Jessie Hernandez

Jessica Hernandez in a photo provided by the family. Photo provided by familyJessie was killed Jan. 26, 2015, by Denver police in an alley between the 2500 blocks of Niagara and Newport streets in the Park Hill neighborhood. Jessie and four other teens inside the stolen Honda sedan had refused to get out. The Denver Police Department said officers opened fire on Jessie when she drove a stolen car toward them, but the autopsy performed by Denver Chief Medical Examiner James Caruso shows Jessie was shot two times in the left side of her torso. Two more gunshot wounds in her pelvis and right thigh may have resulted from the same bullet, according to the autopsy. The bullets fatally wounded Jessie’s heart and both lungs.

“There was no evidence of close range discharge of a firearm associated with any of the entrance wounds,” Denver Chief Medical Examiner James Caruso said in the report.

The family’s lawyer Qusair Mohamedbhai said in a statement that the autopsy doesn’t indicate that Jessie was driving toward the officers who shot her since since the bullet wounds entered her body from the driver’s side of the car and were not fired at close range. He told NBC News on Saturday that the left-to-right wound path and trajectory of the bullets that struck Jessie “undermine the version of the events put forth by the Denver Police Department.”

Denver Post article
NBC News article

video of Jessie’s parents

3-Minute Poems written by Jessie during Art from Ashes workshops over two years:

I am love
Jessie Hernandez, 15

I am a brand new baby
I am sweet and smooth
I can get crunchy,
but that sweet taste never disappears
I am a baby’s laughter
I am warm—pink or red
I am quick
but have my slow paces

I seem to be, but really I am
Jessie Hernandez, 15

I seem to be reckless
But really I am more caring
I seem to be an asshole
But really I am nice
I seem to be loud and obnoxious
But really I am chill and hardly talk
I seem to be dumb and stupid
But really I am the smartest kid out there
I seem to be a non-smoker
But really I’m basically a stoner
I seem to be like a kid who doesn’t need drugs to be happy
But really I do need them because of the shit I have going on

I want to know…
Jessie Hernandez, 15

I want to know how you could go days without trying to get ahold of someone
I want to know how you are, but with no message I know nothing
I want to know the purpose of life
I want to know why they push us so hard
I want to know why people gotta lie about rules and stuff they say
I want to know why we die and just get buried 6 feet deep
I want to know why we have to do so much
Just to die in the end

I choose to be
Jessie Hernandez, 16

I am going to be a successful woman
I am going to be a plane driver
I am going to be a nurse
After surgery I am going to be a boy
I am going to be something all my haters won’t be
I am going to be a good wealthy—well maybe not too wealthy
But I will be someone I can be
I am going to be a billionaire


The Colors My Mother Taught Me
My mother taught me yellow and red
She taught me the right words
My manners
How to be generous
And how to be happy
How to smile at worse times
She taught me all I know now
But she also taught me to be patient
And not to hurt others
If they’re not hurting me
But there’s one thing she taught me the most
Is how to look joyful and to respect things
That are not mine

The Dance I Danced With My Father
The dance my father taught me was some type of dance
He taught me how to stomp my feet with combos
And how to keep his tradition going
He taught me all the kicks he did
I learned them
And now I could probably knock someone out
With a kick
Because he got me working on my legs