As the anniversary of his death approaches, the family of Angel Ramos is organizing a coat drive to honor the young man who was fatally shot nearly seven years ago by a Vallejo police officer. 

The family is now collecting winter clothing and other goods to distribute at the third annual Community Giveback event scheduled for next Saturday afternoon in Vallejo, said Alicia Saddler, Ramos’ sister. 

The event commemorates her 21-year-old brother, who often stopped to talk with members of the unhoused population in Vallejo, Saddler said. She said some of those who remembered his kindness even attended his funeral.  

“We basically do it because that’s the type of person that my brother was,” she said. “He was always there for people and wanting to help people. He was so friendly.” 

The family is collecting winter attire, including coats, jackets, and sleeping bags, and assembling bags with snacks and hygiene products for distribution to the community. 

The organizers have collected plenty of children’s clothing already, Saddler said, but still lack adult coats and jackets, especially in large or extra-large sizes. 

People can drop off donations during business hours this week at the office of Vallejo civil rights attorney Melissa Nold, located at 521 Georgia Street. The last day to donate is Friday, Jan. 26.

The giveaway event will take place at noon on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the same location, with family members distributing the donated items and passing out plates of food to the community, Saddler said. 

“We greatly appreciate whatever help is given,” she said. 

Ramos, 21, was fatally shot Jan. 23, 2017, by Vallejo police officer Zachary Jacobsen. The killing is among 30 fatal police shootings in the small Bay Area city north of San Francisco since 2000, Open Vallejo research shows. 

In 2022, the city of Vallejo settled a civil rights lawsuit brought by Ramos’ family for $2.8 million, according to public records. 

But the pain of losing him never goes away, Saddler said. Her brother was funny and goofy, she said, always dancing and making music — a family man who spent time with his loved ones, especially around the holidays. 

“Just the little things that you take for granted, I wish that I could have back more than anything,” she said.

This article has been updated to reflect that the deadline to donate items has been extended from Jan. 19 to Jan. 26, 2024.

Anna Bauman is an investigative reporter with Open Vallejo.