Denver Teen Shot Dead, Protest Ensues Demanding Justice

January 27, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A Denver teen shot to death has sparked a protest by close friends and family members. On Monday, seventeen-year-old Jessica “Jesse” Hernandez was shot several times by Denver police after she injured an officer with a stolen car. The death has many protesters gathered at the Denver District Attorney’s office.

Denver teen shot protest

A Denver teen shot by police has many protesters slamming the authorities. On Monday, a 17-year-old girl named Jessica “Jesse” Hernandez, was confronted by several police officers after they noticed that she was driving a stolen car with four other teenagers.

The teen failed to obey the police’s orders and drove the car towards them in an alley near 25th and Newport Street. The vehicle hit one officer in the leg, he was rushed to a nearby hospital and was released.

The police officers fired several shots at Hernandez and killed her on the scene. Denver’s medical examiner has confirmed that the teenager died of multiple gunshot wounds.

On Tuesday, friends and family members gathered at the Denver District Attorney’s office to demand justice for the teen. Some of the protesters chanted “Cowards shoot girls” and carried signs that read “Your badge is not a license to kill” and “Don’t shoot unarmed teens.”

Jose Castaneda, 16, the girl’s cousin, spoke to local media saying that they attended the same school. He went on to reveal that Miss Hernandez was outgoing, funny, sweet, harmless and got scared when police caught her in the stolen car prompting her to make a horrible mistake that was fatal.

He said Hernandez was not a threatening person, probably “panicked” when she saw police arrive on the scene and likely struck the officer by accident. He added:

“What was the reason for shooting my cousin? The cop shot my cousin because he wanted to.”

Denver Police Department Chief Robert White issued a statement on the matter that read:

“Over the last seven months, there have been four officer-involved shootings involving Denver police officers shooting at moving vehicles. Shootings involving moving vehicles pose unique potential safety risks to both officers and the community. Today, the Office of the Independent Monitor is launching an in-depth evaluation of this issue. This evaluation will assess the current state of the DPD’s policies, practices, and training on shooting at moving vehicles in comparison to national standards and best practices from other police departments in the United States. I look forward to collaborating with the DPD and the community, and reporting back on this effort.”

Both officers involved in the fatal shooting have been put on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.

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    Comments (3)

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    1. lynn says:

      Truly a tragedy HOWEVER: she and her friends were breaking the law (stolen vehicle and cruising) then hit the officer with the car(really) after they told them to get out. I would have done what I had to do to protect myself as well. Officers are humans as well and they are out to protect us, and when you break the law, expect to be punished. i know the officer didn’t want to use that kind of force, but hey if someone was trying to run me over; and the car was full of people, (especially not knowing if they were in a gang, or had guns as well) I would have done the same thing. The girl/kids were in the wrong, i support what the officer did. and if you can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, then you have an issue.

    2. Judy says:

      Its easy to tell that you are a cop

    3. Ronjinsan says:

      Yes…. they could have let her ride off and run down some innocent people I suppose, but then you would blame the poor cop anyway!


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