SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A San Jose family is blaming San Jose police for the death of a teen killed by a stray bullet at a house party last year.
“All we know is that we have a young person who is dead, in our view, who should not be dead. And he’s dead as a consequence of police delaying the process,” said East Bay civil rights attorney John Burris, who filed the lawsuit in federal court.READ MORE: Contractor Who Bribed San Francisco Public Works Director Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison
The lawsuit against the City of San Jose blames officers for delaying medical attention for 16-year-old Gerardo Jorge Medina, a delay the suit alleges that cost Medina his life.
Medina was at a party on Murtha Drive in June of 2013, when he was innocently hit in the stomach by stray gunfire. His friends put him in a car and drove him to the hospital, but police stopped the car that car about four blocks away at Story and White roads.
Burris said the friends pleaded with officers to let them take their friend to the hospital.READ MORE: Warnings About San Francisco Millennium Tower Repair Plans Raised Before Work Began
“The police officers didn’t accept it. They held them at gunpoint. They made all the kids get out of the car,” Burris said. “While there they could see he was physically injured. They ultimately called a paramedic.”
Burris said the delay took 20 minutes. Medina was eventually taken to Regional Medical Center, which is less than two miles from the shooting scene, but was pronounced dead.
The attorney said the teens may have been racially profiled.
“Obviously one of our issues is whether they were stopped because one, they’re Latinos, young Latinos. And two, whether they committed any type of crime,” Burris said.MORE NEWS: Video Released of Suspect In Assault Pro-Recall Supporter in San Rafael
San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle released this statement to KPIX 5, saying “The police officers acted appropriately. These were very difficult circumstances, but they did everything right.”