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Three teens charged in beating death of Luis Ramirez

July 25th, 2008 · 16 Comments

Today three white teenagers have been charged in the beating death of Luis Ramirez. Brandon Piekarsky, 16, and Colin Walsh, 17, were charged with charged with homicide as adults and ethnic intimidation, and Derrick Donchak, 18, was charged with aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation. Piekarsky and Walsh are being held in the county jail without bail, and Donchak was held in lieu of a $75,000 bond.

District Attorney Jim Goodman said, “Hopefully we can move forward and ease some of the racial tensions that’s occurred in the borough of Shenandoah and throughout Schuylkill County as a result of this incident.”

Preliminary hearings for this case are scheduled for August 4.

We’ll be watching this case closely to see what develops. I’m hopeful that there will be justice for Luis. Yesterday Arielle Garcia, a friend of Luis Ramirez, spoke to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! You can read the transcript here. It is pretty disturbing to read about the small-minded hatred brewing in Shenandoah, PA.

Photo Credit: Crystal Dillman/AP, undated photo of Luis and his son Eduardo

Tags: Crime

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 theKaiser // Jul 25, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Now let’s see if they get convicted. Early reports said there were six white males who participated in the beating, but they only arrested three white males. So this isn’t starting off well. Like in so many hate crime cases the all-white juries ignore the hard evidence, and allow other circumstantial evidence to take precedence over the actual charges. This allows the defense opportunities to plead down the charges. Since it took the local police department eleven days to actually make arrests, it doesn’t look like there’s much motivation from the county court to really push this through. However, the BlogSphere has flashed a big bright light on Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. And that’s what the Ramirez family actually has going for them.

  • 2 ALIPAC.US - Thanks For Supporting Migrants: Pro-Migrant SanctuarySphere « American Humanity // Jul 26, 2008 at 6:57 am

    […] on the Luis Ramirez Story: Three teens charged in beating death of Luis Ramirez at Latino Politics Blog. You can also read more at Mexico Trucker in A Turning Point? – 3 […]

  • 3 Wendy Carrillo // Jul 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    regardless of the fact that the victim was undocumented, it is SHAMEFULL that 3 “proud Americans” would do this to a person, regardless of the victims legal status.
    I feel ashamed that these boys represent the ideals of our great nation. Yes, the victim was undocumented, but does that give legal Americans the right to take his life? You can accuse to victim of coming to this country illegally, but much worse, you can accuse these thoughtless individuals of homicide. There is no excuse for taking the life of a person and leaving three children fatherless. No excuse. I feel sorry for the mothers of these thoughtless bitter young men who must now see their children be accused of murder and have to deal with the fact that their personal racism and hatred will be the turning point of our countries internalized fears of “the other”. There in NO American politician, Republican or Democrat that would consider the actions of these young men as “Patriotic”. NONE.

  • 4 Michaelr // Jul 26, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Okay…let’s see how much public awareness MALDEF brings to this tragedy here. So far your organization has been batting zero in even displaying some sense of public compassion for what has been done here. Luis Ramirez has been dead more than eleven days now, and you’re finally sending someone out there? Writing a letter to the Attorney General of the United States doesn’t convey any real effort to display the human outrage of this hideous crime. Frankly, at this point you’ve already blown your opportunity to display to the world that you are a legitimate public service organization tasked with defending the civil rights of Latinos. The IRS should audit your organization for its non-profit status, and all the corporate entities funding your organization should reconsider their fiscal relationship with you.

  • 5 reenee // Jul 26, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    This is indeed horrendous. No one has the right to beat anyone to death based on their color. It’s beyond ignorance, it’s evil. People that do this have forfeited their human race card and should not be allowed to co-mingle with other humans.

  • 6 Dave // Jul 27, 2008 at 12:24 am

    This is sad, and it’s an outrage. Where is the popular media with this? Nowhere to be found. All life is valuable, but why does it seem like the victim has to be a small blonde white girl for it to make national headlines? A latino man was killed by six white boys who shouted racial slurs at him while they kicked him, and from his injuries he died two days later. That is sad and scary stuff. But the world needs to know this happened. Nobody deserves to die for being undocumented. But that is exactly what we are teaching our young people.

  • 7 Michaelr // Jul 27, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I took a class twenty-seven years ago, and the instructor had some relationship with the RAND Corporation which gave him documented insights on the productivity of ethnic public service civil rights groups. At that time, groups like the National Council of La Raza, MALDEF, League of United Latin American Citizens, NALEO were already considered enterprises masquerading as non-profit public service civil rights organizations because of their ineffective ability to truly provide the services they claimed to be providing to the Latino population. At the time, the only Latino organization that seemed to be successful promoting and providing civil rights protections for Latinos was the United Farm Workers Union, and they are a union organization primarily focused on protecting agricultural workers. The class went as deep as revealing various social and public behavioral profiles amongst the leadership of these organizations at the time which was not flattering in any political light, or even in a humanistic way. But what was enlightening is that those very same behavioral profiles eventually surfaced in the political behavior of politicians like Fabian Nunez, Loretta Sanchez, Joe Baca, and Antonio Villaraigosa. It’s unfortunate, that we as Latinos do not have any civil rights organizations truly devoted to championing our rights as citizens of the United States of America, or human beings of the world. African-Americans have the NAACP, the Urban League, and the Southern Poverty Law Center to champion their Civil Rights. Liberal thinking WASPs have the ACLU, and several hundred other organizations, and Right Wing extremists have the American Center for Law and Justice, the FOX News channel, the O’ Reilly Factor, and Rush Limbaugh. There is a reason why we Latinos have no real political clout. There may be over forty million of us in the United States, but our so-called political leaders have sold us out so they can have six figure incomes, drive BMWs, and buy thousands of dollars of wine with our tax dollars. What is wrong with this picture?

