Friday, February 6, 2015

Shot 18 Times

Denver police officers shot and killed 17-year old Latina Jessie Hernandez as she drove a car full of her teenage friends. They shot her 18 times, then cuffed her hands behind her back and roughly dragged her limp body into the street, where she died.

Denver Police Department has a problem — shooting at a moving vehicle is against department policy, but their officers have done so four times in the last seven months, killing two people and injuring three.

But it doesn't stop there. Denver Police Department has a history of excessive force and bullying tactics that have left many dead or injured, and that have cost the city of Denver millions of dollars in legal settlements.

According to Denver police, Jessie was driving a stolen car at the time, and that Jessie didn't stop the car when they told her to. But that doesn't excuse shooting at a car full of teen girls.

It seems clear that Denver Police Department has exhibited a pattern of violating people's civil rights. By increasing national scrutiny on Denver's history of police violence, your petition signature can encourage the Department of Justice to step in and investigate Jessie's death.

A federal investigation is important — if the Justice Department discovers a pattern or practice of civil rights violations, it has the authority to take over the Denver Police Department and enforce important reforms that will protect the civil rights of all citizens.

Will you call on Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a civil rights investigation of Denver Police Department and Jessie Hernandez's shooting death?

Jessie Hernandez's mother has also called for a federal investigation. In a statement, she said, "We are aware of the DPD’s history of conducting lengthy and fruitless investigations that serve only to exonerate its officers. We are dismayed that the DPD has already defended the actions of the officers and blamed our daughter for her own death, even while admitting they have very little information."

Police and their apologists have tried to take the heat off of themselves by focusing on Jessie's own criminal background. But it seems clear to Jessie's friends, family, and community that she should not be dead right now.

Thanks and ¡Adelante!

Mariana, Arturo, Erica, Erick, Luis, and the team

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