FULLERTON (CBSLA) — Since he was killed by a Fullerton Police Department officer last summer, family and friends of 34-year-old Hector Hernandez have refused to stop marching in front of City Hall.
“This will not go away until I have justice for those two grandboys,” one woman said through tears.
READ MORE: Officer Injured, Suspect Dies In Shootout With Police During Barricade Near USC
Last May, police responded to a domestic violence call at Hernandez’s home. Neighbors said he had a fight with his teenage son. The fight escalated, and Hernandez fired a gun, but nobody was hit.
When police arrived, Hernandez’s sister-in-law said he came out of the home with his hands up.
Police body camera footage captured what happened next. In the video, Hernandez can be seen standing at the door with his hands up when a K9 officer releases his dog. The dog took Hernandez down to the ground, and that’s when officers said he used a small knife to stab the dog and the officer fired his gun twice — killing Hernandez.
READ MORE: Only On KCAL 9: ‘Healing Garden’ At LA Hospital Honors COVID-19 Victims, Highlights Resiliency Of Frontline Workers
“I was about five feet away, and he posed no threat whatsoever,” Kelly Willams, Hernandez’s sister-in-law, said. “He had his hands up. That dog should have never been let go.”
Police said Hernandez had been drinking and hit his girlfriend, but neighbors dispute that characterization. They said he did not deserve to die and that they were going to keep marching in front of City Hall until the K9 officer is fired.
“He complied with what was being told to him,” Bill Brown, a neighbor, said. “His hands were in the air. How do you release your dog like that?”
MORE NEWS: 2 Killed In Massive Fireworks Explosion That Rattled Ontario Neighborhood; Evacuation Order Issued
Fullerton police did not immediately return a request for comment. The family has hired an attorney and said they would be taking legal action against the city and department.