Denver cops not charged
Two officers won’t be prosecuted for killing teen girl in stolen car.
Two Denver police officers who shot and killed a teenage girl allegedly speeding toward them in a stolen car will not be charged, prosecutors said Friday.
In a 26-page letter, Denver County Dist. Atty. Mitchell Morrissey said Officers Gabriel Jordan and Daniel Greene were legally justified in shooting 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez in January.
The shooting, which came on the heels of the killings of young minorities in Ferguson, Mo., and Cleveland, sparked angry protests and quickly became the latest flashpoint in a growing debate about race and police use of force.
“These initial reactions were made before the investigation was completed and without knowledge of all of the facts,” Morrissey wrote. “Now, if people study and evaluate the facts of this case … they may understand why criminal charges are not appropriate.”
Jordan and Greene will remain on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, which was delayed until the district attorney’s office finished its review of the shooting, according to a city police representative.
In January, police said Hernandez and four other teenagers were cruising through Denver’s middleclass Park Hill neighborhood in a stolen Honda. According to the district attorney’s report, the teenagers fell asleep inside the vehicle, and someone called police to report a suspicious vehicle about 6:30 the next morning.
Police said that they ordered the teenagers to get out of the vehicle, and opened fire after Hernandez tried to ram them.
She died a short time later.
Some of the passengers in the car have said the vehicle only began careening toward the police officers after Hernandez was shot.
A ballistics analysis and a re-creation of the incident seemed to disprove some parts of those accounts.
The trajectory of the officers’ shots also showed the car was moving toward them when they opened fire, according to the report.