Girl’s death by stray police bullet raises questions — Analysis
Justice is demanded by the family and lawyers of a teenager who was killed in a shooting at a LA police station.
Parents of the teenager killed while trying to fit outfits in a fitted room, inadvertently punctured by a bullet from police have demanded full disclosure. The parents’ attorney has asked for all video footage from the LAPD.
“It could have been different,” the grieving family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said, speaking at a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters on Tuesday. “This 14-year old little girl should never have been collateral damage in a shopping mall..” A high-profile civil rights lawyer specializing in wrongful death suits, including that of George Floyd, Crump has offered to represent the Orellana-Peraltas, whose daughter, Valentina, Dec 23rd, 1993 – Died
“She and her family moved to Los Angeles, California from Chile. They were looking for a better lifestyle.,” he tweeted on Tuesday, sharing poignant images of the young victim.
Here is Valentina Orellana Peralta, 14 years old. In search of better living, the family relocated from Chile to Los Angeles several months ago. Valentina died just days before Christmas, tragically. pic.twitter.com/mZxFFBMjXn
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 28, 2021
The LAPD published a compilation of half an hour-long evidence related to this incident last week. It included radio transmissions and body camera video, CCTV footage and recordings of 911 calls. However, the family’s attorneys want more to be made public. “All documentation is required. Transparency is essential. We don’t want a view that justifies things. Everything should be released,” Crump said. An independent inquiry by the California attorney general’s office has also been opened.
Supporters and activists gathered near the LAPD headquarters on Tuesday, calling for action on the police’s alleged mishandling of the incident at a store that had been full of holiday shoppers.
Valentina was trying to find clothes at the Burlington Store in North Hollywood with her mother when she was attacked by a gunman. An emergency call was made by store security. Officers responded and discovered that an attacker was targeting customers using what turned out to be a bike lock. One of three bullets from the rifle was fired by the officer, which apparently flew off the floor, striking the wall in the fitting room. The teenager was then hit in the chest. At the time, she died. She was also declared dead by the suspect Daniel Elena Lopez (24).
Cop accidentally shoots suspect and kills 14-year-old girl
He did not carry a firearm and was visible with his hands at the time he was killed. The suspect was confronted by the officer at issue immediately. There were no orders to either drop his weapon or get out of his way.
Valentina’s parents would like to remember her as a high school student, who was able to excel in LA schools despite English being her second. She dreamed to become an American citizen and an engineer. pic.twitter.com/Tkb4PISq4b
— Sam Levin (@SamTLevin) December 28, 2021
“Our daughter deserves justice. Valentina’s life mattered,” her father said at the press conference, while her mother described the horrifying experience of “hugging each other… and praying for peace, praying for safety, praying for everybody” just moments before the fatal shooting, after they heard a commotion outside. “My arms were the only thing I had to do for her.,” she said, adding that when police finally found them, they ushered her out and “Just left [Valentina]Laying it all alone.”
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