Dozens demonstrated outside the Anaheim Police station on Sunday in memory of 23-year-old Justin Shane Hertl who was shot and killed by Anaheim police in 2003.
On November 14th, 2003, three plainclothes Anaheim detectives shot and killed Justin Shane Hertl after surveying the area during a “criminal investigation” in the 6600 block of Palma Cicrcle near Yorba Linda. Police claimed Justin had a gun when he was shot, but Justin’s grandmother, Barbara Kordiak, who was with Justin at the time of the shooting, described that Justin was unarmed when police came up behind them and shot Justin until he died. Kordiak explained that police disregarded her statements and left out some key details about the shooting in the official police report.
The demonstration on Sunday began around 2PM in front of the Anaheim police station located in the 425 block of South Harbor Blvd. With the presence of residents of different Anaheim neighborhoods, as well as supporters from Downey, Fullerton, and Santa Ana, protestors held banners, posters, and photographs along the busy Harbor Boulevard. Some of the signs held during the protest are the only ones showing signs of wear, as the families of police killing victims continue every week, determined in their fight for justice for their loved ones as well as accountability on behalf of the Anaheim police department for the numerous deaths.
At around 3:30 Sunday afternoon, distraught mothers and family members of police shooting victims entered the station lobby while shouting the names of their loved ones: Justin Hertl (23), Martin Angel Hernandez (21), David Raya (23), Roscoe Cambridge (29), Marcel Ceja (22), Manuel Angel Diaz (25), Bernie Villegas (36), Joey Acevedo (21), Joe Whitehouse (30), Julian Alexander (20), and Cesar Cruz (35). They also shouted the names of the officers involved in the shootings.
“We want the police officers who are continually killing members of this community fired and prosecuted, just like we would be if we committed murder in this city,” demanded Damion Ramirez.
“You guys read these signs?” asked Sonia Hernandez, whose brother, Martin Hernandez, was shot and killed by Anaheim police a year ago, “These are our loved ones – we can’t have them right here next to us so we have to carry signs for them. I hate this! I wish my brother was right next to me, this is bullshit!”
“We don’t trust you anymore!” explained Jane Swenson, whose son Roscoe Cambridge was also killed by Anaheim police last year, “I asked the police for help with my son, and what do I get? I get him dead!”
“We’ve had it with you!” affirmed Justin Hertl’s grandmother, Barbara Kordiak, “We will not quit, we will not stop, we will always be here. You are being watched for ever!”
The protest was help by a growing coalition of victims’ family members who since their formation last year, have been growing in numbers, support, and solidarity with families of victims outside of Anaheim. A demonstration is planned for next Sunday at 2PM at the corner of S Sunkist St and E Ball Rd in memory of 22-year-old Marcel Luis Ceja, also shot and killed by Anaheim police in 2011.