The family of a 13-year-old boy killed by a San Antonio police officer is demanding justice for their loved one. After further review of bodycam footage, an attorney says the evidence contradicts initial claims made by officers, KSAT reports.
AJ Hernandez was shot and killed by San Antonio Police earlier this month after an officer fired a single shot into a vehicle following an alleged car crash.
Per the city’s police department, officials at the scene say that a Toyota Corolla they believed was stolen hit an officer’s patrol vehicle as they attempted to stop the car.
Authorities confirm that the officer who fired the shot was not involved in the crash, but feared that his colleague would be hit by the moving vehicle.
The family is being represented by civil rights attorney Lee Merritt who disputes that claims of a car crash. He suggests that the evidence revealed through the bodycam shows that all vehicles involved were going at a speed of less than five miles per hour.
“This was not a collision,” said Merritt. “There was contact, but this was not a deadly threat, it was a little boy behind the wheel of the car, surprised there was not one, but two officers were behind him.”
He further argues that the second officer, identified as Stephen Ramos, never gave a verbal warning before firing his weapon. “Within one second of Mr. Ramos exiting his vehicle, he had already fired upon the vehicle occupied by Mr. Hernandez,” Merritt explained.
“[Hernandez] then collapsed to the ground letting officers know, ‘I have been shot sir,’ they were telling him to keep his hands up and he says, ‘I can’t, I’ve been shot sir, please help,'” the family attorney continued.
Footage from the bodycam revealed that the 13-year-old fell to the ground after he exited the vehicle with his hands up. Merritt also alleges that the officers handcuffed Hernandez, but SAPD say that he was treated on the scene by the officials until medical assistance arrived.