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Hundreds Protest Police Shooting

January 4, 1999

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) _ Hundreds marched on police headquarters Monday to protest the police shooting of a black teen-ager shot 12 times while sitting in a car with a flat tire. Relatives of the young woman demanded a federal investigation.

The roughly 300 demonstrators included leaders from local civil rights groups. Protesters carried signs with photos of the dead teen, Tyisha Miller, 19. A banner read: ``Stop police brutality″ and a sign proclaimed: ``they murdered innocent teen.″

No arrests were made.

The teen-ager was killed Dec. 28. A preliminary coroner’s report said she was shot 12 times, dying from head and chest wounds.

Officers called to the scene by relatives at about 2 a.m. said they found her sitting in the car at a gas station parking lot, a gun in her lap. The car had a flat tire. Its doors were locked, the windows rolled up and the engine was running.

Police said she didn’t respond until officers broke a window to get her gun. She was shot when she grabbed the weapon, according to officers.

Relatives, who filed a lawsuit Monday demanding a federal investigation, claim she was unconscious when she was killed.

``I don’t believe that, if Tyisha Miller would have been a little white girl, she would have been murdered,″ said protester Billy Mohammad of neighboring Moreno Valley.

The officers involved _ three white and one Hispanic _ were placed on administrative leave. A sergeant who was at the scene also was put on leave.

Police Chief Jerry Carroll met with black community leaders after the shooting and promised a full investigation.

Riverside is about 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

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