In a 3-1 vote, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday that the police officer who shot and killed Boyle Heights teenager Jesse Romero in August of 2016 was justified in firing his gun.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the civilian panel decided that the shooting fell within the Los Angeles Police Department’s rules for using deadly force, though it faulted one officer’s tactics leading up to the shooting.
The Times also reported that the teen’s mother, Teresa Domínguez, attended the hearing wearing a T-shirt with her son’s picture and the phrase “Justicia para Jesse Romero”. She told a Times reporter in Spanish she had no comments.
LAPD officers are allowed to use deadly force to protect themselves or others from an imminent threat of death or serious injury.
LAPD Hollenbeck officers responded to a call about vandalism on César Chávez Avenue last August. That’s when they found Romero and pursued him. Police say that they heard a gunshot before they fired at Romero. A gun was recovered at the scene. There are conflicting reports from witnesses –one reportedly saw Romero fire while another saw the boy pull a gun out and throw it against a fence.
Eden Medina, the officer who shot Romero, is named in a lawsuit filed by Romero’s family.
Medina had also shot and killed a man in Boyle Heights 12 days prior to shooting Romero. The Times writes that LAPD has not yet presented prosecutors with a case regarding Romero’s shooting.
Photo above: Teresa Domínguez holds a picture of son Jesse Romero at an Oct. 2016 rally.
This story was updated on July 25 to reflect the panel’s decision.