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LAPD kills teenager in Boyle Heights, CA

By staff |
February 11, 2016
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Jose Mendez (right) with family members
Jose Mendez (right) with family members (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA - On Feb. 6, a 16-year-old Chicano teen, Jose Mendez, was shot and killed by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by cops from Hollenbeck Division in the Boyle Heights community, located in the East Los Angeles area.

LAPD media releases have divulged very little information other than the assertion Mendez had a gun, was driving a stolen vehicle and a confrontation occurred. No details of the incident have been released, such as why the police initiated the shooting and killed the teenager. The LAPD has not stated if the teen was a threat to anyone.

“The state killed him,” said Juan Mendez, father of Jose Mendez . Juan Mendez, who not too long ago celebrated more than two decades of emigrating to the U.S. from Mexico, is now mourning the death of his son Jose. “I want justice for my son, I don’t want this to happen to anyone else and I want the police to be brought to justice.”

Brian Mendez, one of eight siblings of Jose Mendez, states he called his brother’s cell phone all of Saturday (the day his brother was shot) and added, “And no one answered. The cops still have Jose’s phone, it hasn’t been returned to us. Why did the cops not reach out to us until days after killing my little brother?”

There are still many unanswered questions in the case. Chicanos know all too well that LAPD has a history of killing and brutalizing our youth. The Boyle Heights community has a long history of struggling against police abuse and for immigrant rights. Many protests have been initiated on the East Side. In the historic 1951 Bloody Christmas case, police jailers got drunk during the holidays and beat the jailed prisoners. The CSO (Community Service Organization) took up that case and had the police fired and prosecuted.

“Nowadays cops are programmed to shoot,” says Leslie Tostado, a childhood friend of Jose Mendez. “Where’s the justice if no one will be held responsible for killing us?”

“I want justice, and I want people to join my family and me this Friday to protest my sons killing,” says Juan Mendez. “We need help paying for my son’s services, and we need answers not only for our own peace of mind, but for us all.”

A protest is planned for this Friday, Feb. 12, at 4:00 p.m. at LAPD Hollenbeck Division, 2111 East First Street, LA.

Centro CSO is coordinating the event with Jose Mendez’s family and loved ones. For more information see Facebook: Centro CSO, call 323-943-2030, or contact [email protected]