to be blood-drenched gauze, and was sent to Frank R. Rand, a retired Cicero Fire Department lieutenant.

Rand, according to the lawsuit, quickly posted it to a Facebook group of 8,000 people who grew up in Cicero, along with a caption that read, “Come to Cicero to loot and break s(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)! Get a free body bag! Nice head shot!”

“Defendants Zheng, Lazcano and Rand, through their actions in conspiring and in taking and publishing the photograph, including falsely depicting Victor Cazares as a looter...” the lawsuit alleges.

Further, the lawsuit contends that after the photograph and caption were published, Cazares' family was "subjected to offensive comments and taunts, as were others associated with them.”

The photograph does not appear in Rand's Facebook page. An attorney for Adriana Cazares, Michael Kanovitz, said he believes Rand took it down shortly after he posted it. But Kanovitz provided it to The Associated Press.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Opponents Of Livermore Solar Power Project Trheaten Lawsuit

LIVERMORE (BCN) — Opponents of a solar project in the North Livermore Valley are ready to sue if the county approves the project Thursday morning.

Alameda County supervisors will meet at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at 1221 Oak St. to consider the Aramis Renewable Energy Project which will generate up to 100 megawatts of power and store energy in five acres of batteries.

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Solar panels will sit on about 350 acres in an agricultural district located partly at 1815 Manning Road and 4400 North Livermore Ave. and on two other parcels nearby.

“If they (supervisors) do approve it, we are prepared to sue,” said Chris O’Brien with Save North Livermore Valley.

O’Brien said his group believes approval of the project will violate California zoning laws and the law under voter-approved Measure D, which is meant in part to protect agricultural land and prevent urban sprawl.

In a letter Wednesday to the supervisors, Robert Girard and Richard Schneider, the authors of Measure D, said the project “is inconsistent with the provisions” of the measure.

Measure D amended elements of the county’s General Plan and actions opposed to Measure D must be approved by voters, O’Brien said.

He said the land on which the solar project will be built is agricultural land where about 100 head of cattle graze.
Hay is also grown on the land slated for the project.

O’Brien said his group is not opposed to solar energy, but does oppose the process used to move the project toward construction.
For about 10 years, county officials have started and stopped preparing a solar development policy. They most recently started again in 2019 and have not completed it.

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“In our view it’s just inappropriate planning,” O’Brien said of the Aramis project.

He said Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have developed policies to determine the best place for solar.

In a letter to the director of the Alameda County Community Development Agency, dated for the day of the vote, City of Livermore officials argued for the development and adoption of solar policies in the county.

Intersect Power, which is the company behind the project, said the project will provide 400 living wage, union jobs and will annually generate enough power for 25,000 homes.

Like Save North Livermore Valley, Friends of Livermore and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards are opposed to the project.

Intersect Power did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. Newly elected Supervisor David Haubert, whose district includes the project area, was unavailable to comment Wednesday afternoon.


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