Saturday, the City of Dallas will dedicate a statue to Santos Rodriguez in Pike Park.
In 1973, the 12-year-old was shot and killed by a Dallas police officer who accused the teenager of stealing $8 from a vending machine.
The official dedication is set for at 10 a.m. at the Santos Rodriguez Recreation Center on Harry Hines Boulevard.
“The idea with the piece, as tragic as it is, is to hopefully be a symbol of hope,” artist Seth Vandable said. “And maybe when people come and visit the sculpture, they can reflect on it and kind of think for themselves, 'How can I do better? What can I personally do to adjust my views or care more about people?'”
Vandable said Santos’ mother has seen the statue and was able to be a part of its creation.
“She even put her thumbprint in his palm, which was just a huge moment for us and I think for everyone involved because it was kind of her stamp of approval and it’s a beautiful thought,” Vandable said. “She will always be part of this piece and the family will always to part of this piece.”
“It doesn’t fix anything and there is a long way to go, but hopefully it sends the message to the family that – yes, they are not forgotten and that we do care,” Vandable added.