Latino Americans are dying by cop too, but fears of la migra stall mass mobilisation

As the US sees mass protests against police violence, the voice of a significant portion of victims — Latino Americans — has been missing.

Sean Monterrosa, a Latino, was fatally shot by Vallejo police in California’s San Francisco Bay area within days of the killing of African American George Floyd on May 25. Monterrosa was shot five times by a cop who, apparently, mistook a hammer on his waistband for a gun.

Today Floyd’s funeral took place in his home town of Houston. Houston is also the home town of Latino Vietnam War veteran José Campos Torres who, on May 5, 1977, was beaten to death by a group of police officers. Campos Torres was 23.

The police killing of black people in the United States has attracted well-justified global attention and condemnation — and Black Lives Matter has become a formidable statement. This can’t be said about US police killing of Latinos and Latinas. And while the words “Brown Lives Matter” have been uttered here and there, they haven’t gained much traction.

Originally published at on June 9, 2020.

Latin American journalist and senior academic at RMIT University, Melbourne — Australia