In the summer of 2018, everyone was shocked when they learned that actress Vanessa Marquez was killed by the Los Angeles Police Department. The name might not ring a bell, but Marquez was featured in some of the most beloved Latino films such as Stand and Deliver and Blood In, Blood Out. From her work in film and on TV, including on ER, Marquez always seemed to be a kind-hearted person. So, to hear that the LAPD shot her was incredibly suspicious.
Back then, a small but loud community wanted to know why Marquez was shot if police were there to conduct a wellness check. They cried foul. They claimed, like many other cases in the country, police had killed a minority without just cause. Despite earlier reports that said Marquez had a gun with her during her encounter with police, people demanded that police reveal the body camera footage, and now they have.
Two years since her death, the videos from that tragic day have been released. TMZ published the video that shows police confronting Marquez inside her South Pasadena rental. Her landlord called the police and asked them to check on Marquez, and yes, something was wrong. According to reports, Marquez was suffering from mental health issues and seizures. That is why a Los Angeles County Mental Health clinician was sent to the scene along with police, but Marquez wasn’t complying with the demands of the police.
The exchange between Marquez and police went down as such:
Cop:” “We’ve already had this discussion and it’s beyond that now, OK?”
Marquez: “I’m not going.”
Then Marquez can be seen reaching under the covers.
Cop: “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Oh, s–t, she’s got a gun. She’s got a gun. Gun, gun, gun, gun. Drop the gun.”
Marquez: “Kill me.”
Cop: “I’m not going to kill you. Drop the gun. Drop the gun.”
Marquez did not drop the gun. The video shows the cop shooting her and she falls on the stairs next to her BB gun.
It was a sad end to Marquez’s life. For the last years of her life, she fought endlessly to be heard and advocate for herself and her career. She claimed other actors in ER were racist against her and tried to have her blacklisted from Hollywood.
The L.A. County District Attorney stated that the officers acted in self-defense. Her family, however, has filed a wrongful death suit.
Click here to view the video, but please keep in mind that it’s quite disturbing.