Cousin of laborer fatally shot by LAPD officer calls on protesters to rally peacefully
The cousin of a Guatemalan day laborer shot and killed by an LAPD officer in Westlake said Tuesday's police commission ruling justifying the shooting was "lamentable" and called on protesters to rally peacefully.
"It's not just to kill a drunk person as if they were a gang member battling against the police," said Juan Jamines, cousin of day laborer Manuel Jamines, 37, who was killed in September in a confrontation near 6th Street and Union Avenue.
The shooting set off several days of protests and confrontations with police.
The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled Tuesday that veteran Officer Frank Hernandez lawfully shot Manuel Jamines, who police said was drunk and threatening them with a knife.
Juan Jamines, who lives in the neighborhood, and others sympathetic to the laborer continued Tuesday to express the belief that police planted a knife on Manuel Jamines after the shooting.
Juan Jamines said his cousin's widow, Isabel, would be devastated by the latest news and that she was "really struggling" in Guatemala to support their three children since he died. Even though Manuel Jamines had a drinking problem, Juan Jamines said, he always sent money back home.
Juan Jamines said he did not plan to join a protest planned for 5 p.m. at the scene of the shooting because he would be working at his job at a factory. But he asked people to remain calm and march peacefully in his cousin's name.
As news of the ruling filtered out, activist groups stood near 6th and Union handing out fliers about the rally. Someone had already hung a red-and-yellow banner over the site of the shooting, reading: Stop Killer Cops.
-- Esmeralda Bermudez near MacArthur Park