A group of people who care about civil rights met in downtown Los Angeles on Friday to ask District Attorney George Gascón to file criminal charges against a Los Angeles police officer who killed a 14-year-old girl with a stray bullet in a North Hollywood clothing store.
Officer William Dorsey Jones broke the rules when he shot someone at the Burlington store on December 23, 2021. This was decided by the city’s Police Commission earlier this week.
The commission said that Jones’s first shot with his rifle at suspect Daniel Elena Lopez, who was hitting a woman inside the Burlington store on Victory Boulevard, was within the department’s rules for using deadly force.
But the panel said Jones’s second and third shots were against the rules. Valentina Orellana-Peralta, a 14-year-old freshman at High Tech Los Angeles Charter School, was killed when one of those bullets bounced off the floor and went through a wall.
She hid in a dressing room while the police searched for her. The suspect was also shot and killed. Project Islamic Hope’s Naji Ali told NBC Los Angeles, “It is now time for (the LAPD) to have justice and responsibility.
Officer Jones needs to be held accountable, tried by the DA’s office, and fired.” “The shooting could have been stopped. There was no reason for a 14-year-old girl to die, but she did because a police officer was careless while trying to catch a suspect.”
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According to the Daily News, LAPD Chief Michel Moore and most of the Use of Force Review Board decided that Officer Jones misjudged how close Elena Lopez was to causing death or serious bodily harm when he fired all three shots at once.
Moore had already decided that all three of Jones’ shots broke LAPD rules. He also said that Jones, who told LAPD detectives that he thought there was an active shooter, should have been able to figure out when he got to the scene that there wasn’t a shooting.
In the weeks after Orellana-Peralta was shot, there were protests and a lawsuit. The newspaper said that lawyers for the parents of Orellana and Peralta, who sued Jones and the LAPD, were looking at the commission’s and Moore’s decisions.
It wasn’t clear right away if Jones would have to face any kind of punishment.
Jones could get in trouble or be fired, depending on what Moore and the commission decide. The LAPD’s Board of Rights will make the final decision, and Jones can appeal any decision to the board.