The controversial shooting by police of a 17-year-old girl has sparked protests in Colorado. Jessica “Jessie” Hernandez was killed early on the morning of January 26 after driving a stolen car at two cops. She hit one of the police in the leg, and both officers responded by shooting at the car multiple times, killing Hernandez.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Denver’s Police Chief Said ‘Hopefully the Officers’ Reactions Were Correct’
The Denver Channel reports that protests and a vigil were organized for Hernandez outside of the Denver District Attorney’s office on the night of January 26. Protests continued into the following day. In a statement, Denver Police Department Chief Robert White said, “I think the facts will show that hopefully the officers’ reactions were correct. If they weren’t, we’ll certainly address that.” Both officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The officer hit by Hernandez was treated for a broken leg.
2. Hernandez Was in a Car With 4 Other ‘Very Young’ People
KWGN reports that an autopsy ruled Hernandez died of “multiple gunshot wounds” and that her death is a homicide.
A toxicology report is still pending. According to Chief White, Hernandez was driving the car with four other people inside whom he described as “very young in age.” According to witnesses, the four others in the car were left screaming while the cops removed Hernandez’s lifeless body from the vehicle.
Police responded to call of a suspicious silver Honda around 6:30 a.m. on January 26 on the 2500 block of Newport Street. Cops on the scene ran the plates and found the car to be stolen.
Another squad car arrived, at which point Hernandez is believed to have driven at the officers, who opened fire on her and her companions.
3. One Protester Held Up a Sign That Read ‘Your Badge Is Not a License to Kill’
Protesters who descended on the Denver District Attorney’s office held up signs, some of which read “Your Badge Is Not a License to Kill.” Speaking to the Denver Post, Rev. Patrick Demmer said “This is not Missouri. This is not New York City. This is not Ohio.” One of Hernandez’s friends, Nyomi Wilder told KWGN, “I’m just really heartbroken right now because I just lost a friend that I was cool with (sobs). She’s not the type of person to do anything like this at all or get herself in trouble and it’s just crazy to hear this.”
4. Anonymous Is Taking Up Hernandez’s Case
Hernandez’s case has become the latest cause of hacktivist group Anonymous. The group tweeted and retweeted numerous Hernandez-related messages. Anonymous is focusing on the apparent mistreatment of Hernandez’s dead body. Reports suggest her corpse was handcuffed by officers. Speaking to KWGN, Hernandez’s friend Briana Diaz said, “They killed my friend, like they were just dragging her, and they’re trying to say it was a woman. That was a little ass girl that they just shot for no reason. Oh my…”
The group also tweeted a demand for a special prosecutor to be appointed to the case. Anonymous also tweeted about Hernandez’s case: “Who will bet these murdering pigs get a paid vacation?”
5. Hernandez Was a Lesbian
Of the little information that can be taken from Hernandez’s Facebook page, she is a recreational pot smoker, which is only legal in Denver for those 21 and older. Another picture shows her with a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey. Judging by a Facebook post from December 2014 and the comments under it, Hernandez was a lesbian.