Federal investigation of fatal Fresno police shooting of teen needed, protesters say

Protesters gathered outside the Fresno’s Federal Courthouse on Monday to call for an investigation into the police department following the shooting death of 16-year-old Isiah Murrietta-Golding in 2017 and the release of a video of the incident earlier this month.

“Enough is enough,” said Gloria Hernandez, a Fresno Stolen Lives volunteer and community advocate who helped organize the event.

About 100 people, including members of Murrietta-Golding’s family and the Fresno Brown Berets, surrounded Hernandez with homemade signs that read: “Stop Repeat Killer Cops” and “Good Shot. Really FPD?”

One read, “Dyer justifies murder.”

In 2018, then Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said an internal investigation determined that the officer acted “within department policy” and that the shooting was justified because the teen was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation.

Dyer also said then that Murrietta-Golding “reached into his waistband several times.”

Many in the crowd wore T-shirts or carried pictures of Murrietta-Golding, some with the hashtag #justiceforzay.

But the protest was not about this single shooting, or the video, which was released last week as part of a federal federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Murrietta-Golding family against the department.

In a letter to the U.S. Attorney, Hernandez said the shooting happened as part of a “deliberate pattern and practice, followed by justifications for the excessive use of force.”

The letter calls for a thorough, independent and transparent review of the officer’s conduct, as well as a complete review of the policies and procedures of the Fresno Police Department.

“Unfortunately, the City of Fresno has neither the desire, nor the means to adequately address this issues by itself,” the letter states.

Related stories from Fresno Bee