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The parents of a 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Police Department officer held a news conference Tuesday where they released body cam footage of the deadly encounter. Jesse Romero’s parents joined attorneys and activists at the news conference, where partial body cam footage from Romero’s fatal 2016 shooting by an LAPD officer was shown for the first time. The family’s attorney Humberto Guizar says the graphic footage disproves the city’s claim that Romero shot at officers first, and shows that he was unarmed when shot by police responding to a vandalism call. The body cam footage shown by Guizar showed the perspective of the “shooting” officer and the “following” officer while chasing Romero. An investigation by the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office found that LAPD Officer Eden Medina used “reasonable force in self-defense and defense of others” during the Aug. 9, 2016, shooting.
The Feb. 28, 2018, report states that Medina was forced to “make a split second decision” prior to shooting Romero. The LAPD released a statement Tuesday afternoon in response to the partial release of the body cam video. The statement reads in part: “The Los Angeles Police Department understands that any time that an officer uses deadly force that ends in a fatality it is a painful tragedy for the family and friends of the suspect, the community and the officers involved. This is why the LAPD, its oversight bodies, and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office scrutinizes these incidents as closely as possible to ensure that the use of deadly force was appropriate to defend the life of the officer or members of the public.” Guizar urged “scared” witnesses to come forward and tell the “truth” about what they saw that day.
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