News of Mark Torre Jr.’s conviction in the shooting death of fellow police officer Elbert Piolo may have been welcome news for Torre and his family, but the news was a devastating blow for the family of the slain officer.
It has been four years since the tragic incident which tells a tale of two police officer friends out for a night of partying and drinking — a night which ended with the tragic death of one of them.
Family and friends of slain officer Elbert Piolo took to the streets Friday afternoon, pleading “Justice for Bert!” after an unfavorable decision by the high court.
“We are here today to celebrate the fourth death anniversary of my son Elbert. You see, up to now, we cannot keep still. We cannot sleep and we are still thinking of him. And you know, the result of the appeal, we are not satisfied with that,” said Jerelyn Piolo, Elbert Piolo’s mother.
She added: “It’s really injustice because in that recording it’s really clear that he said he shot me.”
Two years after a conviction was handed down on Torre, he was sentenced to eight years behind bars. But he has not served a day of that sentence as he was allowed to remain on house arrest pending his appeal.
Last Tuesday, Mark Torre Jr.’s conviction in the shooting death of Piolo was overturned by the Supreme Court, which vacated and reversed Torre’s conviction of negligent homicide, aggravated assault, and special allegation of use of a deadly weapon. The high court’s ruling concluded that body camera footage and statements made by Torre should not have been admitted or introduced in trial as Torre was deemed to have been under interrogation without being advised of his Miranda rights.
But according to the Piolo family, this is just a technicality.
“It really hurt the family because the evidence is there already. They just ignored it and that’s why we are here,” Jerelyn Piolo said.
Torre’s attorney Jay Arriola on Tuesday said that the Supreme Court decision means that Torre is back to being not guilty. That decision prompted the Justice for Bert rally as now its back to square one not only for Torre, but for Piolo’s family as well.
“We are not satisfied, it’s so unfair! You know life was taken here and we can not just ignore that. It’s very sad, especially for his family his kids, they are still hurting,” Jerelyn Piolo said.
While the Attorney General has not ruled out a re-trial, AG Leevin Camacho stated that he would meet with Piolo’s family to review their options. So has the Piolo family met with the AG yet?
“ I don’t know what their plan is, we are just waiting. We will just keep fighting … we just keep fighting, whatever it takes,” Jerelyn Piolo said.