In Shenandoah, PA – a town already brewing with anit-migrant sentiment – an undocumented migrant was beaten to death by a group of teenagers last week. Luis Ramirez had been living and working in the United States for five years. He was a father of two and had spent his time in the states working in a factory and picking cherries and strawberries.
Despite witness accounts of the assailants yelling racial slurs and shouting that Ramirez get out of their town, police are denying that there was any racial motivation behind the fatal beating.
On top of this, it is believed that members of a local high school football team are among the group who killed Ramirez. It seems like the town is trying to protect its hometown heroes – even if that means denying the truth and denying justice.
Arielle Garcia and her husband, who were with Ramirez when he was beaten late Saturday, said they had dropped their friend off at a park but returned when he called to say he had gotten into a fight.
She saw someone kick Ramirez in the head, she said, and “that’s when he started shaking and foaming out of the mouth.”
The Garcias said they heard the youths call Ramirez “stupid Mexican” and an ethnic slur.
Eileen Burke, [a] former Philadelphia officer, said she saw shirtless youths swarming around Ramirez, called 911 and went outside, when she heard a youth yell obscenities and make the get-out-of-Shenandoah remark.
Despite the witness statements, Borough Manager Joseph Palubinsky said he doesn’t believe Ramirez’s ethnicity was what prompted the fight: “I have reason to know the kids who were involved, the families who were involved, and I’ve never known them to harbor this type of feeling.”
So the gut feeling of the police officer trumps the eye-witness account of the crime? America will look back in shame on events like this.