Family of 13-year-old boy shot and killed by SAPD officer in 2022 files federal lawsuit

The family of AJ Hernandez is calling for accountability for Officer Stephen Ramos, who was not charged in the boy’s death.

SAN ANTONIO — The family of AJ Hernandez is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit that alleges excessive force was used when a San Antonio Police Department officer shot and killed the 13-year-old after authorities say he rammed into a police cruiser with a stolen car in June 2022.

A grand jury decided in February 2023 not to charge Officer Stephen Ramos with wrongdoing in the incident, despite calls for accountability from the boy’s relatives and the civil rights lawyer representing them.

Bexar County subsequently released multiple video clips and audio files from the night of the incident. 

It started with multiple 911 calls from southwest-side residents reporting gunfire shortly after 1 a.m. on June 3, 2022. Having been briefed on prior recent gunfire in the area, Ramos responded to the scene along with two other SAPD officers. 

Dash cam video from Ramos’ SAPD cruiser shows a vehicle purportedly being driven by AJ hitting another responding officer before the boy was shot and detained.

On Wednesday, representatives from attorney Lee Merritt announced the civil rights lawsuit. Merritt is a prominent civil rights lawyer and activist who also is representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white men who were convicted of murder. 

Family members and their attorneys planned to speak at a news conference outside the federal courthouse in downtown San Antonio on Wednesday at noon. 

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