Eunisses Hernandez unseated Gil Cedillo. Can she help solve L.A.’s political crisis?
Los Angeles, California
Eunisse Hernandez, a lawyer originally from Cuba with a penchant for activism, was a rare woman at a time when few were willing to engage the political side of race relations.
Eunisse Hernandez was born in New York in the late 1970s and moved to the City of Angels as a child. She moved here in 1986 to work at a Latino community service center. As an activist, she became involved with the Latino civil rights organization, La Alianza.
“I have always been politically active, starting with the youth center and then as a young lawyer and continuing my involvement in civil rights groups for the last 15 years,” Hernandez said in a telephone interview.
In her law school years in New York City, Hernandez volunteered her services for the New York Civil Liberties Union. At the time she joined the L.A. Latino Leadership, she had not experienced a case as complicated and difficult as L.A. County District Attorney Gil Cedillo’s handling of the 2012 murder of a young father who was accused of raping his six-year-old daughter.
Gil Cedillo has presided over more than 30 high-profile drug and murder cases including the kidnapping and alleged murder of two college professors, including UCLA Prof. Luis Valdez, who was found dead in 2001, and accused serial killer, Robert Domingo.
In the case of Eunisses Hernandez, she filed a civil rights and damages lawsuit against the L.A. County District Attorney, the Los Angeles Police Department and two of their officers, alleging negligence and violating her civil rights.
“This is not a slam dunk,” Hernandez said. “This is a fight on many fronts.”
Her legal team, including attorney and former federal prosecutor David Ruden, has filed a 42-page complaint to the U.S. Supreme Court, which has