Fatal Denver Police Shooting of Teenage Girl Sparks Outrage

Fatal Denver Police Shooting of Teenage Girl Sparks Outrage

Protesters rallied outside the District Attorney office on Tuesday, calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting.

Published January 27, 2015

The police-involved death of a 16-year-old girl in Denver has garnered nationwide attention in the wake of high-profile police brutality protests.

The girl, identified by friends as Jessica Hernandez, was shot and killed by police after hitting a police officer with a stolen car on Monday, according to authorities. The four passengers in the vehicle were reportedly not wounded by the gunfire.

CBS News reported that about 20 people held a demonstration outside the office of District Attorney Mitch Morrissey — who was out of town — to demand a thorough investigation led by an appointed special prosecutor. Chief District Attorney Doug Jackson promised the protesters that local prosecutors would conduct a transparent investigation so that the public can determine whether the right decision was made.

The shooting reportedly occurred in an alley in a middle-class residential area early Monday morning. Police Chief Robert White told CBS News that an officer responded to another's suspicious vehicle call and arrived on the scene upon learning that the car had been reported stolen.

A statement alleges that the two officers then "approached the vehicle on foot when the driver drove the car into one of the officers." Both officers then opened fire, White said. The officer struck by the vehicle was hospitalized for a leg injury.

"They shouldn't have stolen a car. But the cops are too fast on the gun," a resident who heard three gunshots Monday morning told CBS News. "You've got stun guns. You've got rubber bullets. Why do they have to shoot all the time?"

The officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave. 

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(Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Written by Patrice Peck


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