Jessica Hernandez, a 17-year-old transgender Latina known as Jessie to her friends, was murdered in cold blood by two Denver, Colorado police officers while sitting in a vehicle with four of her teenage friends.
Denver police claim they received a call about a suspicious car sitting idle on a street alley. Two unmarked police cars boxed Jessie’s vehicle in the alley from the front and back. One of the cops approached Jessie’s vehicle and fired three shots from his handgun into the vehicle. All three shots struck Jessie, the driver of the vehicle, rendering her unconscious and possibly dead.
The police officer immediately snatched Jessie’s unconscious, limp body from the vehicle, slammed her body to the ground, smashing her nose in the process and handcuffed her. Jessie was probably dead before the cop snatched her from the vehicle.
The mother of Jessie arrived at the scene of the crime just in time to witness the paramedic crew mishandle her child’s body by dragging Jessie’s body on the ground and thrown onto a gurney like a dead animal. Paramedics showed no respect for Jessie’s body, not one bit.
Unbeknownst to the killer cops, Jessie was a pillar to the Denver society, and as a transgender teenage girl who became a boy, Jessie was well known and respected within the LGBT community. Over 800 people attended Jessie’s funeral to pay their respects.
The Latino and Black community in the City of Denver protested and demanded justice for Jessie. The two killer cops were put on administrative leave by the Denver Police Department in an attempt to calm the people’s anger against them.
Why Justice for Jessie some people may ask? Because Jessie, like the unarmed teen, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was yet another unarmed, teenage Latino that has been blatantly murdered by two white cops who appear to possess a total disregard for Latino and African lives. Because Jessie was a transgender person who the cops seem to target and mistreat, because Jessie was unarmed, and how about because Jessie was a fellow Human Being whose life matters?
The powers that be are going to claim that the two Denver killer cops are just bad apples and the system works fine. But try telling that nonsense to Jessie, her mother or to the approximately 90 million African and Latino citizens of America. They would more than likely tell them that it isn’t a few bad apples in the system that needs to be thrown away, but that the whole damn rotten system is the problem and must be thrown out.
This is why we demand Justice for Jessie.
I am Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall, Co-founder and Editor of The Movement magazine, founding member of the Human Rights Coalition, Prison Radio Correspondent and can be reached at: SCI-Rockview, Box-A, #BE7826, Bellefonte, PA 16823.