Civil rights attorney Ben Crump called Tuesday for the Los Angeles Police Department to turn over all evidence in the fatal officer-involved shooting of a 14-year-old girl at a clothing store last week.
Crump held a press conference with the victim’s family and a team of attorneys in front of LAPD headquarters in downtown L.A. The famed lawyer demanded “transparency” in the Dec. 23 shooting.
“We want all the documentation, complete transparency, not just a perspective that tries to justify things, we want everything released,” Crump said.
The teenage victim was Valentina Orellana-Peralta, a young girl from Chile who was trying on dresses with her mother two days before Christmas on the second floor of the Burlington store in North Hollywood.
“Never should this 14-year-old little girl have ended up as collateral damage at a shopping plaza,” Crump said.
Crump noted that the LAPD released officer body camera footage a day earlier, but insisted that isn’t enough. He added that his team of attorneys is trying to access security footage from Burlington.
“We should not have to sacrifice innocent life in the name of safety,” he said.
Earlier in the press conference, Crump spoke about the Orellana-Peralta family’s quest to escape the type of violence that took their daughter’s life.
“They came to America from Chile to get away from violence and injustice to have a better life in America,” he said.
Valentina came to the U.S. with her mother, Soledad Peralta, about six months ago, the Los Angeles Times reported.
During the press conference, Soledad Peralta said she held her daughter in her arms, after a stray bullet fired by an LAPD officer went through the dressing room wall.
“When the police finally came, they took me out of the dressing room and left my daughter laying there. I wanted them to help her, but they just left her laying there alone,” she said through a translator.
The LAPD body cam footage shows officers arriving at the store after receiving frantic 911 calls about a man attacking customers. Officers find a bleeding woman on the floor and an erratic male suspect who was beating her with a metal bicycle lock. After shots are fired, officers descend on the suspect identified as 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez. He was later pronounced dead on the scene. A woman can be heard screaming from the dressing room after the shooting.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement over the weekend, “This chaotic incident resulting in the death of an innocent child is tragic and devastating for everyone involved.”
“My commitment is to conduct a thorough, complete and transparent investigation into the circumstances that led up to this tragedy and provide the family and public with as much information as possible,” Moore added.
Below is the narrated video released by the LAPD. A warning, some readers may find the footage disturbing.