SANTA ROSA – Jose Luis Godoy is without a doubt a polarizing figure. He became well known to people and the media involved in the case of Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old boy who was shot to death by a sheriff’s deputy when he was seen with what turned out to be a replica firearm in Santa Rosa. The shooting gained national noteriety and spurred multiple protest movements, events, marches, news stories, and protest/tribute pages on Facebook. Jose Luis “Louie” Godoy became known for being a loud voice at some of those events, and for getting arrested multiple times in clashes with law enforcement.
A fundraising page has been set up to support Godoy and provide financial support to his legal defense. The page reads “Louie Godoy is a leader of Andy’s Youth and the protest movement demanding Justice for Andy Lopez. To silence his voice, law enforcement have piled charges on him. HELP US KEEP HIM FREE!” The site reports raising $425.00 of a stated goal of $2000.00.
The problem is that Godoy has also been known to commit crimes that make him look like a common street thug. He was reportedly convicted of child endangerment in 2012, followed by arrests during the protests of suspected brandishing of a weapon (he claimed was a staple gun) and acts of vandalism. His supporters looked on him as a passionate leader who was being unfairly targeted by law enforcement. Others in the movement saw him as at best a distraction, and at worst a thug giving the cause a bad name and hurting the message of justice for Andy Lopez.
With all that as a background, Godoy was arrested for a January 16 burglary at a home improvement store. Godoy was identified as one of five people leaving the store with a blowtorch. When he was spotted the next week, and officers tried to contact him for questioning, he tried to turn the incident into one more media circus, as if he was being harassed for the Lopez movement incidents. He was arrested that day, January 24, for the probation violation and interfering with the investigation.
Godoy’s name surfaced once again this week under less than noble circumstances. According to a press release, during the day Thursday, April 24, the Santa Rosa Police received a report of a suspicious vehicle on West 8th Street with people who appeared to be using drugs. Officers responding found the car, which was filled with two men and 4 minors, as well as clouds of marijuana smoke. They detained the six occupants and inspected the car, finding marijuana, concentrated cannabis, or hash oil, and smoking paraphernalia.
They arrested the two men, who turned out to be none other than Jose Luis Godoy, 24, and another Santa Rosa man, 19-year-old Guillermo Ortiz. Godoy was booked into Sonoma County Jail on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and probation violations. Ortiz was cited and released to appear later on charges of possession of concentrated cannabis. The four children were released to either their parents of their schools.
CrimeVoice.com: Andy Lopez protester baffles many with arrest