Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Richard Huerta As I Remember Him (Updated)

Richard Huerta as I remember him. The above photo was taken at a BBQ held in my backyard in San Jose in 1969. A year later on August 6, 1970, Richard Huerta was shot and killed in the line of duty. (Also in the photo Richard's friend Jane and on his left San Jose PD Sgt. Ray O'beirne. The blond lady in front is my aunt Lina Gemignani.
I am currently a recruit in the San Jose (Police) Academy. I had spoken with the training staff about doing a presentation for the Academy class. I was assigned to do a presentation on fallen Officer Richard E. Huerta.

As I was browsing the Internet, I noticed a blog that you had written about Richard Huerta. From what I understand, you were a close friend. I am contacting you to inquire if I could ask you some questions about him. I would like to put together an informative presentation and your help would be greatly appreciated.

Ivano said:

Thanks for contacting me. Yes, I was a very close friend of Richard Huerta. I have written a book "La Nostra Costa" (Our Coast); although the book is mostly about my parents and other Italians who settled on the North Coast of Santa Cruz , I do include a Chapter on my Police Experience at SJPD. Included in that Chapter is a recount of the night that Richard was killed (August 6, 1970) and the impact it had on me and my family. The book is available at the Morgan Hill Library and can be requested at any Santa Clara County Library Branch.

Also on this Blog you can access all the articles that I have written about Richard by typing in his name in the "search blog" space located at the top left hand corner. It is most interesting to read the comments to those articles made by his brother officers. (One of the articles includes a retelling of the night that Richard was killed by Dave Brickell, one of the Investigators at the scene.)

I live in Morgan Hill. Feel free to contact me at any time and we can arrange a meeting somewhere in this area.
Thanks for using the LNostra-Costa Blog as a part of your research on Officer Richard Huerta.
Thanks again for having me at your presentation at the San Jose Police Academy. It was great. You did an excellent job researching and then presenting the material. I learned somethings that I did not know about Richard. I sure enjoyed being there.

Maybe I was too forward in suggesting that you scan my phot0 album (of Richard's funeral ) and make a new one for the San Jose Police Library. I know that you are busy and might not have the time. On the other hand the album with a summary of your presentation would be a great edition for the library . If you have time, fine, if not maybe I can conjure something up. Let me know.

I still would like the summary of your presentation so I can put it on my blog. I think my readers would be very interested in it.

Thanks again and "Sempre Avanti".

Also attending Ramon's presentation was Officer Jaime Saldivar, one of Richard's cousins.
Some of you may recall that I mention Jaime in 'La Nostra Costa', endnote 95, page 337:
"In the July 2004, publication of The Vanguard, the official publication of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, Officer Jaime Saldivar writes a poignant and emotional article on attending Thompson's last parole hearing on April 21,2004. At that hearing, Thompson was denied parole. His next parole hearing is scheduled for the year 2008."
Jamie informed me that Emile Thompson, Richard Huerta's killer, has already had his parole hearing. Parole was once again denied. Next Parole Hearing, 2012. Thompson, who was in his early twenties at the time of the killing, will be in his sixties by 2012.


Ivano Franco Comelli said...

The young man who wrote the e-mail to me is named Ramon Sanchez. He is married and currently living in San Jose. I met with him last night at the San Jose Police Benevolent Assoc meeting in San Jose.

I was impressed with Ramon's professionalism as an interviewer.
Hopefully, I was able to help him a little with his project.

Ramon said that he will allow me to publish his project on the LNostra-Costa Blog when Completed.
I will be looking forward to that.
Sempre Avanti Ivno

Gino Campioni said...

Ciao, Ivano,

Talking with my friend, Frank Huerta a couple of weeks ago,
I mentioned your late friend Richard. Frank was very touched by your story of Richard. I doubt Frank has Internet, but I told him about your book, etc.

By the way, Huerta means 'garden', just like 'orto' in Italian.

Sempre avanti.

Migliori auguri, Gino

Canadian Furlan said...

Ivano. The Life and Memory of Richard Huerta will remain alive due to your humanatarian example of frienship and most importantly loyalty without conditions. This is something I can relate with. Valentina and Bronco were the corner stone of this example for both you and your brother John living it every day of their lives. I cannot express the value you have contributed to everyone around you. Tu sei un campione del Mondo !!
Ciao e Mandi and Sempre Avanti !!



ivano said...

Any chance I could get you to either email me a photo so that I may print it out, or send a copy of the photo to me?

Received the following e-mail from Jim Lucarotti, SJPD LT - Retired.

Ray Obeirne is a good friend of ours. He would like to see the photo I am sure, however he does not have a computer and I do not believe he has access to our little fishwrap.

Thanks much,

Jim Lucarotti

Nice to hear from you Jim. Sure thing. Actually, if you have the proper computer equipment you can copy it off the front page of the blagga. You have my permission to do so. Ivano

Ramon Sanchez said...

Mr. Ivan Comelli
It was a pleasure having you at the presentation. Several of the recruits commented on the presentation and were very attentive to the words you spoke. I will scan the photos as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of the week.

Please do not feel as if you came off the wrong way. I am honored to have done the presentation on Richard Huerta and I am more than happy to put together a compilation of photos and information.

Again, I thank you for all the help you gave me.

> Best regards,
> Ramon Sanchez

ivan said...

Thanks Ramon: I plan to attend the SJPBA meeting at the POA Hall on Wed the 17th. If that gives you adequate time to scan the photos, you could return the Album there. If you need more time, that's Ok too. Again thanks for a wonderful presentation. Also convey my thanks to your Training Officers for having me. And also to your fellow cadets. They all looked very sharp.
They made me feel young again. ivan

DUSTIN S. said...

Thank you again for attending my presentation (at the San Jose Police Academy) this morning and speaking to our class. It really meant a lot to all of us! I really appreciate your attendace especially since it was so early in the morning. I loved to learn about Officer Huerta and all of your stories and blogs really made me feel like I knew him. He must have been a really great friend and I again thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts!

Dustin S. SJPD