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Photo Essay

Heartbreaking Scenes From Valentina Orellana Peralta’s, the 14-Year-Old Killed by LAPD Bullet, Funeral in South L.A. (Photo Essay)

4:46 PM PST on January 11, 2022

On Monday, Funeral services were held at City of Refuge Church in Gardena for Valentina Orellana Peralta. Peralta is the 14-year-old girl who was struck and killed by LAPD gunfire inside a North Hollywood Burlington Store. Reverend Al Sharpton officiated and delivered her eulogy.  

Peralta's father, Juan Pablo, spoke and noted that he and her mother will always struggle with the devastation of losing their daughter in such a violent fashion. 

“As parents, we ask ourselves, is it just for our daughter to have died in this way? It’s an answer we will never have,” he said 

“She always told us her greatest dream was to become a U.S. citizen, just like her sister. She wasn’t going to rest until she had her dream fulfilled,” he said. “She always told us that this country was the safest in the world, and unfortunately, she was mistaken.” 

Peralta’s mother, Soledad Peralta, fought through tears to say, “I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to speak like I was at the press conference…My niece told me some encouraging words. She said, ‘please don’t cry, your tears will wet her wings, and she won’t be able to fly.’“ 

The family was also accompanied by lawyers Ben Crump and Rahul Ravipudi. “We pray for peace and justice for this innocent blood spilled,” said Crump.

Rev Sharpton noted his decades-long battle for police reform in Los Angeles, referencing his trip to the city regarding the violent beating of Rodney King. “Through those 31 years, we keep seeing LAPD get it wrong. And here we are again. How long will it take for you to get it right?" Sharpton asked

Sharpton then went on to acknowledge the shooting officer was Black. 

"The circumstance of nationality and race is important. It's important because we need to make it clear that we don't just fight for our own because we all are our own. Whether you're from South Central, Harlem, or Chile," Sharpton said. "Justice must be justice no matter who it is and who's involved. I don't feel better if I'm shot by a Black cop." 

Last week, the LAPD shared Body Camera footage and surveillance video, along with the 911 and radio transmissions. But their “investigation” continues, and the attorney general's office is also continuing with its own independent investigation. 

On Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti made his first statement on Peralta’s killing, stating that the city will take a comprehensive look at everything from training and tactics to policies during their investigation. 

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