From [HERE] and [HERE] An attorney for the family of a 14-year-old Latino boy killed by a Los Angeles police officer released body camera footage Tuesday of the controversial 2016 encounter, arguing that the recordings show that the boy had tossed his gun and was unarmed when he was shot.
Humberto Guizar released two clips recorded by the body cameras of two officers who responded to a vandalism report behind a North Chicago Street apartment complex, where the teen, Jesse Romero, was with a group of boys tagging graffiti.
“We are releasing the videos because the city hasn’t done a thing about this,” said lawyer Humberto Guizar. “LAPD, after they killed Jesse, said he was a 25-year-old man. He was clearly underage, and they knew it. But to say the killing was nothing but a thug with a gun, the initial coverage would immediately dismiss any sympathy from the public. Even after the media corrected the original messaging, the damage had been done. Well it’s time people knew that Jesse’s killer LAPD officer Eden Medina gave Jesse no chance to live. In addition Medina had killed Omar Gonzalez only 12 days before killing Jesse. The two killings are eerily similar.”
The footage is short, but quickly shows the situation escalate. The killing occurred in broad daylight, sent the two LAPD officers and Jesse Romero running from an apartment building, to the busy street of Chavez Boulevard. It shows officer Eden Medina, gun already drawn, chase Romero, slow around a corner, shoot multiple times, and then advance at Romero while ordering him to, “Stop moving, get down! Get down,” a typical tactic to portray the victim as not cooperating.
Contradicting initial reports that Medina feared for his life, the videos clearly show Medina confident as he killed Romero. Medina gives chase to Romero, stops to peek around a corner and fires multiple shots, then yells at the already dying 14-year-old to “Get down, stop moving.” Romero is bleeding to death, on his back. The officers’ cameras show his legs shaking while clinging to life. No medical aid is administered, no calls for an ambulance are made. A gun is seen across a tall metal fence about 15 feet away and far from Romero’s reach. A witness approaches waving to show that Jesse was unarmed and had earlier thrown an old rusty gun over a tall metal fence. Romero bled to death in front of the unfazed officers who asked the unharmed Medina, “Are you okay?” Medina then pounds his chest with his fist as if to congratulate himself like a sports player and replies, “Yeah.” The footage also shows officers slam, face-down, Romero’s lifeless body on the cement sidewalk as they handcuff him.
“Why handcuff him and slam his poor, dead body?” asked Guizar. “He’s already dead!”
The recordings do not show Jesse getting shot. But his family's attorney argued that if Jesse was holding a gun when Medina peered around the corner, the officer would not have walked into the line of fire.
Because the gun was found 15 feet away, Jesse tossed it before he was shot. There's "no way" he could have thrown a gun over a fence while wounded, Guizar said. Jesse was struck twice: in his stomach and chest.
"The video shows that when the officer fired at the kid, he fired at him when he wasn't a threat," Guizar said. "He didn't have a gun in his hand, and he killed him."
The boy's parents filed a federal lawsuit against Medina and the city, alleging that police violated their son's civil rights, used excessive force and denied him timely medical care.
Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against the officer, saying in an 11-page memo that Medina reasonably believed the teenager posed a deadly threat and used "reasonable force" to defend himself and others.
Central to the controversy surrounding the shooting was whether Jesse fired at police or whether the gun went off after the teenager tossed it away. After examining and testing the revolver, prosecutors wrote, an investigator said the "most likely explanation of the evidence was that the revolver was fired, then dropped." In other words prosectors ignored eyewitness accounts.
According to a report from LAPD Chief Charlie Beck last year, one officer saw Jesse crouched on the sidewalk, his right arm extended toward them. Thinking Jesse was going to shoot, Medina fired his gun twice, hitting the teenager.
But a woman who said she saw the shooting told The Times that as Jesse ran, she saw him pull a gun from his basketball shorts and throw it toward a fence. The gun hit the fence and fell to the ground, she said, and she heard the weapon fire.
Three people who saw the shooting from a nearby car told investigators they saw Jesse throw a gun up and toward the fence, the prosecutors' memo said. The gun hit the top of the fence, fell on the sidewalk and "discharged upon impact with the ground," according to the memo.
Officer Eden Medina is known as “The Terminator” in the community of Boyle Heights due to his history of harassing, brutality, false arrests and record of killing young Chicano men.
After the incident, the LA Times reported Medina fatally shot a man in the same enclave of Boyle Heights just 12 days prior, calling into question the length time between the man’s death and Medina’s return to the field.
Carlos Montes, a member of Centro CSO said, “CSO has been fighting to win justice for Jesse since we contacted the family about this unjustified and terrible killing. We will continue fighting united with the family to win the justice that Jesse deserves.” Centro CSO will fight to fire and prosecute killer cop Eden Medina.
As Medina is still on the job, the group is releasing his image in the hopes that the public will remember who he is. If anyone has had an encounter with Medina, you are urged to contact Centro CSO.
The family has filed a lawsuit in federal court, and will continue to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the LAPD - lies that include the false version of Deputy Chief Arcos, who spoke at the LAPD official press conference defending the Medina killing of Jesse Romero. Arcos wants to now be chief of LAPD and is one of three who may be appointed after Chief Charlie Beck retires. Centro CSO will continue to say, “No to LAPD lies and cover-ups, and no to Arcos as chief of LAPD.”