Hundreds rally around Jamines shooting

The crowd roared chanting in unison "¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!" (the people united will never be defeated) last Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles.

Approximately 700 protesters, consisting much of the Guatemalan immigrant community, united to protest the killing of Manual Jamines.

They lined the streets of downtown Los Angeles where they expressed indignation with fists of vehemence, voices of reverberation and signs of detestation towards the police.

"People don't really know what happened, but we're all here because we feel that cops shot him unnecessarily," said the Student-Workers Action Team protest leader George Gordillo.

"Everyone shared his or her stories. It relates to the entire community and was not just about him getting shot," said Gordillo. "It's more about changing the community, and I wish there would have been a better turn out than the hundreds that showed up."

The attendees verbalized a feeling of anger and sorrow towards the loss of their loved ones to "police brutality," as so many of the speakers also stated.

Carlos Montes, a co-founder of the Brown Berets, a Chicano Working Class Youth Organization in the United States since the late 1960s, organized this "walk" with the Community Service Organization as a part of the Southern California Immigration Coalition.

"Our main campaign is fighting for legalization for all, and demanding an end to the attacks by the immigration deportations. In the issue of Manual Jamines, we took on the case because not only is he an immigrant, but he was a Guatemalan worker who was killed by the police," Montes said.

According to Montes, many immigrants, especially in Central America, are victims of the police, as well as Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Besides the Jamines incident, the event was organized to expose the continued repression of Central Americans.

Although testimony from passersby and police vary, allegedly Manual Jamines, a day laborer, was reportedly drunk and threatened people with a six inch knife, and was shot twice in the head by police when they were threatened by Jamines,.

The police officer who shot Jamines, Frank Hernandez, is a 13 year veteran. Although many protests have occurred against the police, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck stated in a televised town meeting over boos and jeers (from Westlake District residents) that Jamines's murder was "an unreasonable expectation."

"The killing of Manual Jamines is an example of the brutal racist police abuse that Central American Mexican and Chicanos, as well as blacks suffer here in LA and the US," Montes said. "His killing is an example of the brutal oppression from the police as well as the immigration authorities.

Numerous attempts to obtain a statement from the LAPD, Rampart Division about the rally were unsuccessful.