Los Angeles police officer there shot a 14-year-old girl deadly as she tried on Christmas dresses has been identified as a veteran, black policeman who, before killing the unarmed teenager, tried to build his brand as a community advocate and reformer.
He also launched a clothing line called “Use of Force Fitness,” but disbanded it in December 2020, after months of unprecedented protests against police violence across America.
William Dorsey Jones Jr., 42, became formal identified by his lawyer in New York Times. Attempts to reach Jones for a comment this week were in vain, and his lawyer, Leslie Wilcox, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Valentina Orellana-Peralta and her mother, who had recently moved to the United States from Chile, were in a locker room when police stormed a Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood on Dec. 23 to confront a man swinging a bicycle lock against women. bloody at least one of them. It served opened fire despite the fact that the suspect was not armed with a pistol served quickly to revive long-standing tensions between the LAPD and colored communities, as well as the debate over police use of force at the national level.
Surveillance footage and body-cam video released by the LAPD shows an officer firing three shots from a rifle in the direction of the suspect Daniel Elena-Lopez, 24. Elena-Lopez was killed, but a bullet also penetrated a dry wall and pierced Valentina in her chest.
That is what Soledad Peralta said at a press conference on Tuesday that her daughter locked the dressing room door while the chaos unfolded “to try to protect us,” and that the couple hugged and prayed until they “felt an explosion that threw us both to the ground.” Peralta looked down to see her daughter getting cramps, with white powder coming out of her body. “She died in my arms and there was nothing I could do,” she said.
Social media accounts, now either locked or removed, and previous interviews reveal that prior to the catastrophic incident, Jones was determined to position himself as a bridge between police and colored communities.
“I’m a black man, I’m the father of a black son, I’ve been the victim[im] of racism, ”he wrote in a now removed tweet. “I am LAPD. I have the power and the will to influence CHANGE in society. I am a proud member of # thin blue line & #black life means something. “
Cached posts on his disappeared Twitter page show him promoting one nonprofit organization, Officers for Change and related charitable activities while another now unavailable account indicates that he coached a local football team in high school.
He appears to have closed Officers for Changes Facebook and Twitter accounts, and substantially dismantled its website. But archived material shows that it joined itself as “a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. On a mission to impact the lives of those living in high-risk and low-income communities” with a “sworn platform to educate, inspire , mentor and motivate. “
Kentucky native talked about his experiences and interests in a now deleted December 2020 article on the website of his alma mater, University of Louisville. “Being an African American police officer and from Louisville has given me a very unique perspective,” he said.
The article reported that Jones moved to LA in 2006 to pursue a career in entertainment, but instead became a police officer, spending eight years on patrol and then three years as a community worker.
Public records also suggest he may have sought additional opportunities to take advantage of his political career: Business, Trademark and Website Information The Daily Beast uncovered the show, Jones launched an athletic apparel series in 2019 called “Use of Force Fitness.”
In recent days, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has led a chorus of residents and activists calling the LAPD’s use of force in the deadly incident unjustified.
“The police did not give any verbal command and did not try to do so [sic] de-escalate. The suspect did not have a gun and did not advance on officers or potential victims. “The police opened fire in a shopping center with people in it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Spectators calling 911 about Elena-Lopez offered conflicting information. A caller mistakenly said he was armed with a gun and had fired shots.
Tom Saggau, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing Jones, said officers expected an active shooting situation.
“You are trained to enter the facility and try to eliminate the threat so that more people are not shot. That is the mindset when they respond to that call,” he told The Daily Beast.
He said Jones was “absolutely devastated” by the result.
However, Valentina’s family, represented by high-profile civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, claimed responsibility on Tuesday, claiming officers left Valentina to die alone on the floor as they evacuated others from the store.
In a statement MondayLAPD chief Michel R. Moore said he was “deeply saddened” by her death and promised a “thorough, complete and transparent investigation.” The California Attorney General’s Office and the California Department of Justice also launched separate investigations.