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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/25/21

No excuses! This police killing was inexcuseable! LAPD Murder of 14-Year-Old Girl Illustrates America's War Coming Home

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Burlington Coat Factory Shooting: 14-year-old girl struck by police gunfire, suspect dead A 14-year-old girl was found dead with a gunshot wound inside the store's dressing room, LAPD said. LAPD Assistant Chief ...
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The shooting death by Los Angeles Police of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who died in a changing room of a Burlington Outlet store while with her mother trying on a dress for her coming 15th birthday celebration, is an atrocity beyond comprehension.

I don't care what kinds of excuses are made by the cop or cops who fired shots, one of which tore away this young girl's life as her horrified mother had to watch and desperately try to save her. There is simply no possible justification for firing police guns in a crowded store.

I cannot even bear to try and imagine the agony her family is now suffering, especially listening to the tired police excuses and lame platitudes that always accompany such all too frequent monstrous acts by America's centurions.

News reports quoting police officials say that the police were called because a man was attacking a store customer with a "heavy duty" bike lock and "threatening to destroy store property." That in itself doesn't sound terribly scary or grounds for the use of police firearms, especially with three officers on the scene at the time. There were also reports of shots fired, the police claim. But even if that were the case and no gun was recovered from the attacker, who was also killed by police bullets, nor were there any reports that he fired at police or had a gun in his hand when he was killed police should not be excused for firing their weapons in "self-defense" or to put a stop to a situation in a situation where there are crowds of people in the potential line of fire.

The primary responsibility of police is and must always be protecting the public. Period.

Their primary responsibility is emphatically not protecting property, and it certainly is not protecting themselves. Police wear, or should wear, body armor on duty, and they must, as a part of their accepting of the job of being a cop, accept the responsibility to put the safety of the public before concerns about their own lives.

That is not what happened here.

We are hearing comments from the police in news reports that the kill shot that snuffed out little Valentina's young life pierced a "solid" wall that police had "no way of knowing" had dressing room booths behind it. That is simply BS! Everyone, including police, has to know how department stores like Burlington Outlets are constructed, with cheap pressed-board partitions set up throughout a large open space to separate various departments and to create flimsy changing rooms. There is probably not a single concrete wall on any floor level within the confines of any large department store. It's all ticky-tack
, easily moved and altered construction inside these spaces.

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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