Mexican American Jesse Romero would be 15 on August 24. The boy was shot and killed August 11th in a pursuit by police. The boy was armed but reports are mixed about whether he fired at officers before he was shot.
Some witnesses stated that Romero fired at the officers as he ran away. Others have come forward to say that that was not the case. One woman claims Romero tossed the gun against a fence as he ran and that the weapon discharged when it hit the ground, a claim gun experts state is not impossible.
The officers pursued Romero because of reports he had been writing graffiti in the area. Witnesses say that officers approached the boy’s body and handcuffed him after he was killed.
Activists in the area as well as the Romero family lawyers are calling for the release of witness video, security video and police body camera video as well as an independent investigation into the incident. Activists state that they do not trust the LAPD to investigate their own officers in an unbiased way.
More and more police departments are implementing body cameras, but they do not seem to be having an effect on the number of police killings.