CNN reports: "Six people, including four police officers, were indicted in the fatal race-related beating of a Latino man in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The three indictments include federal hate crime charges, as well as obstruction of justice, conspiracy, official misconduct and extortion charges, authorities said. A federal grand jury handed up the indictments last week, and they were unsealed Tuesday. Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky are charged with a hate crime for beating Luis Ramirez in July 2008 while shouting racial epithets at him, prosecutors said. Ramirez died two days later."
Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor also faces multiple charges in the case.
PW wrote about the case in May, after a local jury found Donchak and Piekarsky not guilty of the most serious charges in the case.
The trial’s outcome outraged Latino leaders, who since the beginning claimed there were serious mistakes made in the prosecution of this crime.
“I’m completely disgusted and amazed at the jury’s improper, imprudent and deviant attitude toward this case,” says Rev. Miguel Rivera. “These individuals, all of them white, didn’t understand they had in their hands a civic and socially important case dealing with the life of a human being.”
Rivera, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC, in Spanish), says the trial should have been held somewhere else.
“The prosecution was totally inept, lacking professionalism, as the outcome of this trial showed us,” he says. “They should’ve presented a motion to hold the trial somewhere else because the nature of this corrupt county [Schuylkill County] aids to breed white supremacy sentiments there.”
The lack of justice, Rivera says, shows that even an animal has more rights than an immigrant. “Had they killed a dog, these kids would be already imprisoned. It’s amazing that a dog has more rights than an undocumented immigrant,” he adds.