California: Police charged with rescuing teen killed

A teenage abducted victim was killed in September 2022 by California police who had to rescue her after a hot pursuit with her father, according to a recently released video.

15-year-old Savannah Graziano was shot and killed by several San Bernardino County sheriff’s officers, east of Los Angeles. Her father, Anthony Graziano, had kidnapped her and killed her mother the day before. Filmed from a law enforcement helicopter, the images show the man on a 175 km/h chase. During this frantic chase, several shots were fired from his pickup.

The car then ends up taking a highway ramp in the wrong direction and gets stuck in the brush. The video shows Savannah Graziano getting out of the passenger seat and walking toward the officer who called her, according to audio recordings from her microphone.

“Come here! Come to me! Come, come, come, (…) Come, come, come,” the police officer told him. At the same time, a radio message apparently coming from a helicopter alerted agents on the ground to the teenager’s presence. “The girl is out. (…) It’s out, on the passenger side,” warns the radio.

1,100 killed by police in 12 months in United States

In the video, the teenager first crouches on the ground for a few seconds, then gets up and walks towards a group of police officers. Then we hear a gunshot and a voice on the radio says “Oh no”. “Off!” », shouts the agent who called the teenager to his colleagues. “Stop hitting him!” It’s in the car! »

The girl was rescued but later died in hospital. His father died on the spot. Several firearms and body armor were found in his car, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff. Officials have not released the names of the officers involved. An investigation is going on in this regard.

The video calls into question the professionalism of San Bernardino Sheriff’s officers. Its release comes just weeks after an autistic 15-year-old was shot by their services in the middle of a crisis.

Interventions by law enforcement that take a deadly turn are all too common in the United States. According to independent figures from the Washington Post, more than 1,100 people have been shot and killed by police in the past 12 months. These numbers are unofficial and police departments are not required to report incidents to the federal government.

This incident adds to the long list of tragedies involving firearms in the United States, which pay a heavy price for their proliferation across the region and the ease with which Americans can access them: the country values ​​individual weapons more than its inhabitants.

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