Biden offers condolences to Chilean president after LAPD shooting death of girl

to Chilean President


The Los Angeles police shooting death of a 14-year-old girl reverberated in diplomatic circles from Washington, D.C., to South America this week during a call between President Biden and Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric.

Biden called Boric on Thursday to congratulate the 35-year-old on winning his country’s election in mid-December; he will be the youngest president in Chile’s history. They spoke about climate change, social justice and democracy as well as human rights.

And Valentina Orellana-Peralta.

In a short statement, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, stated that Biden had “offered deep condolences” to Chileans for Valentina’s tragic death. Valentina was born in Santiago, and she died in the North Hollywood Burlington shop, her body punctured by a bullet ..

Valentina and her mother, Soledad Peralta, had been shopping for dresses there on Dec. 23, and were in the changing room when a round fired by Officer William Dorsey Jones Jr. penetrated the wall and struck the girl. The girl died in her mother’s arms.

“I couldn’t do anything,” Peralta said in Spanish during a news conference outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters Tuesday. “Our sweet angel is gone forever.”

The shy girl, who excelled at school and wanted to become an engineer and U.S. citizen, was an unseen bystander two days before Christmas when Jones fired three shots in the store at an assault suspect identified as Daniel Elena-Lopez, who had been attacking Burlington shoppers with a bike lock.

Police received numerous 911 calls regarding the assaults. Some said that Elena-Lopez was carrying a gun.

Last week, the LAPD released video that included surveillance footage as well as body camera footage and 911 phone calls. Jones sprints past several police officers and shouts “Hold up!” Jones stands in front of the bleeding body of Elena Lopez, as the attacker moves on to the opposite side of the shopping aisle.

Jones lights three times in just seconds. The air is filled with the sound of the woman who was in the nearby fitting room.

Valentina, and Elena-Lopez both died at the scene. The shooting is under investigation by the LAPD and the State Department of Justice.

Jones was put on paid administrative leave. This is a standard procedure for officers who discharge their weapons. Tom Saggau, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, stated that this was done to protect officers. Saggau stated that Jones will be returning to active duty when the LAPD Chief Michel Moore decides.

Jones’ lawyer, Leslie Wilcox said that Jones is trying to understand the situation. “He’s spending time with his family and trying to protect them from the media coverage as well as trying to take time to process the outcome.”

Neither Wilcox nor Saggau would discuss the specifics of the shooting or describe Jones’ mindset, noting that what the officer was thinking as he made split-second decisions in the crowded department store would be part of the investigation.

But Wilcox said Jones was “heartbroken” but that he couldn’t stop thinking about the incident .”

Jones works as a North Hollywood patrol officer. Wilcox stated that Jones was a community relations officer who worked with at-risk teens, mentoring them and helping them to get tutors. Officers for Change was his nonprofit organization. He raised money to buy toys for Christmas and filled backpacks with school supplies for elementary children at the beginning of each academic year.

Wilcox stated Friday that Jones is being supported by his department, his community, and she believes it’s important that the public also knows this.

” One thing he said to me about Valentina was that she is the same age as many kids he mentors. He tends to see the children he coaches or works with as his little sister or brother. That’s what he said about her, ‘She could be my little sister.’

“He’s completely devastated.”

So, of course, is Valentina’s family.

Juan Pablo Orellana was Valentina’s father. He said that his daughter was shot to death by a rifle-wielding LAPD officer. I don’t have words to describe what I’m going through.”

The shooting has sparked outrage and spurred debate about police response in tense, crowded situations. Los Angeles City Council members, experts on force use and advocates for the Latino community have all commented.

Now, Biden

and Boric

have both commented.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Boric acknowledged Biden’s sympathy and noted that Valentina had been killed “at the hands of the United States police.”

“We accompany her family in their pain,” Boric continued, “and we pledge our support for justice.”

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