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The police murder of Jessie Hernandez -what happened? (to the outrage)

DENVER, COLO.- The Denver police had really stepped in it this time. At 6:30am on January 26, officers opened fire on a parked car full of unarmed teenage girls, killing Jessie Hernandez with eighteen bullets. This time the most homocidal police force this side of Baltimore used lethal force against a charismatic 17-year-old Latina. Even if officers had confused the queer tom-boy for a male, Jessie wouldn’t pass for a boy over eleven. Jessie’s killing follows a year rocked by public protests against police excessive force in Ferguson and New York City. Victims Mike Brown and Eric Garner were black males with the attendant stigmas. This victim was literally a poster child. If Jessie had a criminal record it was as a juvenile. The official account immediately began to unravel as witnesses came forward. Most notably, after the passengers were released from jail, one of them said the police fired first, before an officer was struck by the vehicle and not afterward as the officers claimed. Yet the public’s revulsion has been measured and dimminishing. What happened? Was the outcry stage-managed? By whom? The aftermath of Jessie’s execution was captured on video, in defiance of officers threatening the bystanders. It’s only been described to reporters but the Denver Post has it.

If the family of Jessie Hernandez decides they don’t want people to protest, do we cease protests? If the family doesn’t want to see the video, do we stop demanding its release? Of course they don’t want to relive the brutality of Jessie’s murder, no one does. But the DPD and the Denver Post must not be allowed to draw the curtain on the teen’s brutal death. The DPD’s actions must be exposed. The family doesn’t own this tragic crime. The responsibility to demonstrate against police brutality doesn’t fall on them, or the Latino community or the queer community. It falls on everyone. The Denver police own Jessie’s murder. They own all eighteen bullets, they own the handcuffing and searching of Jessie’s still-live body, they own the jailing of the four other traumatized teens, and they own all the subsequent lies told to excuse the inexcusable, shooting at a carload of unarmed children. If the public is not given the chance to face the reality of police brutality, we’ll never stop the DPD.

2 thoughts on “The police murder of Jessie Hernandez -what happened? (to the outrage)

  1. Well. People are still refusing to believe what some of us have known all these years, that USA has become a police state with all the consequences, barbarism, brutality, persecutions, and illegalities that such state can produce.

    This is only the beginning!

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