Family of Mona Rodriguez, Teen Shot by School Safety Officer, Prepares to Pull Plug

An 18-year-old lady shot earlier this week by a school safety officer in Long Beach, California, shall be taken off life help after her physique is ready for organ donation, a household spokesperson confirmed to The Day by day Beast.

Mona Rodriguez was shot Monday afternoon whereas sitting in a automotive close to Lengthy Seaside’s Millikan Excessive Faculty. Police say she was shot within the higher physique. Rodriguez’s household says she was shot within the head.

“The transition has begun,” Jerlene Tatum, a group activist who has been by the Rodriguez household’s facet for a number of days, mentioned in a textual content message.

At a information convention outdoors the hospital on Friday afternoon, Iran Rodriguez, Mona’s brother, mentioned his sister would have wished her organs to go to others in want. As soon as medical doctors full that course of, Mona shall be taken off life help someday within the subsequent 24 to 72 hours, her brother mentioned.

Mona, who was planning to maneuver to Kansas and begin a brand new life together with her boyfriend and 5-month-old son, was “a family-oriented particular person,” Rodriguez’s cousin Maria Ramirez advised The Day by day Beast, including that Mona “was all the time candy, all the time wished to be a part of every thing we had happening.”

“We gave them the okay [to disconnect the machines] this morning,” and the household spent the day saying their goodbyes, Ramirez mentioned.

The lethal incident occurred a couple of minutes after 3 p.m. on Sept. 27, when an unidentified officer working for the Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District noticed Rodriguez combating a 15-year-old lady strolling away from Millikan Excessive. Rodriguez, who shouldn’t be a scholar there, bought out of a grey sedan parked by a close-by purchasing heart to confront the youthful lady, in keeping with native stories. The officer allegedly warned the pair he would pepper spray them in the event that they didn’t break it up. Rodriguez bought again within the grey automotive, which then started pulling away, video from the incident exhibits. That’s when the officer, who was standing beside the entrance passenger door, the place Rodriguez was sitting, could be seen in bystander video firing two photographs on the shifting car.

“Whereas the motive for the assault stays beneath investigation, detectives consider the suspect and sufferer are recognized to one another, and the 18-year-old feminine grownup suspect initiated the assault,” the Lengthy Seaside Police Division advised The Day by day Beast in an emailed assertion.

Luis Carrillo, a lawyer representing Rodriguez’s household, advised The Day by day Beast the officer needs to be arrested, and “would not have any enterprise carrying a badge or carrying a gun.” On Thursday, Carrillo sent a letter to California Attorney General Rob Bonta demanding an investigation into the taking pictures, which he mentioned meets the authorized threshold for homicide or manslaughter fees towards the officer.

Authorities haven’t but named the officer concerned, however a college district spokesman mentioned they’ve notified the officer’s union that they wish to launch that info quickly.

“We’re attempting to place stress to get that title launched,” mentioned Tatum, who herself attended Millikan Excessive.

Others within the space are additionally alarmed at what they view as stonewalling by the college district.

“We’re very involved in regards to the lack of transparency,” native civil rights activist Najee Ali, who has appeared at press conferences with the Rodriguez family, advised The Day by day Beast. “We consider figuring out him is vital to see if he has a previous disciplinary historical past or complaints towards him.” (Ali is appearing independently and doesn’t converse for the Rodriguez household, Carrillo emphasised.)

Ali is optimistic that the officer shall be charged with against the law, he mentioned.

“The entire nation noticed this officer shoot an unarmed lady at the back of her head as she’s placing her seat belt on, via the again window of the automotive,” mentioned Ali.

The Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District has 9 full-time and two part-time security officers on the payroll, and 4 supervisors above them. They don’t work for the Lengthy Seaside Police Division, which is taken into account a separate entity. Faculty security officers in Lengthy Seaside should not peace officers, however they do obtain police academy coaching—albeit an abbreviated curriculum from that which full-fledged cops get—and are armed. Monday’s taking pictures was the primary by a Lengthy Seaside faculty security officer for the reason that unit was based three a long time in the past.

A retired Lengthy Seaside faculty security officer told the Los Angeles Times that members of the tiny pressure are instructed to not get entangled with issues occurring away from the campus, and may detain individuals however should not approved to make precise arrests. The retired officer, who requested to not be named, advised the Occasions that the officer concerned in Monday’s taking pictures ought to by no means have drawn his weapon within the first place.

“What that officer did was utterly out of line of the protocol,” he mentioned.

The Lengthy Seaside chapter of Black Lives Matter on Friday demanded that college workers, together with faculty safety officers, be prohibited from carrying any weapons in anyway, together with weapons, batons, pepper spray, and so forth.

At a Long Beach Board of Education workshop in August 2020, Thomas Hickman, chief of college security and emergency preparedness for the Lengthy Seaside Unified Faculty District, mentioned, “There’s a few key factors we now have to acknowledge. Primary, I believe the mannequin we now have at Lengthy Seaside Unified is a mannequin of security versus enforcement. And I believe you’re going to see that occuring at an increasing number of faculty districts. I’ve been contacted by two faculty districts within the final 60 days that requested questions in regards to the mannequin we now have, versus a conventional regulation enforcement mannequin that many districts nonetheless comply with.”

The taking pictures of Mona Rodriguez prompted Los Angeles group organizer Cliff Smith to plan a rally in Lengthy Seaside this Sunday, demanding the “immediate arrest and prosecution” of the officer in query. (The Rodriguez household shouldn’t be formally affiliated with Sunday’s protest, in keeping with Carrillo.)

“To us, it’s evident that there was no justification for the deadly use of pressure, and the security officer dedicated against the law,” Smith advised The Day by day Beast. “And never solely killed Mona, however endangered many different individuals. The district lawyer, George Gascon, changed the incumbent district lawyer final 12 months on a marketing campaign particularly about holding law enforcement officials accountable for some of these crimes—and he hasn’t but prosecuted any law enforcement officials himself.”

In the meantime, the Rodriguez household is “devastated and distraught,” in keeping with Ali.

“This has devastated your complete household as a result of nobody noticed this coming,” he mentioned. “Not solely did she lose her life at such a younger age, simply barely an grownup herself, the very fact is that her life was taken unjustly by somebody who is meant to guard lives.” way of=rss | Household of Mona Rodriguez, Teen Shot by Faculty Security Officer, Prepares to Pull Plug


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