  • 8 Paul // Jul 31, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    The attackers beat Luis so badly they left an imprint of the “religious symbol” on his chest. That’s how much hate they had. I realize racism and ignorance among some people is going to exist, probably for hundreds of years if not always, but to take a human life is ridiculous, unacceptable, and is a microcosm of they symptom known as “hate” and “racism”. I hope that the true facts come out in this case and that justice will be served to the fullest extent of the law. I’m watching this one very closely.

  • 9 Gem // Aug 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I just hope they don’t drop or water down the charges on these teens only for being white. The punishment should fit the crime. Although I am hopeful this will happen, as we all have seen if the alleged murderers would have been Black/Latino and killed a white man, the arrest would of been made immediately and not 11 days later.

    Remember the case of the black youth who beat up a white boy. Well they were charged with attempted murder and were in jail. Nobody got seriously injured in that situation.

    Well a person lost their life in this case and I hope that justice is served.

  • 10 Angelo // Aug 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Wow, I am white and find this utterly distusting. As some others have pointed out nobody deserves to be murdered, especially in such a cruel fashion.

    Maybe it was the way I was raised but I cannot conceive of anything more ignorant than racism. I hope all the parties involved with this slaughter are dropped under the jail and go away for a long, long time.

    I try to be optimistic but cant help but think of this of just another example of just how (at our worst) savage and mindless we can still be as a species.

    In the end I can only wish the best of grace on Luis Martinez’s family through their grief.

  • 11 gerry // Apr 28, 2009 at 5:55 am

    he was having sex with a 15 year old and started the fight to begin with, thats stachatory RAPE! another illegal criminal destroying our country and ignored by you A.C.L.U. moralless groups. ACLU means(athiests,criminals,liberals,unite). GOD BLESS YOU ALL! JESUS SAVES!

  • 12 gerry // Apr 28, 2009 at 6:01 am

    also beating anyone so brutal is always uncalled for and wrong! they will be brought to justice through the court system. thats why we have our courts, to deals with this type of criminal acts. remember to pray for ALL parties. seek God and he will find you! Only jesus can save us from this type of mentallity.

  • 13 honest abe // Jun 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I am a white hispanic person of Spanish desent from spain. latinos for one are not authentic hispanic. They are meztizo and mulatto. Look up what this means. I am against latinos because they are cocky and like black people are bitter due to white oppression- manifest destiny and poor government treatment. They need to stop blaming whites and better themselves. I dont care for redneck americans (scottish-irish,german, and english) through out the south and midwest but they are white and we should all stand together against mexicans who are flat out retaliating against the white system through gangs like ms13, drugs, rape, and atanganozism of white youth. I dont blame latinos for being upset but taking action comes with consequences. This guy must have been bothering the white guys because they only went after one latino and not the white girl friend or his friend. The mexicans after all are not little white doves but I am not justifying the killing as right but what can i say some of us just asked for it.

  • 14 honest abe // Jun 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I am a white hispanic person of Spanish desent from spain. latinos for one are not authentic hispanic if you read a history book. They are meztizo= native american/spanish and mulatto=black/spanish. Look up what this means. I am against latinos because they are cocky and like black people are bitter due to white oppression- manifest destiny , poor government housing, and lets not forget the past issue of slavery aswell as segregation. They need to stop blaming whites and better themselves. I dont care for hillbillys who tackled the wild west to counquer the world being white americans of (scottish-irish,german, and english) through out the south and midwest but they are white and we should all stand together against mexicans who are flat out retaliating against the white system through gang activity like ms13, drugs, rape, and atanganozism of white youth. I dont blame latinos for being upset but taking action against whites comes with consequences. This mexican must have been bothering the white anglo males because they only went after one latino and not his white anglo girl friend or his mexican friend. The mexicans after all are not little white doves but I am not justifying the killing as right but what can i say some of us just asked for it. I probably would have done worst because I am extremely violent but wouldn’t act up unless physically attacked.

  • 15 Mr. Thompson // Aug 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    It is sad rasism still exsist, this goes to show there are ignorant people not only in the town of Shenadoah but all over the U.S. Especially honest abe, who cares if your meztizo or hispanic! I’m guessing your the cocky white dove aren’t you? by the way take some anger managment classes before you get yourself in trouble. We are all humans not animals, animals are only those who are sick minded and hurt others. People say mexicans only come and bring their drugs, which is sometimes true but have you asked yourself.. “who’s buying all of this drugs?” AMERICANS! If it’s not you, your children are. I personally thank undocumented people, they work in jobs I would never think of doing myself. You can’t just point fingers and say “because of mexicans” remember people there are whites that are beyond crazy too. Mostly all the serial killers in the U.S are white. I think that’s why we are all equal! Instead of looking at race we should look at how the person is.

  • 16 Mr. Thompson // Aug 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Sorry for the typo, meant racism, and gerry hopefully god does save you! If Luis did start the fight, the six teens had no right in ending his life.

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