The relatives of Valentina Orellana Peralta, the Chilean teenager who was murdered by a police officer during an operation in California, they watched the young woman in a crowded ceremony held this Monday in Gardena, south of Los Angeles.
«[Estoy] devastated»Juan Pablo Orellana, the girl’s father, told the AFP agency when entering the Ciudad de Refugio church.
Orellana and Soledad Peralta, Valentina’s mother, were welcomed into the church by Reverend Al Sharpton, a leading figure in the civil rights struggle.
The image of Valentina Orellana Peralta, during her farewell. Photo: AFP
Valentina Orellana Peralta, 14, passed away Dec. 23 at a North Hollywood department store where she was shopping for clothes with her mother.
Both they took refuge in a fitting room when he started a police operation to control a man who attacked customers in the store. A lost bullet fired by the police hit Valentina, who died in her mother’s arms.
«We come here to plead for justice«Benjamin Crump, a prominent black civil rights attorney who represented the George Floyd family, said at the ceremony.
«Valentina’s blood will not leave the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department as long as they continue to justify the unjustifiable actions that caused this 14-year-old angel to shed her innocent blood,» he said.
Pain in the farewell of Valentina Orellana Peralta. Photo: EFE
All of the teenager’s relatives wore a black sweater with the image of the young woman and the legend in spanish «Justice for Valentina».
«There is nothing normal that happens such an uncontrolled shooting that a young woman who came to live the American dream and goes to a store with her mother to buy clothes possibly for Christmas, ends dressed for her funeral«said the Reverend Sharpton, during a harsh speech against Los Angeles police procedures.
«I wonder if they would have fired like this if this had happened in a department store in an upper class neighborhood«Sharpton questioned, applauded by those present.
«I want to thank all the people who are supporting me,» Soledad Peralta said at the ceremony. «Thank God I have had a little peace today,» added the mother of the young woman who closed her brief statement saying that her daughter wanted to study robotics.
«She had passed all of her ninth-grade courses this semester,» added the father, who read a statement.
«The flag of our struggle will be ‘Justice for our daughter Valentina’. Give us strength to continue this fight. I know that we will win it and we will only live a little more calm knowing that your death was not in vain. We never want a murdered Valentina Orellana Peralta again. «
After the speeches, the relatives kept a minute of silence embraced around the coffin of Valentina, dressed in white.
Immediately, Valentina’s father kissed his daughter and closed the coffin.
The ceremony was held in English, with simultaneous Spanish translation, and featured a gospel choir, as well as a large media presence.
In addition to the parents, relatives from Chile and Canada appeared.
The young will be buried in the United States, said the spokesmen of the service. «It’s where she wanted to live,» they said.
Valentina Orellana Peralta had recently moved to the United States with her mother Soledad from Chile.
The officer who shot during the operation is on leave meanwhile the case is investigated by the Los Angeles police.