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Teammates honor teen killed by Mexican police with assist on goal at funeral

Alexander Martinez's family and friends mourn during his funeral in Acatlan de Perez Figueroa, Mexico. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

A Mexican American soccer player’s teammates came through for him one last time, allowing the 16-year-old boy who was murdered in Mexico to score a final goal at their favorite spot.

Alexander Martinez went out to buy a soda on Tuesday and was reportedly shot in the head and killed by police in a case of mistaken identity. He was a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and had returned to the country from the U.S. four years ago to live with his mother, per the Associated Press. His father lives in North Carolina.

At Martinez’s funeral on Thursday in his home village of Vicente Camalote, more than a dozen of his soccer teammates brought him to the plaza where they used to play. One kicked the ball at the wooden coffin, directing it so that it went past a standing goalie, and all of the players mobbed the casket to say a farewell.

Two soccer shirts joined flowers on Martinez’s coffin: a yellow jersey of Paris Saint-Germain and a blue-and-white striped jersey of C.F. Monterrey in Mexico. Per Reuters, he played for a team affiliated with Monterrey.

There were protests over the teenager’s killing on Friday in Mexico, which is also dealing with anger from citizens over police abusing rights. Mexico City and Guadalajara experienced protests that followed the demonstrations in the United States over the death of George Floyd. Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to the man’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. Derek Chauvin, the officer, was fired and faces a second-degree murder charge.

The town government of Acatlan de Perez Figueroa said the shooting wasn’t “in bad faith” and that the officer is in custody, per the AP. Other officers in the department were already under investigation for using excessive force and extrajudicial killings.

The state of Oaxaca, in the southern part of Mexico where Martinez was killed, said on Twitter “the law will apply, without hesitation, for those responsible for Alexander's case.”

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