Sister Rallies 70,000 to Demand Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Call For Immediate Investigations Into Police Killing of Brother Hernan Jaramillo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2016

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendablemedia.com

Sister Rallies 70,000 to Demand Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Call For Immediate Investigations Into Police Killing of Brother Hernan Jaramillo

Courage Campaign and Presente.org Join Jaramillo’s Sister in Urging Mayor Schaaf to call on Alameda County DA, Oakland Police Chief to Launch Investigations and Hold Offending Officers Accountable

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- More than 70,000 people in California and around the country are standing with Ana Biocini, sister of Hernan Jaramillo, in demanding that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf call on the Alameda County District Attorney and the Oakland Police Department to conduct immediate investigations into the death of her brother, an innocent, unarmed, Latino man. On July 8th, 2013, after Oakland police were called by Biocini to investigate a noise at her home, police forcibly removed her brother, Hernan Jaramillo, from his sister’s house and killed him on the sidewalk.

SEE COURAGE CAMPAIGN’S PETITION HERE: act.couragecampaign.org/sign/HernanJaramilloKilling/
SEE PRESENTE.ORG’S PETITION HERE: http://act.presente.org/sign/jaramillo/

The petition effort - led Ana Biocini, and supported by the California-based Courage Campaign and Presente.org, a national Latino-rights organization - comes after leaked video of Hernan Jaramillo’s death shows Oakland police pressing Jaramillo face down on the ground and repeatedly ignoring him as he cried out “I can’t breathe. They’re killing me!” until his body laid lifeless on the sidewalk, still bound in handcuffs.

SEE THE LEAKED VIDEO HERE: http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_29435600/oakland-body-camera-shows-man-screamed-i-cant

Oakland police hid the video of his killing from the public for over two and a half years, and both Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley and Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent have refused to launch investigations and hold the officers involved accountable to the full extent of the law.  The petition campaign argues that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has the power to force investigations and demand accountability.

In an email to Courage Campaign members earlier this month, Biocini detailed her brother’s death in police custody and the seemingly deliberate cover-up of his death by the Oakland police:

“I heard my brother Hernan scream over, and over, and over again, while I watched police pin him to the ground with all of their weight on top of him, after beating him down on the street and dragging him 20 feet out to the sidewalk in front of my house in Oakland. I pleaded for them to stop, but the police officers continued until he breathed no more.”

“When I called the police for help that day, I never imagined that I was calling the same people who would kill my dear brother in the street just minutes later.”  

“Hernan’s death was all caught on video. But the police hid the tape from the public for two and a half years - until it was leaked to the media by an anonymous source.”

“If it were up to the police and Oakland authorities, the public might never have known what happened. It’s been over two and a half years, and there still hasn’t been a public investigation into Hernan’s death. There have been no charges against the police who killed him. No major public outcry. Nothing. We don’t even know whether any of the officers involved were disciplined. In fact, the Oakland Police Department refuses to answer any questions about his death at all.”

Hernan Jaramillo worked as a realtor for years before losing his job and house after the economy crashed in 2008.  Prior to his death, he was living with Biocini and worked as a salesman for a local solar panel company.  On July 8th, 2013, Biocini called police to her home after she thought she heard someone breaking into the house.  When police arrived they dragged her brother out of her home, wearing just boxers and a tank top, and killed him on the sidewalk.  Jaramillo wasn’t doing anything wrong. He wasn’t even a suspect.

“My brother did not deserve to die. And I am haunted by his death every day. But what bothers me the most is the silence that has surrounded his death, the inaction from Oakland authorities, and the lack of accountability for the police officers who killed him,” added Biocini.

“The police killing of Hernan Jaramillo in Oakland, like that of Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and so many others, is a tragic example of the epidemic of police violence against people of color in this country. Plain and simple - Jaramillo was an unarmed, innocent man who died in the custody of those in charge of protecting him, and no person should ever have to fear that they or their loved ones could be killed by the hands of the police,” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign and an Oakland resident. “If the officers who killed Hernan are innocent, why has the police department kept the video of his death hidden from the public? Why are they refusing to talk to the press or his family about what happened? Why hasn’t District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley even investigated this case? And what is stopping Mayor Schaaf from taking action and holding all parties involved accountable?”

“The failure of the Oakland Police Chief or the Alameda County District Attorney to investigate the police killing of Hernan Jaramillo is obscene. It’s an injustice to his life, his family, and so many others who have unjustly died at the hands of police. Mayor Schaaf must immediately demand both Police Chief Sean Whent and District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to investigate Hernan’s death and hold the officers accountable to the full extent of the law,” added Kurtz.

"Hernan Jaramillo should never have been killed by Oakland police. The silence and inaction about his case from Mayor Schaaf, District Attorney O’Malley, and Chief of Police Whent is disgraceful, and it makes the tragedy his family is facing even worse," said Matt Nelson, managing director of Presente.org. "Jaramillo's family and the public deserve answers and accountability, not a cover-up. No one should have to live in fear that police who have sworn to protect us might end up killing us instead. But too often, the police treat Latinos and Latinas like second class citizens. We won't stop pushing until we get the truth about how this case was handled, and real accountability for the officers and the system that killed Hernan Jaramillo."

For more information, or to speak with Ana Biocini or Courage Campaign, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@unbendablemedia.com. You can contact Presente.org at media@presente.org.

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