In the wake of the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, people across the nation and beyond have stood up in solidarity against police brutality, yet we are still far from a resolution for the violence plaguing black and brown communities. According to recent reports, five Latinos—Vinson Ramos, Melissa Ventura, Anthony Nuñez, Pedro Villanueva and Raul Saavedra-Vargas—were all shot and killed by law enforcement last week, and their deaths seem to have only been covered by local media.
— lani (@thestrokeslwt) July 10, 2016
the police responded to a call about domestic violence. the police said #VinsonRamos held a folding knife and didn’t comply with demands.
— curly headed h? ? (@afronomics_) July 10, 2016
“We’re being targeted,” said Gloria Hernandez, an organizer against police brutality in Fresno. According to her own database of police killings from 2000 to 2014, over 80 percent of victims were of Latino descent. One of the police officers had even killed five people without an indictment, numbers she allegedly got straight from the department herself. Hernandez believes the international media doesn’t pay enough attention to the killings of Latinos. “The media never focused on Latinos,” she said. “We’re not attractive—Latinos—right?”
On Thursday, three officers showed up at a Jack-in-the-Box in Los Angeles after receiving a phone call about domestic abuse. Vinson Ramos was reportedly holding a folding knife, and when he refused to put it down, the officers opened fire in front of girlfriend and her son. Melissa Ventura, a 24-year-old mother of three, was shot and killed by cops on Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona, after being 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.”
teleSUR further reports:
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 18 years old.
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.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 14 out of the 23 people killed by police in the Los Angeles County last year were Latino, who make up roughly about half of the population. In a time of protest and social awareness, this goes to show that more than ever, people of color—regardless of shade or pedigree, sexual preference, religion or gender—should collectively take up arms in the fight against injustice felt disproportionately by the marginalized men and women of America.