Centro CSO delivers petition to LAPD chief demanding firing of Frank Hernandez

By staff |
May 23, 2020
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Centro CSO leader Carlos Montes talking with LAPD Police Chief Moore.
Centro CSO leader Carlos Montes talking with LAPD Police Chief Moore. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA ⁠- Thursday afternoon, May 21, a contingent of Centro CSO members delivered to LAPD Chief Michel Moore a petition with over 1800 signatures demanding the firing of Officer Frank Hernandez. Earlier this month, the release of a video that caught Hernandez viciously attacking Richard Castillo sparked outrage in Boyle Heights where the incident took place. Chief Moore himself described the video, which clearly shows that Castillo had followed Hernandez’s orders and was not resisting arrest, as “disturbing” during his conversation with Centro CSO outside of LAPD headquarters.

Along with the petition signatures, Centro CSO also included comments from signers who expressed anger at both this current incident and the fact that Hernandez works in Boyle Heights at all. After Hernandez shot and killed Manuel Jamines, a Guatemalan day laborer, in 2010, LAPD transferred him to Hollenbeck Police Station, which has become infamous in Boyle Heights for the high number of young men killed by police.

“Your brutality and dishonesty are utterly despicable and are not to be tolerated by any just and humane society,” wrote one petition signer. “You are a danger to our communities and we do not want you on our streets!” Another asked Hernandez, “How can you abuse civilians knowing that you’re supposed to serve and protect them?”

As Chief Moore received the signatures and comments, Centro CSO asked for an update on Officer Hernandez’s current situation. According to Chief Moore, Hernandez has been placed on home duty and Boyle Heights can expect a swift response from LAPD. “I hope to have the completed investigation by the first of the month of June,” he told Centro CSO. “This entire matter will come before me to evaluate his actions and the consequences will be known.”

Centro CSO member Sol Marquez responded to Chief Moore’s confirmation that LAPD had taken Hernandez off the streets by noting the deadly impact when the police department doesn’t follow this procedure. “We know that officers like Eden Medina, within 12 days was able to kill two people in Boyle Heights in 2016,” said Marquez.

Carlos Montes, also of Centro CSO, used the face-to-face meeting as an opportunity to emphasize to Chief Moore that Hernandez is a threat to Boyle Heights: “We were out here ten years ago when he killed Manuel Jamines. I know that’s settled, but that was a real tragic case…he could have been arrested but [Hernandez] shot him in the head. The folks in the MacArthur Park area had told us that he was a bully and he harassed street vendors. You saw the video so hopefully he can be fired.” Hernandez was formerly stationed at the notorious LAPD Rampart station where a large protest was held in September 2010 when Manuel Jamines was killed.

Chief Moore’s possible transparency contrasts with the dismissive actions of the captain of Hollenbeck Police Station, Sonia Monico. On May 15, after the release of the video, Centro CSO led a protest outside of the Hollenbeck Police Station in Boyle Heights with the intent of handing over this same petition to Captain Monico. While Captain Monico had agreed to receive the signatures and comments, once the action started, she ignored Centro CSO’s calls. Eventually, Centro CSO member Sol Marquez decided to tape the petition to the station’s locked doors.

Richard Castillo is now safe but still traumatized and has sued the City of Los Angeles and LAPD for using excessive force and spitting in his face. While seeing Hernandez’s placement on home duty as a small victory, Centro CSO will continue fighting to get Hernandez fired. Those who wish to participate in this struggle can call 323-943-2030, email [email protected], or visit Facebook: Centro CSO.