|Hansel E. Hernández shot in the back by police in Cuba on June 24, 2020|
It took three days for the authorities to report the killing, despite repeated requests for clarity on what had happened.
Hours later, the authorities released a statement indicating that the 27-year-old had been caught by a National Revolutionary Police patrol when, according to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), "he was stealing pieces and accessories from a bus stop", then fleeing.
During the chase "on the run for almost two kilometers, over uneven terrain", the young man, to avoid being arrested, "attacked one of the policemen throwing several stones, one of which hit the policeman in the crotch, another in the side of the torso and a third dislocated his shoulder and threw him to the floor," indicates the statement posted on social networks on June 27th.
In response to Hansel Hernández's throwing stones, “the soldier fired two warning shots. Immediately afterwards and due to the danger to his life due to the magnitude of the aggression, the policeman riposted from the ground, firing a shot with his regulation weapon that impacts the individual and causes him to die," continues the official version.
|Family held open casket service for Hansel.|
His death sparked protests and riots across the United States, protests that spread to other major cities around the world. He also encouraged in other countries (France, Mexico) to unearth similar cases of suspected deaths at the hands of the police.
On June 18, 2020 The Progressive published an article titled "Foreign Correspondent: Police Lessons From Cuba" by Reese Erlich that claims "Contrary to the image of brutal and repressive communists, police in Cuba offer an instructive example for activists in the United States."
If the United States adopted the Cuban approach recommended by Mr. Erlich any person recording a police officer, then sharing that image on a digital platform would be violating their right to privacy, and if what they record the police officer doing, whether his or her actions were right or wrong, they would be fined and if they did not pay the fine would be subject to prison.
|El Kende de Cayo Hueso|
According to a January 13, 2020 report in The New York Times a former high-ranking judge in Cuba provided documents which "showed that approximately 92 percent of those accused in the more than 32,000 cases that go to trial in Cuba every year are found guilty. Nearly 4,000 people every year are accused of being “antisocial” or “dangerous,” terms the Cuban government uses to jail people who pose a risk to the status quo, without having committed a crime." Furthermore, the article says that "records show that Cuba’s prison system holds more than 90,000 prisoners. The Cuban government has only publicly released the figure once, in 2012, when it claimed that 57,000 people were jailed."Es El Kende de Cayo Hueso y sus amigos, niños presos en #Cuba por grabar un vídeo en la azotea de su casa, los llevan a una cárcel con delincuentes comunes.— Angel Rivas (@AngelRCuba) June 30, 2020
Cayo Hueso Mañana todos a la calle a las 11 de la mañana en el Yara y en toda Cuba. Basta de abuso policial. #freekende pic.twitter.com/XyGGTCCACC
|Hansel E. Hernández was just 27 years old when he was killed.|
|Yusniel Tirado Aldama (Photo: Courtesy)|
#JusticiaParaHanselErnesto and #FreeKende.
Media sources for report below: ABC, MartiNoticias, 14ymedio and Diario de Cuba