One year anniversary of Santa Cruz police shootings

February 24, 2014

This week marks one year ago that Santa Cruz police officers Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler were fatally shot on Branciforte when they went to interview a suspect.

The Good Times took a look back at the incident that shook the community.

City staff plans to organize a one-year anniversary memorial event for the community to honor the lives of the officers on the date of their deaths, according to Assistant to the City Manager Scott Collins. On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the public is invited to come together at City Hall (809 Center St., Santa Cruz) to honor and remember the lives of the officers and pay their respects. The time is tentatively set for 6 to 7 p.m. At the police department, a fountain, stone wall and garden—currently under construction and nearing completion—will be dedicated to commemorate Baker and Butler the following day, Wednesday, Feb. 26. 

In the days and weeks following the tragedy, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol took over the SCPD’s local watch for about a week so that the department could take the time to grieve and regroup, while the community itself began an outpouring of support for their police officers. Those demonstrations of unity with the SCPD and compassion for the fallen officers—whose deaths, in many ways, have reminded people how much risk police take while on duty every day—have continued, illustrating perhaps one of the most apparent ways that Santa Cruz has been influenced by the incident. 

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