Den­ver cops not charged

Two of­fi­cers won’t be pros­e­cuted for killing teen girl in stolen car.

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By James Queally james.queally@la­times.com

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.

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