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"Justice for Jesse" march calls for accountability in Pueblo officer-involved shooting

Family, friends protest death of Jesse Cedillo
"Justice for Jesse" march calls for accountability in officer-involved-shooting
Posted at 3:36 AM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 07:44:37-04

PUEBLO — The family of 20-year-old Jesse Cedillo, a man shot and killed by Pueblo Sheriff's deputies on March 14, protested his death Monday.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to the Pueblo Youth Center on the morning of March 14 after a woman reported a man stole her car at gunpoint. While investigating the alleged carjacking, a deputy saw a vehicle that matched the stolen automobile's description. The sheriff's office said that the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop, which led to a pursuit that ended because the suspect was driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed.

Not long after, Pueblo police officers and sheriff's deputies found the suspected car crashed into a light pole in an alley between Colorado Avenue and Quincy Street.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said they saw the suspect carrying a gun and running down the alley with officers following him. The sheriff's office then said the suspect advanced toward officers with a gun in his hand and shots were fired. Jesse Cedillo was pronounced dead on scene.

However, his family has hired attorneys, who claim Jesse Cedillo did not have a gun based on their own determination. A family friend, Briseida Gaucin, said the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office is trying to justify their actions. She also said the family wants to see change in their city leaders.

"[District Attorney] Jeff Chostner and Sheriff Kirk Taylor, they can't run anymore. They no longer get to run. And it is just so relieving, it is a weight off of this family's shoulders, that somebody is finally listening to them," Gaucin said.

Jesse Cedillo's sister said this was not the first time they have protested his death, and it likely will not be the last. Jaelyn Cedillo said they are going to fight for justice in this case, no matter how long it takes.

"We can't take a life back and once it's gone, it's gone forever. And I can't even believe that I'm sitting here right now talking about this, because it breaks my heart. Because he should be here, he really really should," Jaelyn Cedillo said.

The Cedillo family also wanted to ensure that people understood who Jesse was. "Jesse was the type that just wanted to bring joy and happiness to people," said Lynette Naranjo, his mother.

Naranjo said she hopes to start a youth center in Pueblo in honor of Jesse Cedillo.

The 10th Judicial District Critical Incident Team is responsible for conducting the investigation into Jesse Cedillo's death. The team includes members from the Pueblo Police Department, the Pueblo County District Attorney's Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, and Colorado State Patrol. The Pueblo Police Department is the lead agency on this investigation. News5 reached out to the department on Monday, June 8, and they said the investigation has now been completed by their office, and it is now with the District Attorney's Office.

Previous reporting:
Pueblo police investigating officer-involved shooting