Home Community and Culture Bay Area community honors Michael Jonathan Cortez

Bay Area community honors Michael Jonathan Cortez

On behalf of Michael Jonathan Cortez’s sister, a community member reads a statement about his killing.
Screenshot from Priyanka Suryaneni’s video report for Culturas

On Sept. 13, Michael Jonathan Cortez was killed by an FBI agent in a local store on the 2500 block of Fruitvale. According to the FBI, the officer attempted to serve one federal and two state arrest warrants to Cortez and opened fire when the latter pulled out a gun.

The FBI then took possession of all the videos from the surveillance cameras at the store and declined to identify the agent who fired as per their policy, leaving Cortez’s loved ones with many unanswered questions. His family also claimed that the FBI agents were present at Cortez’s funeral to intimidate them.

“This FBI agent attended our funeral undercover, harassed our family members, and arrested two individuals, one at the funeral and one at a reception at the dining place where we had it afterwards,” said Cortez’s uncle Johnny Wong. One of their main demands is to release the agent’s name and the footage. This video captures their fight for justice, answers, and accountability.

Priyanka Suryaneni
Priyanka Suryanenihttp://prisuryaneni.com
Priyanka Suryaneni is a documentarian and a social justice reporter with a deep passion for reporting uncovered issues. With over a decade-and-half of experience as a video producer, she is keen on telling stories that positively portray marginalized communities in both countries. Her work mainly revolves around local politics, grassroots initiatives, and equity. She can found hosting rooms on the social media app Clubhouse about visual storytelling and social issues in her free time.
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