The Senseless, Illegitimate Police Killing of Mayra Cornejo

January 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | received the following correspondence:

People who knew her said 34-year-old Mayra Cornejo was a joyful person who loved her five children and loved to have fun. She lived in Compton, California, and according to family members, her youngest daughter had told her mother that she was being molested by her father late at night when everybody was asleep. To protect her children, Mayra Cornejo filed a complaint and her husband was arrested. But then, instead of charging him, the Compton sheriffs let him go.

Mayra was shocked and upset and determined to protect her children. On December 31, 2014, New Year’s Eve, she reportedly brought a gun to a gas station and confronted her husband to stop him from harming the children. LA County sheriffs then rolled up and shot her seven times—shooting at her even after she fell down. Mayra Cornejo died in the hospital. Family members say she was trying to protect her children at the time and are demanding answers into why she was shot. Law enforcement went to a relative’s house and took away the five children. The family is now fighting to get them back.

On Friday, January 2, some of us took Revolution newspaper to Compton. Standing around the memorial of flowers, candles, and Mayra Cornejo’s picture at the gas station where she was killed, friends and relatives said the sheriffs should have tried to talk to her, it wasn’t right. According to relatives, there was no “freeze,” no “drop the gun”—sheriffs just opened up on Mayra and killed her. There is deep anger and pain at this senseless and illegitimate murder. Some of the friends and family knew about the struggle in Ferguson, Missouri, against the police killing of Michael Brown and the nationwide movement to stop police murder, and some did not. They all think that what happened is wrong and needs to stop. Newspapers and whistles (to alert people about the police) got into people’s hands. Widespread anger is simmering beneath the surface in Compton. At the nearby train stop and shopping center, everyone who heard about the murder was outraged. A Black woman whose son was shot by sheriffs came by the memorial to support the family. Carl Dix’s statement, “Murder by Police Should Not Be Tolerated!” resonated with many.

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