The fight for racial justice has been raging on for months (really centuries) in America, especially after the May 25, 2020, murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer.
With protests against police brutality continue to lead across the U.S., it’s important to continue to highlight how the Black and Latinx community are suffering at the hands of law enforcement.
In the latest episode of Las Raras Podcast, renowned Chilean journalist Dennis Maxwell talks about the murders of Sean Monterrosa and Erik Salgado. Monterrosa was fatally shot by Vallejo, California, police officer Jarrett Tonn on June 2. Tonn said he shot Monterrosa thinking that a hammer in his pocket was a gun. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declined to carry out an independent investigation of the shooting.
Erik Salgado was killed four days later in Oakland on June 6 by three state police officers. Salgado was behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle when the officers shot into the car killing him and wounding his pregnant girlfriend Brianna Colombo, who lost the baby as a result. Both Salgado and Colombo were unarmed.
Catalina May, co-creator of Las Raras, said the new episode is in response not only to the killing of Monterrosa and Salgado, but to the other Latinx people who have been needlessly murdered by cops, including Alex Nieto in 2014. Nieto was shot to death by four San Francisco police officers after they thought a taser he had for his work as a club bouncer was a firearm.
“Nieto was the starting point in deciding to tell this story,” May said. “This story of systemic racism and police brutality against Latinos…is something that repeats itself.”
Martín Cruz, co-creator of Las Raras, believes that the more people that know about the deaths of Monterrosa and Salgado, the better chance that this country can put an end to police racism and violence.
“This happens against Indigenous peoples and Latinos, and it’s worse if they are poor and worse if they are women,” Cruz said. “We believe that these are issues that have to be made visible in order to demand changes and build alternatives.”
For more information on Las Raras Podcast and to listen to more episodes, visit their website here.