This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)
Los Siete de la Raza (The Seven of the Hispanic Community) was the label given to seven young Latinos from the Mission District of San Francisco, California who were involved in a 1969 altercation with police that left one officer dead. The incident and subsequent trial became a cause célèbre of the Latin-American community and the New Left. All seven were acquitted.
The young men—Gary Lescallett, Rodolfo Antonio (Tony) Martinez, Mario Martinez, Jose Rios, Nelson Rodriguez, Danilo Melendez and George Lopez—were approached by plainclothes San Francisco Police Department officers Joe Brodnik and Paul McGoran while the former were moving a stereo or TV into a house at 429-433 Alvarado Street on May 1, 1969 at around 10:30 a.m. A struggle ensued and Brodnik was fatally shot with McGoran's gun. When police descended on the crime scene, they entered the house and assumed the suspects were hiding in the attic. As a police helicopter hovered overhead, they flooded the building with tear gas and sent a fire truck ladder up to the roof to facilitate the search while officer Brodnik's corpse lay untended on the sidewalk.
Three days later, six of the youths were arrested for Brodnik's murder, the attempted murder of McGoran, and burglary. The seventh, George Lopez, was never apprehended. They were defended by the activist lawyers Charles Garry and Richard Hodge, lauded by left entities like Ramparts magazine. The young Latinos included four Salvadorans, one Nicaraguan, and one Honduran, some of whom had been involved in the youth group the Mission Rebels (founded in 1965); and later in pan-Latino organizations such as COBRA (Confederation of Brown Race for Action) at the College of San Mateo, and the Brown Berets.
The prosecution maintained that one of the youths wrested McGoran's gun from him and shot Brodnik. Officer McGoran testified that they approached the youths and lined them up, then he struck one in the face and was jumped by "more than one assailant." The last thing he remembered hearing was Brodnik shouting, "Look out Paul, he's got your gun." The defense said McGoran pulled his gun and shot Brodnik during the struggle, and brought forth witnesses to testify to his and Brodnik's excessive use of force in previous incidents. McGoran denied drawing his gun. The defense tried to paint McGoran as a racist and alcoholic who tended to draw his gun during arrests. His estranged wife testified that her husband carried marijuana and other drugs on that he planted on suspects to ensure their convictions. All seven defendants were acquitted.
The "Los Siete" Defense Committee, housed near 24th and South Van Ness, raised support for the seven Mission District youths and obtained assistance from the Black Panther Party. The La Raza Information Center began operating in the summer of 1970 in the vacant storefront next to "Los Siete". It ran many programs, including Centro de Salud, a free breakfast program, a community newspaper, and its main program, the "Los Siete" Defense Committee.
- Heins, Marjorie (March 1971). "Los Siete de la Raza" (PDF). Ramparts.
- "6 Cleared in Death of Coast Policeman". The New York Times. November 8, 1970.
- "Los Siete Trial Faces Still Another Delay". The Palm Beach Post. June 18, 1970.
- Caldwell, Earl (October 11, 1970). "Coast Radicals Rally Behind 6 Latin Youths on Trial in Slaying of Policeman". The New York Times.
- "2 Los Siete Youths Face Drug Charges". The Modesto Bee. December 8, 1970.
- Heins, Marjorie. Strictly Ghetto Property: The Story of Los Siete de la Raza (Berkeley: Ramparts, 1972). ISBN 978-0-87867-010-9
- Ferreira, Jason. Venceremos!: Los Siete de La Raza and Third World Radicalism in San Francisco, 1969-1975. Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
-  Los Siete de La Raza film