Jessie Hernandez Vigil: 19,000-Signature Petition Calls for Federal Investigation
A tribute collage to Jessie Hernandez shared by one of her friends on Facebook. Additional images below.
In January, Denver police officers shot and killed Jessie Hernandez, a seventeen-year-old who'd been driving a stolen car.
Since then, her death has sparked protests, as well as debate about the Denver Police Department's policy about shooting into moving vehicles — and events today demonstrate how local and national organizations are working together to address concerns.
Activists say they've collected 19,000 signatures on a petition calling for a federal investigation into the Hernandez shooting and the DPD in general.
They plan to present them to officials this afternoon, after which they'll take part in a vigil near the location Hernandez died.
The group behind the petition is Presente.org, a California-based organization that says its mission is "to advance Latino power and create winning campaigns that amplify Latino voices; expand the political imagination and traditional boundaries; and foster inspiration for freedom, equity, and justice. Presente is the largest national Latino online organization advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture."
The introduction to the petition can be seen above. Signatories are asked to endorse the following statement, directed toward U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder: "I call on you to investigate Denver Police Department for their history of police violence and civil rights violations, and for the shooting death of 17 year old Latina teen Jessica Hernandez."
Presente.org maintains that 19,000 people have signed the petition. Documents to that effect will be delivered at 4 p.m. today to representatives of the FBI and the Justice Department at their local office, 8000 East 36th Avenue in Denver, by folks from Presente.org and local organizations such as the Colorado Anti-Violence Program and Branching Seedz of Resistance.
Then, at 5 p.m., the group will reconvene for a vigil at the corner of Newport Avenue and 26th — what they describe as the site of Hernandez's "murder."
Here's one graphic created for the event....
...and a similar image with a different message:Michael Roberts.