Carrizales Family Has Local Activists Support

4/19/2008 Fresno, CA Family members called upon the NAACP and Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) to bring an independent auditor to investigate this shooting.

"Jesse! Jesse! Jesse! Keep your eyes on Jesse and his family" claimed the NAACP Valley chapter president.

Valley political and civil rights activists surrounded grieving family members of Jesse Carrizales Saturday morning.

Carrizales's sister Elisa Ortega claimed Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer is glossing over evidence that could explain why her brother was shot to death Wednesday by a campus police officer. "With Chief Jerry Dyer everything he's saying is one-sided. I don't think its right that we hear everything from the media," said Ortega.

Ortega said all her family really knows about their brother's death is what they've seen and heard on television during news conferences with police Chief Dyer.

"Our investigators strongly suspect that this was a case of suicide by cop. That this suspect wanted Officer Junus Perry to take his life," Dyer said during a Thursday news conference.

"The facts need to come from the Chief to the family and they should get it first hand," said Kelly Nelum.

President of the local chapter of the NAACP Kelly Nelum said she believes some student witnesses have a different account of what led up to the 17-year-old's death. "Information that actually contradicts is what some of our kids have stated," says Nelum.

But Fresno police disagree. They said they've been up front. And in a statement Saturday told Action News: "The family has never called to request a meeting with Chief Dyer. It they would like to meet with him they can call his office, make an appointment and he will gladly meet with them."

But still, that's not good enough for Gloria Hernandez with the Central California Criminal Justice Committee. She said an independent auditor needs to investigate this shooting to give the family closure.

"There has to be an outside investigation. This one really calls for an outside investigation outside of Fresno P D, outside of the district attorney," said Hernandez.

The police department is still investigating this shooting. Officer Perry is on paid administrative leave.

The activist groups working with the Carrizales family are now pushing for a face to face meeting with the mayor and the city council. They hope this will give them the answers they're looking for.

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