Justice Denied for Luis Ramirez

{Emmett Till/Luis Ramirez: Justice Denied Then and Now}

It’s interesting that in the “Age of Obama,” Sonia Sotomayor is a prominent candidate being considered for the Supreme Court in the wake of Justice Souter’s recent announced decision to retire. Of course, if chosen, she would be the first Latina to serve in the highest court in the land. Nevertheless, even if that is to take place, there was a grim reminder last week as to the institutionalization of racism in the justice system that still persists.

Two of four white teenagers involved in the fatal beating of a Mexican man named Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania last summer were acquitted of the most serious charges in the case by an all white jury. Nineteen year old Derrick Donchak and 17 year old Brandon Piekarsky were cleared of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and ethnic intimidation in Ramirez’s death. (Where were the charges that were even more serious than those to begin with?)

Even with the history of all white juries (if I am ever before one, can I consider that ethnic intimidation?) this decision to acquit two of the teenagers still comes with  shock. In the case, the two could not even be convicted of the said ethnic intimidation charge even though racial epithets flew as furiously as the kicks and punches. A friend trying to aid the convulsing Ramirez on the floor was given the following warning by his assailants: “Tell your fucking Mexican friends to get the fuck out of Shenandoah, or you’ll be fucking laying next to him.” If that isn’t reminiscent of the historical use of racist violence by whites to expel African-Americans in establishing sundown towns, I don’t know what is!

What hope then, is there for any Mexican in the community of Shenandoah to think that the justice system offers them any modicum of protection against racist acts of violence? The hospital photo of Luis Ramirez’s  badly beaten face served as a reminder to the disfigured face of Emmett Till, the young African-American boy whose violent murder in 1955 by racists in the South touched off the modern Civil Rights Movement. The main suspects in that horrendous crime were acquitted as well even though they would later confess as free men for $4,000.

The justice system didn’t work for the family of Emmett Till then, and it isn’t working for the family of Luis Ramirez now. The only questions left are up to us now. Will this brutality go unchecked? Or will it be a flashpoint to demand that Mexicans be viewed as the sentient human beings that they are in a resurgent Civil Rights Movement for all people? Let us hope for the further civilization of this society sadly still plagued with injustice that the latter prevails.

7 responses to “Justice Denied for Luis Ramirez

  1. I think if you have an interest in the truth then you should research the full and true facts of this incident. Consider that the 25 year old “victim” was fooling around with a 15 year old girl!! Consider that the “victim” actually threw the first punch. Consider that a 25 year old man initially assaulted a 17 year old male minor. Consider that the “victim” was here illegally. Enough of the liberal lies and distortions of the truth. Wake up people.

  2. None of what you have pathetically and disgustingly pilfered out serves as a justification for the hate crime murder of Luis Ramirez nor the criminal injustice done to his memory in clearing two of the accused of the most serious charges in the case.

    The fact that you think otherwise is ridiculous.

    Ps, “PS” I’m not a Liberal, and nothing spoken here is lies. Now, don’t you have a Klan meeting you have to get going to?

  3. We both know that had the “victim” been white and the roles reversed then you would all be snoring. You should look at the REAL facts of the case. The “victim” precipitated his own killing by throwing the first punch end of story. The “victim” was an adult male striking a minor. The “victim” was then struck in self defense by the minor and then the “victim” fell and struck his head. The impact of the “victim’s” heads striking the ground caused his death. The “victim” had help in the fight from a friend, the so-called “victim” was not alone nor even outnumbered during the confrontation.

    If you’re really interested in the truth, I will provide a link below. If you’re just upset that some Mexican has gone on to meet his maker by the hand of a European American defending himself, well then I can offer nothing that will enlighten or soothe you.

    Here’s the link:


  4. You’re still disgustingly trying to justify a hate crime death? And even worse, distorting the truth to that end?

    Again and again, I long for the good ol’ racists who didn’t give a shit and were just straight up with their hatred…

  5. Gabriel, I have no need to “justify” a court of law has already done that. Where is this “hate crime” you speak of? I’m sure that that you feel there is no justification whatsoever for a European American to defend themselves against a person of color, let alone come out on top in such a confrontation. Does this outcome fly in the face of all the movies and pop culture you’ve been watching? White guy = BAD,..Brown guy = GOOD nonsense. The deceased made a mistake and attacked the wrong young man and paid for it with his life, end of story. In all of your blog statements, have you ever documented ANY hate crime directed toward a European American? I’ll answer for you,..no you have not. You are the racist. You are an intolerant fascist, practicing your own brand of discrimination. I have no “hatred” for people, just their lies. Be careful there son, sometimes we become what we do. Don’t be a liar.

  6. And the court of law has never been racist before, right? And over the course of legal history, neither have all-white juries, right? This is just laughable. Sorry, your piss poor blog link only adds to the distortions…

    You say you have no hatred, but curiously omit the racist remarks of these so-called innocent teenagers who beat a man to death. Can’t account for them? Or do you agree with them?

    Secondly, your first post made of point of the victim’s legal status – exactly what bearing does that have? If someone doesn’t have papers, does that give the right to those who do to commit a hate crime with impunity? Your answer is yes, even if you don’t come out and say it.


  7. For those of you who believe its unethical, immoral and unjust for these 2 monsters to get away with murder with a 6 month sentence please go to the link below and sign this petition to have the United States Department of Justice intervene and file federal hate crime charges on these men.


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