The family of a 14-year-old girl who was tragically shot by Los Angeles cops while buying Christmas clothes last Thursday is demanding that the inquiry be made transparent.
Valentina Orellana-Peralta was out shopping with her mother when they heard cries and ran to a dressing room, where she was shot by Los Angeles cops when an officer fired a weapon at a suspect, and a bullet punctured a wall, according to the family.
Last Thursday, the teen passed away in her mother’s arms inside a Burlington store in the North Hollywood neighbourhood of the San Fernando Valley. Her family stated the girl enjoyed skateboarding and aspired to work as a robot engineer.
The girl locked the dressing room door as screaming erupted in the store the day before Christmas Eve. “We were sitting on a chair, hugging each other and praying, when something hit my daughter, Valentina, and threw us to the ground,” Soledad Peralta said on Tuesday. “And it was in my arms that my daughter died. I was helpless.”
The teen’s family gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters on Tuesday to demand justice and memorialise their daughter, holding a big portrait of Orellana-Peralta wreathed in flowers.
They said they left Chile to escape violence and unfairness in quest of a better life in the United States, speaking in Spanish and holding back tears as sirens screamed in the background in downtown Los Angeles.
The family’s lawyers, including civil rights attorney Ben Crump, have written to the LAPD requesting more video of the shooting, which occurred after police chased down a man suspect who was brutally abusing people in the store.
The man was caught on camera hitting two women in the store’s aisles. Several people, including store staff, reported a man striking consumers with a bike lock to the police. A 911 operator received a call from a caller who stated that the man was armed. Only the bike lock was found at the scene, no handgun.
“At this initial stage of the investigation,” police Capt. Stacy Spell said in the video, “it is suspected that the victim was struck by one of the bullets fired by an officer at the suspect.” The bullet is believed to have skipped off the floor and impacted the wall of the dressing room.
Source: CBC News