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Dec 5, 2017

Villagers Fired Up in Teakettle over Police Misconduct

A nineteen-year-old resident in the village of Teakettle was shot and killed by the police who claim it was not intentional. But villagers are not persuaded that the shooting of Edwin Hernandez was accidental. This morning, they started a bonfire blocking access to the Arizona area to show their anger over what they deem to be a wrongful killing. Hernandez’s family says the teen was a generous and hard working young man and did nothing to die this way. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Edwin Jose Hernandez

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Sunday afternoon, the calm in the Arizona area of Teakettle Village, off the George Price Highway, was shattered by the echoes of three shots that reverberated through the community. A police officer had opened fire on a suspected robber, who has now been identified as nineteen-year-old Edwin Jose Hernandez, a Salvadoran national who had been living in the village about three to four months. But his father, Rafael Orellana says his son wasn’t a robber; he was wrongfully targeted by the cops.

 

Rafael Orellana, Father of Deceased (Translated)

“They shot him and they chase him through the field and he collapsed in a yard and there is where they killed him.”

 

Duane Moody

“They are saying that he robbed someone and for that reason they shot him.”

 

Rafael Orellana

Rafael Orellana

“Yes, they are saying that he robbed a guy. But residents are saying that that is a lie. That the truth is that he did not steal from people; rather he gave to the person who accused him that he stole. He gave him food because he has a lot of drunkards around him. The whole people, as working persons, know him and the whole world is against what happened to my son. My son is a person who has helped others and they are going to protest against what the police did because he was an honest and hardworking person. And he is not known as a drunkard or anything like that and he was not doing things like that. He is just a person who likes to work.”

 

His father and residents are up in arms about the killing of the teen; so much so that this morning, just after eight o’clock the entrance to the community was blocked by tires that were set on fire. ‘RIP J’ and ‘We Want Justice’ formed the strong message that was being sent to the police department.

 

Rafael Orellana (Translated)

“Everyone wants that there is justice for what was done because he is a person that the investigation would show that the police action was unjust and the police need to do their job honestly.”

 

Victor Correa, Brother of Melvin Correa

“About what happen with the young boy that they killed at the village; that’s what it is all about.”

 

Duane Moody

“Do you think that police used excessive force when they fired three shots, cause that’s what people are saying that they heard up to three shots that day and killed this guy?”

 

Victor Correa

“Yeah. The lady that was there at the house, she saw when the police man shot the boy three times and she already gave the report that she heard the three shots.”

 

The Special Patrol Unit of the Police Department responded to the protest and would later clear the road, but not before taking into custody two men and a woman from the village, who they felt were responsible for the mischievous act. One of those persons was Melvin Correa, who on Monday recounted the ordeal that lead to the demise of Hernandez; his version did not corroborate what police say was a simple discharge of the officer’s service weapon.

 

Melvin Correa

Victor Correa

“I was at work when they just called me and said that they were looking for my brother. And then I called somebody and they told me that they were chasing him because he had a video that they were hurting some girl and a lot of things. They just gone to the village and not asking anything, just knocking the person that was there are the place.”

 

Reporter

“So they are accusing him of starting the tire fire as well or just accusing him of capturing the incident?”

 

Victor Correa

Victor Correa

“Well I don’t know much, but I think only about the videos because the other guy told me that the police say that he has a recorded video so they were chasing him.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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