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Jul 12, 2014 2:06 PM by Associated Press

Activists to protest decision in Andy Lopez death

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - Activists in Northern California are planning to protest a decision not to file criminal charges against a sheriff's deputy who fatally shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez after mistaking the teen's pellet gun for an assault rifle

The protesters plan to stage a rally in downtown Santa Rosa on Saturday to denounce the decision by Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch.

On Monday, Ravitch announced her office cleared Deputy Erick Gelhaus of any criminal responsibility for shooting Lopez on Oct. 22 as he walked near his home in Santa Rosa.

Ravitch says Gelhaus believed the pellet gun was an assault rifle and feared for his life.

Ravitch's report cited autopsy results showing that Lopez had smoked marijuana before the shooting, and a medical expert concluded the drug likely impaired the teen's judgment.

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