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Girl’s death by stray police bullet raises questions

The attorneys and family of a teen killed during a police shooting in an LA store demand justice

The parents of a teenager who died while trying on outfits in a fitting room inadvertently pierced by a police bullet have called for full disclosure. Their attorney is calling for the LAPD to release all footage of the incident.

Things could have been done differently,” the grieving family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said, speaking at a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters on Tuesday. “Never should this 14-year-old little girl have ended up as collateral damage at a shopping plaza.” A high-profile civil rights lawyer specializing in wrongful death suits, including that of George Floyd, Crump has offered to represent the Orellana-Peraltas, whose daughter, Valentina, died on December 23.

Her family moved to Los Angeles from Chile in search of a better life,” he tweeted on Tuesday, sharing poignant images of the young victim.

This week, the LAPD released a half-hour-long compilation of evidence relating to the incident, including police body-worn camera videos and radio transmissions, CCTV footage, and recordings of 911 calls. However, the family’s attorneys want more to be made public. “We want all the documentation. Complete transparency. Not just a perspective that tries to justify things. We want everything released,” Crump said. An independent inquiry by the California attorney general’s office has also been opened.

Supporters and activists gathered near the LAPD headquarters on Tuesday, calling for action on the police’s alleged mishandling of the incident at a store that had been full of holiday shoppers.

Valentina had been trying on clothes in the Burlington store in North Hollywood in the company of her mother, when she was shot by police bullets aimed at a violent assailant. Officers had been responding to an emergency call from store security in which they were informed that an armed suspect was hitting customers with what was later determined to be a bike lock. An officer opened fire, apparently releasing three rounds from his rifle, and one of the bullets skipped off the floor and pierced the wall of the fitting room, hitting the teenager in the chest. She died at the scene. The suspect, later identified as Daniel Elena Lopez, 24, was also pronounced dead.

Cop shoots suspect, accidentally kills 14yo girl

The suspect did not have a gun, and his hands were apparently visible at the moment he was shot. The officer in question fired immediately on confronting the assailant between two aisles, with no commands to come out with his hands up or to drop his weapon having apparently been issued.

We want justice for our daughter. Valentina’s life mattered,” her father said at the press conference, while her mother described the horrifying experience of “hugging each other… and praying for peace, praying for safety, praying for everybody” just moments before the fatal shooting, after they heard a commotion outside. “She died in my arms and there was nothing I could do,” she said, adding that when police finally found them, they ushered her out and “just left [Valentina] laying there alone.”

https://ift.tt/2hpq7SJ 29, 2021 at 08:24PM
from RT – Daily news

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