Mother of boy killed by police in Boyle Heights seeking bodycam footage

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An attorney for the mother of a 14-year-old boy who was killed by LAPD officers in Boyle Heights is demanding to see the body camera footage of the shooting. (KABC)

The mother of a 14-year-old boy killed by police in Boyle Heights has hired an attorney and is challenging the Los Angeles Police Department to provide video footage of the shooting.

Jesse James Romero was killed Tuesday when LAPD gang-enforcement officers responded to a call of possible vandalism and narcotics near Chicago Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

Police say a witness saw one of the suspects shoot a handgun in the direction of the pursuing officers. One of the officers fired at the suspect, killing him.

But Romero's mother has hired an attorney, who is demanding to see police body camera footage from the incident. He also claims another witness saw the boy throw the gun away before there was any shooting.

"We know the officers were wearing body cameras. So we want to see the videotaped images from the body cameras," said attorney Jorge Gonzalez. "We want to see what it was the officers saw when they were shooting at this young man."

The LAPD said the video recorded by the cameras of the shooting is part of the investigation. A handgun found near the boy is being tested for DNA and fingerprints.

Meanwhile, community activists are asking the city to invest more in youth programs to help get kids off the streets and out of gangs. They say the city of LA spends $653 per resident on police and $43 per youth.

Youth and activists held a news conference in Boyle Heights, where they said the city has 800,000 youth ages 10 to 24, but not enough services in poorer communities.

"There is no way of telling what's really being accomplished because there isn't an overall strategy or an overall way to measure the progress these programs are making," said community activist Eric Hubbard.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area, said the city is examining what it spends on youth programs.

"We obviously have done some work but we've got to do more," Huizar said. "Currently we are re-evaluating the amount of money we spend on youth in the city of Los Angeles. Once we get that information in a couple of months, we will analyze if we are using it effectively or not."
Related Topics:
newsofficer involved shootingpolice-involved shootingBoyle HeightsLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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