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Family Demands Justice after 28-year Ethiopian Engineer was Shot and Killed by Police in Los Angeles

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Zelalem Eshetu Ewnetu

Family of Zelalem Eshetun Ewnetu, a 28-year old Ethiopian engineer who was shot and killed by police in Los Angeles is asking for answers concerning the events that led to his death.

Los Angeles Times had reported that the county sheriff’s deputies were responding to a vehicle burglary call about 1:15AM on Wednesday April 12, 2017, around 91st Street and Compton Avenue when they spotted his car with its trunk open.

According to Deputy Guillermina Saldaña, as officers approached the vehicle, they could smell marijuana, and when they asked the person in it (Zelalem) to come out he refused.

Saldaña said when an officer held Zelalem’s hand in order to escort him out of the vehicle, he pulled away and reached for his gun. That was when officers shot him in the torso and he died.

The family has said that the story from the police does not convey the full story, adding that a detective had told them that the gun was recovered from the trunk of his car and there were two bullet holes in the back of the car.

Photo Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

The family has created a GoFundMe page to help with his funeral and attorney costs.

Zelalem was a graduate from the University of Idaho majoring in Mechanical/Nuclear Engineering. He worked as an engineer for the California Public Utilities Commission. He is the first and only one in his family to graduate from college. His mother and siblings reside in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Photo via Twitter – @Helleta

12 Comments

  1. June

    April 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    So sad. God comfort his family. Hope the truth of what really happened comes out. See fresh boy hmm.

  2. gia

    April 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Why are american cops so violent?
    This is not a rethorical question,i really need an american to answer me

    • Sherlie Holmes

      April 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      We American’s are still trying to figure it out my dear…its so sad. 🙁

    • Mrs Pangolo

      April 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      I’m not american but I also want to know why he didn’t feel safe and felt the need to carry a gun on his person??

    • I live in America

      April 22, 2017 at 1:23 am

      They are not violent, they are racist. How many times have you heard of a white cop shooting a white, European or Asian male in the name of self defense?

  3. Hadee

    April 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    So so sad ??. I pray he gets justice

  4. dhoney

    April 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    ..my question still remains Are American Police trained to shoot to kill at all times?…I have never heard them shoot any suspect in the legs/hands to demobilize them. I am confused !

    • gia

      April 21, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      “I have never heard them shoot any suspect in the legs/hands to demobilize them”

      GBAM!!!

      Dhoney,few weeks ago,here in italy,milan a psycho(a BLACK man) with a machete was assaulting innocent people on the streets.Italian cops simply shot him in the leg and handcuffed him.No unnecesary deaths.No unnecesary wounds.Also,italian cops don’t have pepper sprays and tazers.

  5. Beyonce

    April 22, 2017 at 4:01 am

    American police is uncivilized and racist. They are just bloody killers and blood suckers. They’re worse than Isis and boko haram joined together. They have also become notorious all over the world. It’s high time God put his judgement on them and destroy the whole department with fire. They that kill by the gun shall go by the gun, and they that kill by the Sword shall die by the Sword.

  6. Zepporah Moses

    April 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I am an Ethiopian Jew who lives in the United States and I have faced so much racism in America. We believe white people are not humans and they are originated from satanic demons and that is why they hate us black people. Their demise is coming soon.

  7. Alemseged

    April 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Why? Why? Why? Why the so called great America can’t stop this? Why is the so called great power so mean? Why? Why? Why are Americans, immigrants, black, whites tolerate this? Why they let it happen? The “police of the world” is a failed state if they do not able to stop a vehicle or a young boy without killing him. There is very evil thing going on, and people are watching staying aside. The blood of the innocents kill will hound the killers for ever, as they are houmded by crimes they did on the slaves still today.

  8. Draconian Times

    May 12, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Was there an update to this story?

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