Denver police shot and killed a teenage girl Monday after claiming she was trying to run them over in a stolen car.
They also ordered her surviving friends not to record the aftermath.
And although a witness did apparently record the aftermath, according to media reports, that video is nowhere to be found online.
But it supposedly shows police dragging Jessica Hernandez’s lifeless body out of the car, rolling her over on the ground and handcuffing her as her friends in the car exclaimed, “she’s dead.”
The officer who feared for his life and opened fire was treated and released from a local hospital with a minor leg injury. Another officer also opened fire.
It was the third time in seven months that Denver police have shot at suspects they say were using cars as weapons.
Hernandez was either 16 or 17, according to news reports.
According to the Denver Post:
Brianna Diaz, whose house backs up to the alley where the shooting happened, said her 16-year-old sister was a passenger in the car.
Diaz said her mother ran out of the house after hearing the shots and was stopped by an officer who grabbed her and tried to calm her down.
“My mom told me to start filming, but when I took out my phone, the cop was like, ‘Don’t you dare!’ ” she said.
Four teen girls and a teen boy had been sitting in the car in the alley for several hours, listening to music and talking, said the parent of one of the teens. She spoke on condition of anonymity.
Earlier in the night, several girls had gathered at Fred N. Thomas Memorial Park to play with a Ouija board and to hang out. The parent had been upset because her daughter had not come home Sunday night and had not responded to phone calls and text messages.
A neighbor captured a video of the female suspect being searched by police after she was shot. In the video, the teen is handcuffed and rolled on her stomach and back on the ground, appearing to be searched.
The girl is limp, silent and motionless as officers move her about.
Now Hernandez’s friends and families are protesting the shooting, demanding a full investigation by the district attorney, but also having no confidence because it’s been more than 20 years since a local cop faced charges in a shooting.
It is not surprising that Denver police tried to prevent witnesses from recording as they have a history of doing that.
UPDATE: A witness to the shooting told a local media station that the cop who shot Hernandez walked up to the side window and opened fire, meaning he was never standing directly in front of the car where he would have feared for his life.
Tuesday, 9Wants to Know investigator Chris Vanderveen spoke to a teen who was in the car at the time of the shooting. There were five people inside the car at the time.
She wants to remain anonymous for now because of the sensitive nature of the case.
“When the cops walked up, they were on [Jessica’s] side of the car, and they shot the window and they shot her. That’s when she wrecked, and that’s when the cop got hit.”
The eyewitness said, due to the shooting, Jessica was not in control of the car when it hit the officer.
The conflicting information doesn’t prove any wrongdoing on the part of Denver officers, it should be said, but it does offer an alternate theory as to what led up to the shooting.
The officer suffered a broken leg, according to Chief White. The witness tells 9Wants to Know the officer was pinned between the car and a fence, and that’s why the officer suffered a broken leg.
An autopsy completed by the Denver Coroner’s Office indicates Hernandez died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The office would not comment on what “multiple” meant, but another witness tells 9Wants to Know she remembers hearing at least four shots.
While the local news station is sure to point out that the “conflicting information doesn’t prove any wrongdoing on the part of Denver officers,” it certainly indicates there is another side to this story that perhaps the cops killed her in cold blood.
And that, of course, would explain why they did not want any witnesses recording.