DENVER (CBS4) – The family of a teenager killed by Denver police is demanding a federal investigation. 17-year-old Jessie Hernandez was allegedly behind the wheel of a stolen car in an alley near E 25th Avenue and Newport Street last month when the car came towards officers and they fired, killing her.
The Colorado Anti-violence group and Presente.com will deliver nearly 20,000 signatures to the FBI office in Denver, asking for an investigation.
After meeting with the FBI on Thursday, the group plans to hold a vigil in the alley where Jessica Hernandez lost her life. They will hold signs with her picture and the words “rest in power.”
“We’re hoping it calls attention to a pattern of police violence that exists in Denver Police Department,” said Cecelia Kluding-Rodriguez, who helped organize the event.
They’re asking for a federal investigation of the Denver Police Department for the death of Hernandez and other minorities killed by officers last year. Kluding-Rodriguez said minorities, along with the LGBTQ community have been targeted by Denver police, “As young people of color we know that an officer knows that his life is more valuable than ours.”
Across town, flowers and balloons lined the Denver fallen officers’ memorial after a pro police rally. Lt. Matt Murray stated, “The whole community does not feel the way a few individuals do.”
Murray said the department would welcome an FBI investigation, “That’s one of the beauties of transparency, is that it’s all open for anyone to see. If they have a conclusion or something we can do better, that’s fine with us.”
Meanwhile, Kluding-Rodriguez said her goal is to at least start the conversation for real change at DPD, “What really needs to happen is an entire culture shift.”
The vigil will take place Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m.