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Andrés Guardado. Photo: Social Media.
Andrés Guardado. Photo: Social Media.

Andres Guardado's death is the latest evidence of the extent of police violence in the country

The autopsy of the young Latino murdered by police in Los Angeles will not be released to the public, according to the Sheriff's Department.

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Andres Guardado, a young Salvadoran national who was just 18 years old, was shot dead by a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff near Gardena and West Compton on June 18, 2020, and his death has sparked new waves of demonstrations against unbridled police violence.

According to the police report, Guardado allegedly pulled a .40-caliber pistol, pointing it at the police officers before running off into an alley, where a round of shots fired by the sheriffs hit him.

Guardado was hit in the upper torso and died instantly.

However, details of Guardado's death continue to be the subject of diatribes between police and witnesses, especially after surveillance videos from a nearby store were confiscated by officers and destroyed.

On Monday, the Sheriff's Department asked Attorney General Xavier Becerra to oversee the investigation, but also prevented the public from learning the results of the coroner's planned autopsy on Guardado, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Twitter Monday that the decision to involve Becerra in the investigation was "out of an abundance of caution."

"I am committed to transparency and strengthening the community's faith in the investigative process," he added.

But Los Angeles County Coroner spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said the Sheriff's Department put a "security hold" on the Guardado case, which was to be examined Monday. She said the coroner's office could not release the autopsy results –which would reveal how many times Guardado was shot and where– until the hold was lifted, the Times continues.

For their part, Guardado's family and dozens of protesters on the streets have demanded more details that could explain the reasons for the agents' behavior.

Over the weekend, street protesters clashed with law enforcement officials outside the Compton police station, who deployed rubber bullets and tear gas.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown called the Sheriff's Department on Monday to respond to these demands.

"People are hurting and are tired of excuses," she said in a statement. “I strongly urge the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to address this incident immediately and provide answers for the family and our community.”

Representatives Nanette Barragan (D-San Pedro) and Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), along with L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, have called for independent investigations.

Adam Shea, who represents the Guardado family, issued a statement Monday night saying the family demands and deserves justice, according to CNN.

"The family of Andres Guardado demands answers. They demand accountability. They demand, and deserve, full transparency from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department regarding the facts surrounding the death of this young man," the statement said. "We will not rest until these facts are fully disclosed."

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