“I can’t breathe…they’re killing me.” That’s what 51-year-old Hernan Jaramillo said over and over while police kneeled on his back, ignored his pleas for help, and watched him die.
It was all caught on video. But it took more than two years for the video to come out – only when an inside source finally leaked it to the media. If it were up to the police and Oakland authorities, we might never have known what happened. Now, they won’t say whether there was an internal investigation into Jaramillo’s death, or whether any of the officers involved were disciplined. In fact, they’re refusing to answer any questions about his death at all.
Hernan Jaramillo worked as a realtor for years, lost his job after the economy crashed in 2008, then went back to school. When police killed him, he was living with his older sister and working as a salesman for a local solar panel company. Jaramillo was never accused of committing a crime and had no criminal record. His sister called the police for help, because she thought her brother was in danger. But instead of helping Jaramillo and his family, the police killed him – then kept the truth about his death quiet for two years.
It’s completely outrageous, and we can’t let them get away with it. We demand that the officers who killed Hernan Jaramillo be fired and prosecuted. We also demand that all police killings are automatically investigated, and that evidence like the bodycam video of Jaramillo’s death gets released to the public quickly.
Too often, the police treat Latinos, Black people, and other people of color like second class citizens. Please join us in demanding justice.