Houston Supporters Demand Justice for John Hernandez as Second Court Hearing Takes Place

People outside the court in Houston, Texas. Photo by @FIELHouston

As the second court hearing was taking place for the couple charged with the murder of John Hernandez, people gathered outside the Harris County courthouse in Houston on Friday to show support for the Hernandez family.

During the demonstration, relatives and friends of Hernandez wore white T-shirts with a picture of him and the hashtag #JusticeforJohn. They brought signs with messages, said prayers and chanted “No justice. No peace.”

After Hernandez’s death, which led to the murder charges against Harris County deputy sheriff Chauna Thompson and her husband Terry Thompson, the Hernandez family created a Facebook page to raise awareness and “to make sure that we have transparency and that we get justice.”

They also posted a Facebook live video showing today’s protest outside the court. It was quickly shared by many on social media supporting John and his family.

The live video shows that around 11:30 am local time, the lawyer representing the Hernandez family, Randall Kallinen, came outside with the family to recap of what happened inside the court.

According to Kallinen, the District Attorney “did not go through any particular evidence.” He said that the DA went through the process and told the Hernandez family what to expect.

Kallinen said that the process will be long and “it might take one or two years.”

The Hernandez family and their lawyer believe that racism against Latinos could be a motive of the murder.

Kallinen also showed some previous Facebook posts from Terry Thompson’s account—a picture of “Uncle Sam” and words saying “this finger wasn’t meant to press one for English.” Kallinen said there is no need to explain these actions that seem to be biased against Latinos.

Hernandez died on May 31, three days after being choked by Terry Thompson while his wife (who was off-duty) looked on. The altercation occurred at a Denny’s restaurant.

According to investigators, while waiting for his wife, Terry Thompson saw Hernandez urinating outside in the parking lot and confronted him. It escalated to the point that Terry Thompson put Hernandez on the ground and put him in a chokehold.

Hernandez was taken to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Three days later, Hernandez was disconnected from life support. Doctors concluded that Hernandez died from strangulation.

The Thompsons were not arrested during the scene, but were indicted with murder days later. They turned themselves to the police on June 8. The couple is currently free on a $100,000 bond.

The Hernandez family and supporters are demanding a quick process to bring justice for Hernandez.

After Kallinen’s update, the Hernandez’s father thanked people.

” I Hope you keep supporting because we need it,” he told the crowd.

The next hearing has been scheduled for September 1 when the Thompsons are expected to appear.

You can follow the Justice for John Hernandez Twitter and Facebook accounts for more updates.

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María Camila Montañez is a journalism student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Spanish-language program. She is originally from Colombia and tweets from @mariacmontanez.

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