DENVER-- Huddles of people gathered atop the highway crossing at 20th Street and 88th Avenue over Interstate 25 (I-25) at 7:00am to pay tribute to the life of Jessie Hernandez, killed by Denver Police officers Gabriel Jordan and Daniel Greene on January 26, 2015 after shots fired at 7:02am.
Young queer people of color and family of community members killed by police in Denver held banners in both locations over the morning traffic travelling both Northbound and Southbound reading “Jessie es sagrada” or “Jessie is sacred” and another bearing the faces of Joseph Valverde, Ryan Ronquillo, Paul Castaway, and Michael Marshall.
BSeedz member Diane Amaya said “We are out here to remind the community, the people who are stuck in usual morning traffic that queer youth of color remember what DPD officers did to Jessie Hernandez on this morning one year ago today. Young queer and two spirit people are sacred, not shooting targets. We deserve safety and protection.”
Those gathered are echoing the long standing demand to create protections for family members who survive the killing of a loved one by police or sheriff as well as the release of Sharod Kindell, a community member shot by Denver police on January 9, 2015 by the same officer involved Ryan Ronquillo’s murder (Jeffrey DiManna). The group ultimately is calling for the resignation of Mayor Michael Hancock citing his lack of transparency under his administration and lack of leadership on issues important to the people of Denver.
WHAT: Queer youth of color created banners to hold over I-25 traffic and invited people to gather to honor the life and legacy of Jessie Hernandez who was a young queer Mexicana murdered by Denver Police one year ago today.
WHY: LGBTQI2S people face higher rates of abuse and violence at the hands of law enforcement agencies and mainstream / for profit media report for the police and act as a megaphone for the police instead of a megaphone for the families demanding change in law enforcement practices.
WHO: Young queer & two-spirit people of color, families of people killed by police, healers, medicine people, and community allies.
WHERE: Overpass of: 20th Street near downtown Denver and 88th Avenue near Thornton where Jessie lived.
WHEN: 7:00 am
Buried Seedz of Resistance is a group of queer, trans, and gender non-conforming youth who utilize arts, media-making, and culture to organize our communities towards liberation with lives’ free from targeted violence. www.bseedz.org