Why the Deaths of Latinos at the Hands of Police Haven’t Drawn as Much Attention

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Kris Ramirez never saw police as a threat. Growing up, his body didn’t tense with us-versus-them dread when police cruisers drove through his Southeast Los Angeles neighborhood.

A man walks past a mural in Gardena. Over the past five years in L.A. County, data show that Latinos have consistently represented about half of the people killed by police. But the deaths rarely stoke large public demonstrations. (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

A man walks past a mural in Gardena. Over the past five years in L.A. County, data show that Latinos have consistently represented about half of the people killed by police. But the deaths rarely stoke large public demonstrations. (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)

“If someone is wearing a uniform,” Ramirez said, “you show respect.”

Then last year, four days before Halloween, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his brother, Oscar Jr., along railroad tracks near Paramount High School. Deputies said the 28-year-old didn’t comply with orders and moved his arm in “a threatening manner.” Ramirez was unarmed.