Memorial held for teen killed by HPD officer

November 21, 2008 9:59:35 AM PST
His death led to several policy changes within the Houston police department. And on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in 14-year-old Eli Escobar's honor.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The memorial to Eli comes five years to the date of his death at the hands of a Houston police officer. A ceremony was held this morning at Guadalupe Plaza by friends and family. They unveiled the memorial in a peaceful spot under a very large tree.

His father was pleased with today's tribute.

"Well today is the happiest day for us," said Eli Escobar, Sr. "It's a memory of my son and we're very pleased with the city of Houston for what they have done."

Eli's father also talked about how he feels today about the Houston Police Department. He says you have to forgive in order to be forgiven and he is at that point now.

Eli was only 14 years old and a student at Black Middle School at the time of his death in 2003.

An HPD officer was responding to a report of an assault at an apartment complex. Eli was there playing video games at a friend's home, but was not involved in the alleged assault. However in the process of being questioned by a Houston police officer, Eli began a struggle with the officer and was shot to death.

A jury convicted the officer of negligent homicide after the 2003 shooting. As part of a settlement, Escobar's family was awarded $1.5 million and HPD was required to tighten its gun use rules.

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