art by Favianna Rodriguez
“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator
Justice for Hate Crime Victim Luis Ramirez
In May 2009, two white teenagers from Shenandoah, PA, were acquitted by an all white jury for brutally attacking and killing 25-year-old Mexican immigrant, Luis Ramirez. Ramirez’s death was a tragedy and the acquittal of his killers was an outrage. While civil rights organizations like MALDEF worked hard to bring Ramirez’s case to the US Department of Justice, then Governor Ed Rendell remained silent. With the help of partners Keystone Progress and ColorOfChange.org, Presente.org gathered more than 17,000 signatures demanding that Gov. Rendell issue an appeal for a DOJ investigation on the murder. Just a few days after our petition launched, Governor Rendell issued a strong letter to the DOJ doing just that, and an investigation soon followed.
Update: On February 23, 2011, a federal jury in Pennsylvania convicted Derrick M. Donchak and Brandon J. Piekarsky on hate crime charges for fatally beating Luis Ramirez. Four police officers have also been charged with obstruction of justice for covering up Donchak and Piekarsky’s crime.
This campaign has concluded.