The De La Trinidad family and supporters demonstrated at the corner of S Wilmington Ave and E 120th St in Willowbrook on Sunday to protest the killing of 36-year-old Jose de la Trinidad by Compton Sheriffs last year.
On November 10th, 2012, Jose de la Trinidad was going home with his brother, Francisco, after attending a niece’s quinceañera when L.A. Sheriff deputies attempted to pull them over for speeding. As Francisco attempted to evade the deputies, Jose asked his brother to let him out of the vehicle. Jose’s brother briefly pulled over and fled the scene. Deputies claim that Jose was reaching for his waistband as soon as he got out of the car, which prompted the shooting. Following the shooting, Sheriffs denied speaking to any potential witnesses, but Estefani, who lives across the street from where the shooting took place and witnessed the event, spoke out in an interview with the L.A. Times contradicting the Sheriff department’s official report.
Estefani told the LA Times reporter that Jose immediately followed the deputies’ commands to “stop and turn around” only to be shot in the back while his hands were on his head. She recounted being repeatedly questioned by authorities in an attempt to confuse her and have her change her story.
A follow-up autopsy report also confirmed that Jose de la Trinidad died of “multiple gunshot wounds”, 7 to be exact, 5 of them in the back.
Jose was unarmed and left behind two children and his wife, Rosie.
Deputies involved in the shootings were back patrolling the streets after serving 5 days of “desk duty”, a “standard practice” for deputies involved in shootings according to Sheriff spokesperson Steve Whitmore.
During Sunday’s demonstration, it was apparent that Compton has had a long history of police violence as honks of support flooded the streets and many stopped to talk to the family and share their condolences and support.
“That’s right!” shouted a passer-by, “we tired of this shit!!”
The chants were lead by the De La Trinidad family, including Jose's wife, Rosie, and his two daughters. Support also came from families of other police killing victims such as Javier Arrazola (Reseda) and Michael Lee Nida II (Downey).
After concluding the demonstration, family and supporters gathered at the corner of E 122nd St and S Wilmington Ave, place where De la Trinidad was killed. Before ending prayer by calling out the names of other loved ones lost to police violence, the group chanted a quote by former Black Liberation Army member, Assata Shakur:
“It is our duty to fight. It is our duty to win. It is our duty to love and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
De La Trinidad’s family has been circulating a petition online directed at Los Angeles District Attorney, Jackie Lacey. It demands a full prosecution of Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies, Angel Grandes and Alexandro Gonzales “for the murder of Jose de La Trinidad on Nov. 10th, 2012.” It also demands to “take these deputies off the streets.”
The list of Compton Sheriff victims has grown in the last months.
On June 27th, 80-year-old Eugene Mallory, and 22-year-old De’Angelo Lopez were shot and killed by Compton Sheriff Deputies during isolated incidents.
Lopez was killed in the 110 block of West Arbutus Street in Compton. The Sherriff’s department claims De’Angelo “confronted” and “pointed a revolver” at deputies, but witnesses have reported that De’Angelo was shot multiple times in the back as he was running away from deputies.
Lopez leaves behind a four-year-old son, De'Angelo, Jr.. His mother suffered a stroke and was rushed to the hospital upon finding out about her son.
On July 25th, Compton deputies killed an unarmed, “Hispanic” man following a traffic stop. Deputies claim the man was arrested after a “drunken driver” call. The man was then placed in the back seat of a patrol vehicle, where a “violent struggle” followed. Officials claim the "suspect" then “reached” for the deputies gun, which resulted in the deputy shooting at him three times. The man was pronounced dead on scene.
Witnesses told local media, however, that the man did not seem “combative” as officials described.
"The man was so quiet back there in the back seat, he wasn’t saying anything,“ shared a witness, “The man aint resisting arrest, the man aint doin’ nothing, he’s in the backseat handcuffed!”
Officials have identified the man, but his name has not been made public.
Community members report that a march will be taking place on Saturday, August 3rd at 9:00 AM in memory of De’Angelo Lopez at the location were he was killed. They ask the community to come out and support their cause against the increasing violence by Compton Sheriffs.