The Time a School Police Officer Killed a Roosevelt High Student

2008

By now you’ve likely seen the video of the Spring Valley High student being slammed to the ground and thrown across the classroom by the school resource officer in South Caorlina.  But do you remember when a police officer killed a student at Roosevelt High School in Fresno?

April 17, 2008 10:33:39 PM PDT

Fresno, CA — A Roosevelt High School sophomore has been shot and killed by the school’s police officer.Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the shooting happened shortly before noon Wednesday on campus. Dyer says the 17 year old, identified by family members as Jesse Carrizales, attacked the officer, later identified as Junus Perry, with a modified bat, leaving him seriously injured.
Perry was treated at Community Regional Medical Center and released just before 5pm. According to Dyer, the officer managed to reach for his gun to protect himself but the clip fell out. Dyer says the officer reached for a second weapon he kept in an ankle holster and fired one shot at the student, killing him.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, “In speaking with the officer that was involved in the incident, there is no recollection on his part of him having any type of dealing with this student on a negative basis. And, uh, he wasn’t really familiar with who the student was. Um, it doesn’t appear that, at least based on what we have found at this point in time, uh, that there any type of confrontation that had occurred prior to this, with the officer.”

School officials said classes will continue Thursday as scheduled.

Although the circumstance may be different, I publish this to further the discussion about cops on school campuses.  We’ll never really know why Jesse Carrizales was killed, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that police officers on school campuses are a danger to students.

Here’s another report on the incident from two days later:

4/19/2008 Fresno, CA — The Carrizales family said the Fresno police have not been up front with the details surrounding their brother’s death.

Family members called upon the NAACP and Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) to bring an independent auditor to investigate this shooting.

“Jesse! Jesse! Jesse! Keep your eyes on Jesse and his family” claimed the NAACP Valley chapter president.

Valley political and civil rights activists surrounded grieving family members of Jesse Carrizales Saturday morning.

Carrizales’s sister Elisa Ortega claimed Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer is glossing over evidence that could explain why her brother was shot to death Wednesday by a campus police officer. “With Chief Jerry Dyer everything he’s saying is one-sided. I don’t think its right that we hear everything from the media,” said Ortega.
Ortega said all her family really knows about their brother’s death is what they’ve seen and heard on television during news conferences with police Chief Dyer.

“Our investigators strongly suspect that this was a case of suicide by cop. That this suspect wanted Officer Junus Perry to take his life,” Dyer said during a Thursday news conference.

“The facts need to come from the Chief to the family and they should get it first hand,” said Kelly Nelum.

President of the local chapter of the NAACP Kelly Nelum said she believes some student witnesses have a different account of what led up to the 17-year-old’s death. “Information that actually contradicts is what some of our kids have stated,” says Nelum.

But Fresno police disagree. They said they’ve been up front. And in a statement Saturday told Action News: “The family has never called to request a meeting with Chief Dyer. It they would like to meet with him they can call his office, make an appointment and he will gladly meet with them.”

But still, that’s not good enough for Gloria Hernandez with the Central California Criminal Justice Committee. She said an independent auditor needs to investigate this shooting to give the family closure.

“There has to be an outside investigation. This one really calls for an outside investigation outside of Fresno P D, outside of the district attorney,” said Hernandez.

The police department is still investigating this shooting. Officer Perry is on paid administrative leave.

The activist groups working with the Carrizales family are now pushing for a face to face meeting with the mayor and the city council. They hope this will give them the answers they’re looking for.