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Excerpt: "As the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling occupy the news waves, the death of four Latinos this week slipped by."

A police officer checks in on a fellow officer. (photo: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News)
A police officer checks in on a fellow officer. (photo: Richard Burkhart/Savannah Morning News)

4 Latinos Killed by US Cops This Week - and Media Ignored It

By teleSUR

09 July 16


While international media floods to cover the killing of white people and cops, the deaths of Latinos often go unnoticed.

s the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling occupy the news waves, the death of four Latinos this week slipped by.

“The media never focused on Latinos,” Gloria Hernandez Cruz, who organizes with Stolen Lives in Fresno, told teleSUR. She said that over 80 percent of victims of police killings in Fresno since 2000 were Latino, but that international media only comes to report on incidents when a white person dies—such as this week.

Police shot and killed 24-year-old Melissa Ventura, a mother of three, on Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona. Official accounts say she was holding a knife when they shot her and that they were called for a case of domestic violence.

“She was the heart and soul of my family,” Ventura’s sister Tiffany told KYMA. “I don’t know what we are going to do without her, the only thing I can say is that her kids will know how much she loved them.”

The day before, police in San Jose, California were called to Anthony Nuñez’s house, who the police chief said was then described as suicidal. Nuñez reportedly left the house with a gun when police arrived, and after 14 minutes of police trying to convince him not to kill himself, they shot Nuñez instead. He was 19 years old.

Local media reported that neighbors denied he was armed and that no one was allowed to approach him to talk him out of suicide.

"Never in a million years would I think he would take his (own) life," his mother told the press. "There are other methods of taking someone down without shooting to kill ... I don't understand why it always has to be fatal."

Two Latinos were killed by police on Sunday: Pedro Villanueva from Fullerton, California and Raul Saavedra-Vargas from Reno, Nevada.

Villanueva, 19, was reportedly fleeing uniformed police in his car when undercover highway patrol officers shot at his moving vehicle—a tactic banned by major police departments.

Raul Saavedra-Vargas was also fleeing a traffic stop when he almost drove through downtown’s Biggest Little City Wing Fest—a popular chicken-eating festival—and was shot dead. Police said that they opened fire when they saw him driving into the street festival and approaching a cop.

Hernandez Cruz said that she has to work independently to collect statistics about police killings and inform her community, which otherwise would not know the extent of police brutality.

While statistics clearly show that Black people are disproportionately killed by police, few numbers exist for Latinos, who can occupy several demographic categories. Of the estimates that do exist, Latino deaths are fairly proportional, except in some counties with a high concentration of Latinos: in Los Angeles County, 14 of the 23 people killed by police were Latino, who make up roughly half of the population.

To explain the discrepancy between Latino and Black victims, some point to the more explicit history of law enforcement and Black slaves or to the high representation of Latinos in police departments.

Hernandez Cruz also pointed to the culture of silence after the police killings of Latinos, in contrast to those following Black killings. The mentality among young Latinos to “not snitch,” she said, comes from cops who are “starting to gear up and starting protecting to their own.” your social media marketing partner


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+19 # Capn Canard 2016-07-09 10:02
Were the murders caught on video? If so, then we might actually know about this. The media only covers what other people make known. The MSM is at fault here.
+19 # HowardMH 2016-07-09 10:23
You absolutely nailed it. Without video it is still the same old stuff the cops have been saying and doing for the last 30 years. The cop felt threatened and thought the guy had a gun. Soo same old stuff cop not guilty.

The law should be passed that all cops have to wear a body camera, and any incident that results in a death without the body camera on results in cop being fired at least and maybe prison time.
+1 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-07-10 10:03
Either that or there is a larger agenda at play. Inciting a race riot?
+16 # tomtom 2016-07-09 11:08
She's right; it isn't necessary for police to kill. They aren't using the proper tools for their jobs. New Zealand invented the netgun. If It can take down a deer, it could be used to arrest a person, without danger to the officers and just as importantly, the suspect. Who do we have to educate for netguns to be the norm, instead of ending lives and bring terror on the cmmunities? The FBI, state legislators, netgun lobbyists, every mayor and city council? It's out there. Is anybody listening?
+10 # Glen 2016-07-09 12:38
Various methods to subdue people, whether a crime is involved or not, are available. Many were being developed a couple of decades ago, some by innovative types, contracted through cops, some within the military. That net you describe also had a spider type, clinging alternative netting.

There isn't a lot of attention given to these methods, or money spent to acquire them. Cops are going with what's easy.
0 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-07-10 10:04
Why use a net gun when you can explode a guy remotely with a robot and a bomb?
+13 # jpmarat 2016-07-09 11:33
VIDEOS of defenseless victims are the KEY. Social media can literally force MSM to cover events. Some cameras with telephoto lenses may be useful; organizations should acquire tools, post even routine results, let KKKIller KKKops know: "WE ARE WATCHING YOU! WE ARE RECORDING YOU!" Then jury duty essential. Jury duty should be included in the $15/hr minimum.
+8 # margpark 2016-07-09 15:46
I do agree, that probably no one filmed these deaths and fed the film to the media. Otherwise perhaps they need to start a "Hispanic Lives Matter Too" group.
0 # Edwina 2016-07-11 10:31
Why hasn't the publicity and organizing around police brutality and killings resulted in any perceptible change? We still do not have organizations that can address police accountability. The police are an arm of "the state" -- the people who exercise power. From prosecutors, to police departments, to public defenders (underfunded), to judges we have a system that disadvantages the individual. The results of that system are more racist and brutal than the society at large. Add to that the increasing military influence: a swat team approach, rather than a beat-cop approach. We've come a frightful distance from the helpful policeman of the "Dick and Jane" books.

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