Family, friends were among the many participating in a protest march to both honor the memory of Melyda “Mely” Maricela Corado, a store manager for Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake and to call attention to “the lack of police accountability” for Corado’s death and others they maintain were unjustly killed by police gunfire.
Corado was killed during a hostage situation in 2018 between police and a barricaded attempted murder suspect.
The march was led by Corado’s brother, Albert, who is a candidate for LA City Council District 13.
“July 21, 2018, was the worst day of my life,” Albert said in a released statement. “On that day I lost my sister and my life was forever altered. The city stole her life and then tried to remove the blame from themselves.
“Since then I’ve joined the fight to bring an end to the police and have fought to seek justice for my family and the countless others whose lives have been ruined by the police state,” the statement read.
The march started at the North East LAPD Station on San Fernando, then continued to the Trader Joe’s store on Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake, where Corado was killed.
Protestors could be heard speaking the names of dozens of Black and Brown people “who were shot, assassinated, or killed” by the LA Police Department and LA County Sheriff’s Department, a march spokesperson said.
Speakers included the mother and sister of Daniel Hernandez, and members of the family of Anthony Vargas. A close friend of Vanessa Marquez also spoke about her loss.
On July 21, 2018, Corado, 27, went to work at the Trader Joe’s. A few hours into her shift, the suspect — identified as Gene Atkins, 28, who was accused of shooting his grandmother and girlfriend in Los Angeles— crashed his vehicle into a utility pole near the front of the store, then ran and barricaded himself to try and avoid arrest.
He exchanged gunfire with police while fleeing inside, according to law enforcement officials. Corado, who was inside of the store was struck by an LAPD officer’s bullet shot and died.
The police shot into the two front entrance doors of the store according to customers.
Atkins eventually surrendered to police.
The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners later ruled that the cops involved acted within policy — returning fire at an armed suspect — and no officers were criminally charged.
March organizers denounced that ruling on Sunday, stating, “three years later and no accountability, zero indictments, and zero convictions, the murder of Mely Corado at the hands of LAPD helped galvanize a movement in Los Angeles to end qualified immunity for cops, the dissolution of police associations, and a call to defund the police.”