Dead woman’s family demands answers from Sheriff’s Dept.

By Emilie St. John

Contributing Writer

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Activists are demanding an investigation into the shooting death of a woman after video footage surfaced showing sheriff’s deputies failing to render aid to the dying woman.

Raejonette Morgan, 22, was shot multiple times while driving on the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway near Vermont Avenue July 2. She died from her injuries July 4.

Morgan’s family, in collaboration with attorney Ben Crump and civil rights activist Najee Ali, director of Project Islamic Hope, held a press conference July 5 outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station, calling for her killers to turn themselves in while also calling for a meeting with Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna after video footage from the scene showed deputies failing to render aid to Morgan while she lay dying in her vehicle.

Also attending the press conference were Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Gardena, and Justice for Murdered Children President Lawanda Hawkins.

“I offer my prayers to the [Morgan] family regarding the loss of your daughter,” Crump said. “As I told Najee, my law firm will join you in demanding a full investigation.”

Ali, elaborating on the demands, said, “We are also calling for a meeting with Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, who has a long track record of great character and integrity. What his deputy did, which was captured on cell phone video by a good Samaritan, was shocking, reprehensible and inexcusable.”

Ali is questioning the protocols followed by the Sheriff’s Department when attending to shooting victims who are still alive.

“We want to know directly from Sheriff Luna what the protocol is for shooting victims who are still alive,” Ali said. We want this deputy’s name released and want to see if he has a history of complaints concerning not helping African-American crime victims.

“I honestly believe that if a young white woman had been shot in a hail of bullets, this deputy would have sprung into action and not allowed her to bleed out in the car. He would have broken the car window himself to render aid and CPR, and not waited for a good Samaritan to do his job for him,” Ali added.

According to Ali, the sheriff’s department is cooperating in scheduling a meeting to address what was captured in the video.

The family also held a candlelight vigil in memory of Morgan July 6 at the South Park Recreation Center where a shrine was created. 

According to her family, Morgan fell victim to a mistaken identity shooting by alleged gang members. The family is now calling for justice and urging those responsible for her murder to come forward.

Deputies from the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station responded to the westbound freeway and Vermont Avenue where they found Morgan inside a white Mercedes suffering from multiple gunshots, according to the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station watch commander Jesus Cabadas.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at emiliesaintjohn@gmail.com.

Photo by Viola Gray

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