Investigate the death of our son John P. Quintero
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On January 3, 2015, my son John Paul Quintero was shot and killed by police. He was 23 years old and unarmed at the time of the shooting. I watched him die in front of me.
I received a call that John had been drinking at a birthday celebration and a fight began between him and his cousin's husband - there was a knife involved and family members called 911 to ask for help. I arrived to the house before the police and was able to talk to John and completely diffuse the situation. It was unfortunate that this fight happened but it was the result of intoxication and something we were all able to work out.
I was sitting in my truck with John Paul when the police arrived. Instead of trying to talk with us about what happened, police immediately escalated the situation and pointed a rifle at both of us. Within moments, John Paul, who had his hands in the air, was tased by one officer, causing his hands to drop down.
Almost immediately after this happened I heard the shots. An officer, using her high powered rifle, shot John Paul twice in the chest -- later claiming she thought he was reaching for his waistband.
She shot him before his body could even fall to the ground after being tased.
It's undisputed that my son was unarmed when he was shot and the knife in question was left in the house. Yet the Wichita Police Department is trying to smear John's name -- saying he was belligerent and wouldn't comply with officers -- though multiple witnesses said they saw him with his hands raised.
We just can't trust the local and state officials to investigate our son's killing. We are asking that the US Department of Justice open up a full investigation into whether our son's rights were violated and they push to hold the officer accountable for any criminal actions taken.
Finally, through tapes that have been obtained by a person close to the source, we have learned that witnesses have been harassed by law enforcement here in Wichita. We have been transparent and cooperative with the Wichita Police Department, however feel that we cannot provide that information without immunity from prosecution. We do not have confidence that they can, or will do a complete, full and fair examination of the evidence and provide a zealous pursuit of the truth in this matter. We do not want there to be another Ferguson uprising.
Please sign our petition asking the Department of Justice to use the full weight of their office in this matter. The City of Wichita needs you, the nation needs you but most of this family needs you. Thank you and God bless.
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