LONG BEACH, CA—Dozens of grieving community members took to the streets Wednesday afternoon to demand #JusticeForHECTOR in response to the murder of unarmed teenager Hector Morejon by Long Beach police officer Jeffrey A. Meyer.
Hector Morejon, the 19-year-old youngest son of Long Beach resident Lucia Morejon, was fatally wounded when two officers of the Long Beach Police Department responded to a trespassing call in the mid-afternoon of Thursday, April 23.
According to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), officers arriving at an unoccupied multi-unit residential building on the 1100 block of Hoffman Ave observed a male inside through a broken window. The police state that Hector was shot after he turned, bent his knees, and extended his arm.
Why did Hector extend his arm? Could it perhaps have been to indicate to his friends that the cops were outside the window? In the words of the LBPD, Hector extended his arm out “as if pointing an object which the officer perceived was a gun.” A weapon was not recovered from the scene.
Hector’s mother was home when she heard gunfire next door. She heard her son call to her from the ambulance, but she was not permitted to ride with him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At the May 13th afternoon press conference, Lucia Morejon pleaded in Spanish, “Who are we going to turn to when we’re in need of help if those same police officers are killing us?”
The Long Beach Police Department claims to “thoroughly review all use of force incidents through a rigorous multi-step process that evaluates legal, policy, tactical and equipment issues. In addition, all officer involved shootings where a death occurs, are independently investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.”
Signs at Wednesday’s rally revealed the community’s lack of confidence in the official investigation: “The Police Can’t Investigate Themselves.”
The Long Beach police murder of Hector Morejon on April 23 marked the beginning of a two-week period in which three young men were killed by law enforcement in Los Angeles County. On the evening of May 6, Brendon Glenn (age 29) was killed in Venice by an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department later identified to be either Clifford Proctor (badge #39171) or Jonathan Kawahara (badge #37839). On May 7, a Los Angeles County Sheriff deputy shot and killed Nephi Arriguin (age 21) under suspicious circumstances in Cerritos.
The LBPD press release about the officer-involved shooting of Hector Morejon includes an allegation that the residence was covered with gang-related graffiti. Yet when police arrested Hector’s four surviving friends—two males and two females between the ages of 20 and 22—the only charges were trespassing.
The only people confirmed to have damaged property on the afternoon of Thursday, April 23 are the Long Beach Police Department, who stained the concrete with the blood of slain teenager Hector Morejon.
Rest in power, Hector. #BrownLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #StopTheKilling
Hector Morejon's Funeral Fund http://www.gofundme.com/Hector_Morejon
OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING 4/24/2015
Long Beach Police Department Press Release http://www.longbeach.gov/civica/press/display.asp?layout=4&Entry=5065