More than two weeks after the Dec. 23 fatal shooting of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta by a Los Angeles Police Department officer, mourners gathered in Baldwin Hills on Saturday to pay their respects and call for changes to policing.
Orellana-Peralta was struck by what police believe was a ricocheted bullet that was fired at 24-year-old Daniel Elena-Lopez, who was allegedly attacking a woman at a Burlington clothing store in North Hollywood.
Elena-Lopez died at the scene, as did Orellana-Peralta, and mourners want police to use less-deadly tactics in the future.
“Not only do we support this family, but we support all families who are going through this and should never have this experience,” said Charles Mitchell of San Bernardino. “This should never have happened, and the tragedy will continue to happen the more this is not talked about.”
A few dozen protesters also marched from the store to the LAPD’s North Hollywood station, demanding accountability for the officer who fired the shot and seeking changes to LAPD tactics.
Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. fired the fatal shot, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“While he may have thought he was doing something courageous, there were definitely other actions that could have been taken, and this is a bigger problem,” activist Alejandro Villalpando said.
Orellana-Peralta’s funeral will be held Monday in Gardena.