On Saturday night, police in Wichita, KS gave “I Can’t Breathe” and Ferguson protesters their first new case to demonstrate against in 2015. John Paul Quintero, who just turned 23-years-old days before was shot to death in front of his father after police responded to a disturbance call.
Officers went to a Wichita house when they got a call about a weapon. They found Quintero in an SUV with his father outside of the house. Quintero’s father got out of the car and tried to talk to the officers. John Paul Quintero allegedly got out of the car and started being belligerent with the police. He was tazed, but allegedly stepped forward and reached for one of the officers’ guns. It was at this point that Quintero was shot twice.
The story told by the police officers is one that is common. They’re saying the force they used was justified because Quintero was armed and out of control. Quintero’s family isn’t buying it. They have reportedly reached out to attorney Benjamin Crump, who has represented the families of Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin in their cases.
The families statement can be read below:
My name is Alina Quintero. I am the cousin of John Paul Quintero and the spokesperson for our family.
At this time I’m going to read a statement prepared by our family and will not be taking any questions.
Last night, my cousin John Paul Quintero was executed in front of his father by Wichita Police. Our family is devastated at the senseless killing of our family member.
John Paul was a loving person, he was well liked by his friends and family and enjoyed spending time with his loved ones. He also enjoyed reading about the law in his spare time and felt that he needed know his rights.
We called the police for help during an incident that had involved knives in the home and had since been resolved. This call was placed by his father, my uncle and by his aunt, who was no present at the home, for the safety of her daughter and to further deescalate the situation so that everyone could make it home safely.
We believe that the police will try and say that there was a knife present at the scene. We would like to confirm that they confiscated knives from the home as well as a knife in the car. However the knife found in the truck was in the back and out of reach of John Paul. None of the knives from the home were outside of the home.
The police escalated a situation that could have been resolved and the officer that killed John Paul shot him with her service rifle all but eliminating his chances of survival, while he was both unarmed with his hands up and intoxicated, likely not having full capacity to follow officer commands.
To add insult to injury the police have only contacted us to place blame on John Paul, which we reject. We want justice for John Paul, who like others across the country who are gunned down, while unarmed, by police.
Right now our family has yet to make final arrangements as that his mother is in route from Texas. We plan to hold arrangements in San Antonio, TX. John Pauls hometown. In the meantime we have set up a Go Fund Page which can be found at http://www.gofundme.com/jo6t6o to help pay for arrangements and expenses for our family.