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Family of Denver Teen Killed by Police Want Federal Probe

Jessica Hernandez, 17, was killed after police said she allegedly drove a stolen car towards an officer in Denver Monday.
Image: Jessica Hernandez
A rosary is draped over a portrait of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez in her Thornton, Colo., home on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. The teenager was killed after she allegedly hit and injured a Denver Police Department officer while driving a stolen vehicle early Monday in northeast Denver alleyway. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)David Zalubowski / AP

The family of a 17-year-old girl who was shot to death by Denver police while driving a stolen car is calling for a federal civil rights investigation into her death.

Jessica Hernandez was killed Monday after police say she drove the car toward an officer, an account disputed by one of the teens in the car.

In a statement Friday, Hernandez's parents said they want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate her death and for U.S. Attorney John Walsh in Colorado to oversee the criminal investigation of the officers involved.

The family says it doesn't trust Denver police to conduct a fair and timely investigation, and that the department has a history of exonerating its officers. Walsh's spokesman, Jeff Dorschner, says Walsh is aware of the request but won't comment further.

The Denver Police Department and an independent city official are reviewing police policies that allow officers to fire on vehicles under certain circumstances. Some other departments have banned the practice.



— The Associated Press