On March 23, 1979, Roberto Rodriguez was a young photojournalist on assignment when he was severely beaten by law enforcement officers in his East Los Angeles neighborhood along Whittier Boulevard, this while photographing an incident of police violence. He was criminally charged with assaulting four deputies with a deadly weapon with a total of eight charges. He would go on to win his criminal trial and then, seven years later, won a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and raised in East Los Angeles, Roberto apparently died July 31 while living in Mexico’s sacred Teotihuacan. The symptom of his untimely death is a reported heart attack. Yet, the root cause of his sudden death occurred 44 years on East Los Angeles’ Whittier Boulevard—the capital of lowrider cruising—when the cops brutally assaulted him.
People of color, who make up around 40% of the U.S. population, comprise more than 60% of all people killed by or who died in the custody of the police. By comparison, whites, who constitute more than 60% of the population, comprise less than 40% of all deaths over the 2014-2021 period, according to The Raza Database Project