The case of Luiz Ramirez has been more than a puzzle to many of the residents in the town of Shenandoah in Pennsylvania. Despite of witness reports and previous reports of racial discrimination against the victim, the authorities have dismissed the case as a simple street fight gone weary. It is painful to the family members and to other people who cared about Luiz but the law is the law and little can be done for now to bring justice to those who committed this heinous crime against a hardworking individual.
Ramirez had emigrated to The United States just six years earlier from Mexico in search of a better life for himself. He had succeeded in this quest by securing a good but humble job of picking cherries and strawberries in the extensive farms that acted as huge attractions for the Mexicans across the border. For six years Ramirez lived in America and even married an American. They were blessed with two adorable children and he even took care of his wife’s first child. He was living his life to the fullest enjoying the joys of a family, a fresh start to his life and comfortable lifestyle occasionally interrupted by the constant harassment he received from the youth in the town of Shenandoah.
All that ended tragically for Ramirez when he got embroiled in a fight with the neighborhood youth who included football players from the local high school. A couple of hours later, he lay dead having succumbed to head injuries from the fight. Ramirez had called his friends, Arielle Garcia and her husband, who had just dropped him in a park to inform them that he had gotten into a fight. They returned to the park only to see one of the youth kick Ramirez in the head and they say that was when he started forming in the mouth and convulsing. He never recovered from these injuries.
Besides Arielle and her husband, other witnesses include a retired police officer who lives near the park. She said that she heard the shirtless youth shout racial remarks to Ramirez as they kicked him as he lay down and even shouted at Ramirez Hispanic friends asking them to go back to their country or else they would all end up in coffins like Ramirez. This is a witness report from a respectable member of the society who is a retired police officer thus it is respectable. She was the person that called the police to report the fight as it ensued.
The police do not dispel the fact that Ramirez died of injuries sustained from a fight, they however dismiss it as a case of a street fight gone bad. They have also dismissed the notion that the fight was racially inclined despite of all the evidence from the multiple witnesses who saw and heard all that went on during the fight. One of the officers goes ahead to say that he knows the football players alleged to have been in the fight and protects them by saying that he doubts they could have done what they are accused of doing. It is a sad ending to the life of a young man who wanted little else but to live his life and raise his young family.
The most disturbing fact is that despite of all the incriminating evidence against the youth involved in the killing of Ramirez, justice may never be served from the same system that was supposed to protect him. The people who killed him should not have taken the law into their own hands if they thought he was an illegal immigrant, the appropriate authorities would have dealt with the case if only they had reported it and a life would not have been lost. Such fights are not uncommon among the youth but when they take a racial turn, then things are supposed to be taken seriously since it is a crime. The victims in this case are his young family, his 24 year old wife and three children between the ages of 3 years and 7 months who have been denied the love and companionship of a husband, a father and a friend.