Georgia Fort reports:
Nearly one hundred teens and young children marched to the Maplewood police station demanding justice for Marcoz Paramo and Alyjah Thomas. They say the high speed chase that took their friends’ lives violated the city’s policy.
“That’s crazy that we all won’t never get to see him again, get to hug him again, get to talk to him about how I feel again,” said a girl who identified herself as Paramo’s girlfriend. “It’s crazy. His mom and hIs sisters won’t get to do stuff with him how they used to. We won’t get to take those trips on the bus how we used to and have fun how we did again. It won’t be the same. It doesn’t feel real. All because of the police.”
Although the chase ended in Maplewood it was led by Ramsey County sheriffs who have their own policies on pursuits. The Sheriffs’ Department has not made those policies publicly available, and has not responded to a request for comment. Jonathon McClellan, President of the Minnesota Justice Coalition, says they have a duty to respond.
“Our community has questions that do need to be answered to make sure the police are being transparent and accountable for their role in what happened. When will the dash cam and body cam be released unedited?”
McClellan questioned the use of spike strips to stop the car full of teens. He believes it played a role in the crash.
Activist Brandon Tulloch says the pursuit policies need to be changed.
“What’s the purpose of these high speed chases? Either to get the car back or to keep people from being injured. So at the end of the day, police in this incident didn’t do their job. If they were trying to get the car back, it’s totaled. If they were trying to keep people safe, they killed two kids.”
Four other teens in the car survived, including the 15 year old driver who’s now facing two charges of vehicular homicide.
Photo Credit:Georgia Fort