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Los Angeles: Police Kill 14-Year-Old Middle Schooler

HeadlineAug 11, 2016

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, community members held a vigil to mourn the death of 14-year-old Mexican-American Jesse Romero, who was killed by police Wednesday. Police say they were responding to a call about teenagers writing graffiti in the L.A. neighborhood of Boyle Heights. Police say they shot and killed Romero after he ran away from police and fired a gun. But witnesses contradict the police’s claim. One woman told the Los Angeles Times she saw Romero toss a handgun toward a fence while he was running away from the police. She says the gun went off when it hit the ground. She says she then heard two gunshots, saw Romero fall to the ground, and then watched the police handcuff him. Police say the officers were wearing body cameras, but the video has not yet been released. This is Romero’s friend, Yohana Miranda.

Yohana Miranda: “Why would you shoot him, if he didn’t even point at you guys? He didn’t do nothing. Like, aren’t you guys trained to do your job? Why? Shouldn’t you guys tackle him down if he’s not shooting you guys? He didn’t point a gun at them. Why would he shoot? This kid was only 14 years old.”

Romero was a student at Hollenbeck Middle School. He would have turned 15 on August 24.

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