Sharpton to deliver eulogy at teen girl’s funeral

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at funeral services for the 14-year-old girl that was fatally struck by a stray bullet fired by Los Angeles police at an assault suspect inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood last month.

Services will be held Jan. 10 at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena. The family’s lawyers, Ben Crump and Rahul Ravipudi, also will speak at the funeral and repeat their call for justice for Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who was killed in a dressing room while shopping with her mother for a Christmas dress on Dec. 23.

LAPD Officer William Jones, who shot the teen while confronting a suspect, has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the shooting. The officer’s union said that Jones had recently completed a course on how to handle an active shooter situation and was following his training.

Police also fatally shot 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez — who did not have a gun — but a bullet fired by Jones pierced a wall and struck Valentina.

The LAPD released body camera and surveillance footage of the entire violent incident last week, and a coalition of civil rights groups called for Jones to be arrested and prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter Jan. 2.

The LAPD’s Force Investigation Division and Inspector General’s Office are both investigating the shooting, along with the California Department of Justice’s California Police Shooting Investigation Team for Southern California. The Department of Justice investigates officer shootings under provisions of a bill signed into law last year.

Once the investigation has been completed, the results will be turned over to the California Department of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division for independent review.

The shooting drew the attention of President Joe Biden, who offered his condolences to the people of Chile — where Valentina was from — while on a phone call with Chilean president-elect Gabriel Boric Dec. 30.

Valentina came to Los Angeles with her mother from Santiago, Chile, about six months ago and had dreams of becoming a robotics engineer and an American citizen.

 

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