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article imageLAPD shoot Guatemalan immigrant dead, protests erupt

By Stephanie Dearing     Sep 10, 2010 in Crime
Los Angeles - Protesters were still active in Los Angeles Thursday night, as they have been every night since September 5th, when police shot and killed a Guatemalan immigrant who was allegedly armed with a knife.
Latin American residents of Los Angeles have been protesting nightly since Manuel Jamines was shot dead by police on Sunday in the heart of a Latin American neighbourhood, reported My Way.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said officers with the Rampart Bicycle Unit had been flagged down Sunday by a pedestrian who requested help with a man armed with a knife. The LAPD has not named the man, but said the officers found the man on "... Union Avenue where they saw the suspect holding a knife in a threatening manner. The officers dismounted from their bicycles and approached the suspect. He was ordered several times in both English and Spanish to drop his knife. The suspect did not follow the officer’s orders and raised the knife over his head and lunged at Officer Hernandez who fired two shots. The suspect fell to the ground where he was taken into custody without further incident. The suspect’s knife was recovered at the scene. No officers were injured. Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded and determined the suspect was deceased."
The LA Times reported that Jamines died as a result of multiple gunshots to the head. Protests over Jamines' death began Sunday and have been a nightly event ever since. The first two nights of protest saw more police violence ensue, as police shot rubber bullets at protesters. The Party for Socialism and Liberalism also allege police beat protesters on those nights, claiming the police response to the protesters was unprovoked. "... As hundreds protested the killing on two successive nights, cops beat and arrested over 20 people and fired rubber bullets indiscriminately, leaving many bloodied on the ground. The LAPD, along with the LA Times, tried to blame the protesters for the police violence against them."
Hundreds of neighbourhood residents had gathered Wednesday in a school to hear from the police, reported the Huffington Post. After the police read an anonymous witness statement, which concluded with the female witness calling the officers her "angels," the crowd erupted in anger.
On Tuesday night, several hundred protesters threw eggs, bottles and rocks at the Rampart Police Station, even setting a garbage bin on fire. The Huffington Post also said some residents dropped their possessions from their apartment windows down onto the street. Police arrested 22 people that night, after firing foam projectiles into the crowd. Police apparently are blaming the tough economic times along with communists for inciting the neighbourhood.
The protest held on Thursday night was peaceful, reported laist.
ANSWER Coalition has organized another protest scheduled for Saturday, beginning at 10 am. The ANSWER Coalition said it is seeking justice for the death of Jamines, condemning the response of city officials to the shooting. "... Mayor Villaraigosa and the LAPD leadership have defended the killing of Jamines. They have promised a “fair investigation,” while at the same time calling the police officer who pulled the trigger “heroic” and “brave.” But the facts speak otherwise. LAPD officer Frank Hernandez, who killed Jamines, has been put on forced leave twice before for shooting people. Witnesses to the Jamines killing have come forth saying he had no knife in his hand when he was shot twice in the head."
The LAPD is investigating the incident, and it is thought the investigation will take months to complete.
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