New Questions Raised About Death of Journalist During 1970 Chicano Moratorium

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August 29, 2010
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On August 29, 2010, the 40th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, an historic anti-Vietnam War march in East Los Angeles that spiraled into violence, the Los Angeles Times reported that its review of LAPD records uncovered conflicts between law enforcement officials and Ruben Salazar, a reporter and Times columnist who was killed during the Moratorium.

Salazar was covering the protest for the Spanish-language television staton KMEX, and was inside the Silver Dollar Cafe when a tear gas canister fired by a sheriff's deputy burst through the window. It hit Salazar ini the head, shattering his brain.

Salazar was one of three people killed during the moratorium. He was deeply mourned. Parks and schools have been named after him, and his death has inspired numerous artworks, including the painting above.

Many in the Chicano community believed his death was not random. He had written passionately about police brutality in East Los Angeles, Mexican American's lack of representation on juries, and unwarranted police surveillance.

Earlier this year, the Times filed a California Public Records Act request seeking the Los Angeles County Sheriff's files on Salazar's killing. Initially Sheriff Lee Baca refused to release any documents. But on August 16, he changed his mind and shared thousands of pages with the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, a civilian agency with oversight over the department.

Baca said that he will publicly share the Office of Independent Review's report on the documents and will then determine whether to release any other material in the department's records on Salazar's death.

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