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Video reveals LAPD lies in Romero killing

By Sol Márquez

Press conference on LAPD killing of  Jesse Romero.

Los Angeles, CA – A press conference was held in Boyle Heights, May 29, to release the body camera footage from two LAPD officers involved in the killing of 14-year-old Jesse Romero, a student at Mendez High School. The killing occurred on August 9, 2016. Romero’s parents, Teresa Dominguez and Jesus Romero, their lawyer Humberto Guizar, members of Centro CSO, Romero’s high school classmates, teachers and other families of loved ones killed by police were also present.

“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.”

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.

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!”

Romero’s mother, overcome with rage and emotion, was unable to say much more than, “I want justice for my son.”

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.

Plans are to continue pressuring LAPD to fire and jail killer cop Eden Medina, and to release the video footage from the killing of Omar Gonzalez. Medina is a trigger-happy killer, on the prowl to kill more Chicano and Black youth. 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.”

Centro CSO will be updating the public on the continued efforts. Join CSO meetings every 3rd Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin Library. If you wish to follow the case, stay connected here: call CSO at 323-943-2030 or email [email protected]

Eden Medina.

#LosAngelesCA #LosAngelesCACA #PoliceBrutality #PeoplesStruggles #Antiracism #policeKillings #JesseRomero