Funeral Monday For 14-Year-Old Girl Shot, Killed By LAPD Officer In North Hollywood Burlington Store

14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who was killed in a police-involved shooting, while she was shopping with her mother, finally laid to rest. The incident occurred on Dec. 23, 2021, when the police were at the location responding to several 911 calls of people reporting a man assaulting customers in the store. The store involved in the incident was North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory.

All the surveillance, body camera footage and 911 dispatch audio clearly show a 24-year-old male suspect, later identified by the name of Daniel Elena Lopez, assaulting and attacking multiple women. One woman, in particular, was being graphically beaten while others tried to evacuate the store when the police arrived and opened fire at Lopez, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Valentina Orellana-Peralta was in one of the dressing rooms, where a stray bullet is reported to have struck her after skipping from the floor. A supporting video statement is released by the LAPD to support this claim. The commanding officer of the Media Relations Division of the LAPD, Stacy Spell also gave a statement in the video saying, “We at the LAPD would like to express our most heartfelt condolences and profound regret for the loss of this innocent victim, Valentina Oriana Peralta. there are no words that can describe the depth of the sorrow we feel for this tragic outcome.”

Valentina Orellana-Peralta
nytimes.com

Attorney of the family of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, Benjamin Crump said, “We pray for peace and justice for this innocent blood spilled,” at the funeral in southern California where mourners gathered to celebrate and honor the little girl’s life. Adding, he said how the teenage girl’s parents “sacrificed their lives, their sense of community in Chile and were working on immigrating to the United States so Valentina could have the American dream, an opportunity to become the best person she could be, to contribute to society the best way that she could.”

Valentina Orellana-Peralta was an immigrant, who came to the U.S. with her mother last year, just a mere 6 months ago. Her parents told reporters she dreamt of becoming a robotics engineer and getting her American citizenship.

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy at the funeral where he talked about the continued emphasis on police reform and how the continued brutality plays out against people of color. “31 years ago, I came to Los Angeles because the LAPD beat a man on the highway. His name was Rodney King. And here we are again. How long will it take for you to get it right,” he said, adding, “Now we must in the name of Valentina — give justice and change how we do policing. We must make new laws, we must make new training. Those that don’t know how to go into a department store during Christmas and not shoot like this is the wild, wild west must be held accountable. They must put value on human life.”

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