Who is William Dorsey Jones Jr? Cop who shot Valentina, 14, was a reformer
The Los Angeles police officer who fatally shot Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, has been identified as a veteran Black cop called William Dorsey Jones Jr, 42. On December 23, Valentina Orellana-Peralta and her mom were in a changing room when cops came to search a Burlington Coat Factory in North Hollywood for a man who was swinging a bike lock at women. When the cops opened fire, a bullet penetrated drywall, hitting and killing Valentina.
Details that have emerged on Jones say that before this incident, he tried to build his brand as a community advocate and reformer. He had launched an apparel line called 'Use of Force Fitness', which was dissolved in 2020 following months of protests against police violence across America.
Who is William Dorsey Jones Jr?
After the fatal incident, social media accounts of Jones appear to have been either removed or locked. However, in past interviews before the tragic incident, Jones wanted to position himself as a bridge between police and communities of color.
“I’m a black man, I’m the father of a black son, I’ve been the vict[im] of racism,” he wrote in a tweet that has now been removed. “I’m the LAPD. I have the power & determination to affect CHANGE in the community. Im a proud member of the #thinblueline & #blacklivesmatter.”
Cached posts on his Twitter feed, which is no longer available, show Jones promoting a nonprofit, Officers for Change, and other charitable activities. He has seemingly also coached a local high school football team. While Officers for Change’s Facebook and Twitter accounts now appear to be closed, and the website dismantled, archived material reveals that it plugged itself as “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit org. on a mission to positively impact the lives of those living in At-Risk & Low Income communities” with a “Sworn platform to Educate, Inspire, Mentor & Motivate."
In a December 2020 article on his alma mater's website, the University of Louisville, which is now deleted, Jones had shared his experiences and interests. “Being an African American police officer and from Louisville has given me a very unique perspective,” he said. According to the article, Jones moved to LA in 2006 to pursue a career in entertainment. However, the Kentucky native ended up becoming a cop. He spent eight years on patrol and then three years as a community relations officer.
In Peralta's case, LAPD said they were responding to multiple radio calls about the ensuing chaos and started searching for the suspect after reaching the store. In the process, "the officers encountered an individual who was in the process of assaulting another, and an officer-involved shooting occurred," Spell said. The male suspect was identified, shot down, and declared dead on the scene, LAPD said. While scanning the store later for other suspects and victims, police found Peralta who was also pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said Peralta's death occurred as the dressing room she was in was directly behind the male suspect and out of the officer's view.