The predominately Mexican-American community of Boyle Heights continues to cry for justice in light of the police killing of Jesse Romero.
According to reports, the 14-year-old teenager was accused of writing gang-influenced graffiti in the area and was subsequently targeted as a vandalism suspect in a cop chase. Romero allegedly shot a handgun in the direction of authorities before one of the officers fired at him in an act that ended his life on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
Salvadorian poet Yesika Salgado stands in solidarity with black and brown communities as they strive to find freedom beyond the grip of police brutality and xenophobia. “When they found you Jessie, I understood why you ran / who hasn’t been afraid of cops these days?” Salgado pens in “A Poem For Jesse.”
She alludes to the wave of Latinxs and African Americans that have gathered together to protest the deaths of people of color nationwide. “[We’ve] been saying your name / we’ve been asking for justice,” she later continues. “[We’ve] been holding all the fourteen year old boys closer / kissing them good morning and goodnight.”
Post his death, Jesse’s family is currently raising funds to properly bury their own as they keep watch for the return of his body. “I’ve been told your mother is still waiting for your body / that the money isn’t enough / that she never planned to bury her son / and my heart breaks all over again.”
Poet’s note: Jesse’s family is raising money to be able to bring his body home and give it the proper burial that he deserves. they are thousands of dollars short. if you can, please donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/2ja65c6s