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Jury falls for LAPD lies, excuses 2-time killer cop

By Avery Raimondo and Sol Marquez |
April 23, 2019
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Members of the González family.
Members of the González family. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Los Angeles, CA - An LA jury took less than 24 hours to reject the wrongful death claims of a man killed by LAPD. The civil lawsuit needed a minimum of nine jurors to rule that the killer cop used excessive force in killing victim Omar González. However, all 12 jurors rejected the claim and ruled that police did not use negligence nor excessive force. In other words, the jury unanimously accepted the lies of two-time killer cop Eden Medina and his legal team.

The trial of The Estate of Omar González v. City of Los Angeles, et al started-on April 5 and ended April 17. Omar González was a 36-year-old Chicano from Boyle Heights who was killed by LAPD officer Eden Medina on July 26, 2016. González was the passenger in a vehicle that was initially targeted for a failure to use a turn signal. Upon the car stopping after a car chase, González ran and was tackled by multiple police officers before being shot twice in the back by killer cop Eden Medina.

The city of Los Angeles’ defense attorneys, Corey Brente and Michelle Smith, were the same white lawyers who represented Medina in the Jesse Romero trial.

Attorneys Kent Henderson, Michael Carrillo and Ángel Carrasco represented González’ sons - 18-year-old Omar González Jr. and his brother, a 15-year-old. The trial took place at the LA County Stanley Mosk Courthouse and lasted only 12 days.

In a span of 12 days, killer cop Eden Medina killed two victims: 36-year-old Omar González on July 26, 2016 and 14-year-old Jesse Romero on August 9, 2016. Both slayings took place in Boyle Heights.

2016 saw a record number of shootings by police in the neighborhood Boyle Heights, with an astonishing six deaths in under a year. But the jury was never able to hear this bit of information. Judge Moloney ruled that if the jury knew about Romero’s death, Medina would not have a fair trial. The same mercy would not be shown to victim Omar González.

Medina’s defense put on an almost identical performance from the Jesse Romero trial which took place in November 2018. They called in the same expert witnesses, cracked insensitive jokes, created sympathy for Medina by asking the jury to look at things from Medina’s perspective, and repeatedly victim-blamed González. The arguments of Medina’s attorneys were based upon textbook fear-mongering as they mentioned over and over again that González had methamphetamines in his system at the time of his death, that he ran from the cops, and that he had an unregistered gun. One of the jurors later said that even if there had been no gun present, they still would have reached the same verdict.

The LA City attorneys constantly reminded the jury that Medina and his partner, LAPD officer Alejandro Higareda, belonged to the LAPD Gang Enforcement Unit. During jury selection, the defense weeded out potential jurors who had experienced police abuse, who had attended a Black Lives Matter rally, or who viewed the system as biased against oppressed nationalities. In doing so, any sympathy for victim Omar González flew out the window.

Called as witnesses, Omar González’s sons told many stories about their father, who was clearly caring and thoughtful, which contradicted the efforts by Medina’s attorneys to portray González, not Medina, as a threat to Los Angeles. “My dad taught us that arguments were to be settled with words, and not violence,” testified the 15-year-old during the trial. González was describing an example of when his father, Omar González, had been confronted by an angry customer at a Mexican bakery. “It was a valuable lesson that my father was able to teach me, before he was killed.”

Medina’s attorney couldn’t let the 15-year-old González brother off the witness stand without throwing one last jab, “And did your father also teach you to follow the law? Did your father teach you to obey police commands?”

In his closing argument, LAPD attorney Corey Brente portrayed Eden Medina, the trigger-happy killer cop, as a hero. Brente shamelessly asked the jurors if they would have chased victim González in the same situation. According to Brente, Medina acted honorably by chasing and confronting González. “He earned our trust,” said Brente.

Attorney Brente even threatened the two teen sons in closing statements by saying, “These” he paused here, “plaintiffs testified that their father taught them to follow the law. I hope they follow the law. I hope they do.”

If you wish to join Centro Community Service Organization (CSO) in fighting back against Chicano killings by LAPD, message them here 213-943-2030 or at [email protected].