| Luis Ramirez was in a coma on life support
before he died two days after he was beaten.
See updated article on this case, with photos, here. Then see here. YouTube here
Five people, including three police officers, have been indicted on charges related to the beating death of a Latino man in rural Pennsylvania in July 2008, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Two indictments charge the five with federal hate crimes, obstruction of justice and conspiracy in what authorities are calling a racially motivated attack.
The indictments come almost six months after a Schuylkill County jury acquitted two teens of aggravated assault and one of murder in the death of Luis Ramirez.
The undocumented Mexican immigrant was beaten into a coma during a street brawl involving the teens and their friends on a residential street in Shenandoah. The incident divided the small, rural mining town along racial lines and became a flash point for racial tensions nationwide.
After the verdict, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Gene “Ed” Rendell denounced the attack as racially motivated and called on the Department of Justice to intervene.
A federal grand jury handed up the indictments last week, and they were unsealed Tuesday. The two young men, Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, are accused of a hate crime for beating Ramirez while shouting racial epithets at him, according to the department.
If convicted of hate crime charges, Donchak and Piekarsky face a maximum penalty of life in prison. Donchak also faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of obstruction, and an additional five years on the charge of conspiring to obstruct justice.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Education Industrial Complex, FBI, Immigration, Prison Industrial Complex | Tagged: Brandon Piekarsky, Corruption, Crystal Dillman, Derrick Donchak, Edward Gene Rendell, Eric Holder, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gladys Limon, hate crime, immigrant, Jason Hayes, Luis Ramirez, Matthew Nestor, Mexico, Pennsylvania, police brutality, racism, Schuylkill County, Shenandoah, Shenandoah Police Department, Wilkes-Barre, William Moyer | Leave a comment »