Jose de la Trinidad was unarmed and reportedly exiting a car with hands over his head when he was shot by police last November. A witness on the scene reported that Trinidad “jumped out of the car after it came to a sudden stop. After he ran toward the deputies a few feet, they ordered him to stop and turn around, which he did immediately. Seconds later, the deputies opened fire.” This conflicts with police reports which state that Trinidad appeared to be reaching for a weapon.
In support of Jose and his family, over 100 people marched through the streets of Compton, CA, today, “eliciting honks and cheers from passersby who echoed their screams for justice” according to a blog on the LA Times. The marchers carried signs, photos and bullhorns such as “Dedicated father stolen from his family.” and “Jose posed no threat, why is he dead?”
According to the LA Times blog:
De la Trinidad, 36, was riding in the passenger seat of his brother’s car when deputies attempted to pull them over. After a brief car chase, De la Trinidad exited the car and was shot by the deputies, who believed he was reaching for a weapon.
But family members and a witness to the shooting told The Times that de la Trinidad was complying with deputies and had his hands above his head when he was shot.
“He was doing everything he was supposed to,” said Rosie de la Trinidad, Jose’s widow, who held the hands of the couple’s two young daughters and fought back tears for much of the march. “All we’re asking for is justice.”
The question we ask is one we have asked before — did race and gender have a role in the decision of the police to open fire on an unarmed man?