Since last week, when three White teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania were charged in the beating death of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican migrant, more information has come out regarding the circumstances under which Ramirez was beaten to death. ABC News reports:
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According to a police affidavit, the defendants and three 17-year-olds encountered Ramirez, 25, and a teenage girl in a park the night of July 12.
The youths goaded Ramirez and the girl, saying, “You should get out of this neighborhood” and “Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here,” documents said. After Ramirez and the girl began walking away, someone yelled an ethnic slur at him, court documents said. He responded, “What’s your problem?”
A fight ensued, during which police said Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. The victim fell and hit his head on the street, leaving him unconscious, after which Piekarsky kicked him in the head, police said.
All three suspects used ethnic slurs during the fight, which ended with Ramirez in convulsions and foaming at the mouth, authorities said. The attackers fled the scene; Ramirez underwent surgery but died July 14 of head injuries.
Piekarsky and Walsh were being held without bail, while Donchak was held on $75,000 bail.
Lawyers for Piekarsky and Walsh said their clients are not guilty and that there was no evidence to support the homicide charges. They also said they would try to have the case removed to juvenile court.
Roger Laguna, Walsh’s lawyer, said the police affidavit “pretty much describes chaos, and what you have then after the fact is somebody trying to sort through that and attribute certain acts to certain individuals.”
He said that although slurs might have been used, the fight was not motivated by ethnicity.
“I think any time there’s a fight and any time you have one ethnic group fighting another, there’s going to be racial slurs,” he said. “I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently.”
Frederick Fanelli, Piekarsky’s lawyer, said he is “surprised and disappointed” that his client faces a homicide charge, attributing Ramirez’s death to a “street fight that ended tragically.”
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“A street fight that ended tragically?” That might be the understatement of the century. I suppose we’re expected to believe that Luis Ramirez’s death was just the result of a misunderstanding. Right. At least charges have finally been brought against these guys. Now let’s see whether the legal system, having failed to protect Luis Ramirez, will succeed in dispensing justice to the people who killed him.