By now, George Floyd is one of the most recognizable names in the world and has made police brutality the zeitgeist of social change. People of color, particularly black and Latino, are disproportionately targeted by police. A report by the Los Angeles Times found that Latinos are 3 times more likely to be searched by the police than a white person, and a black person is 4 times more likely than white people. Blacks and Latinos are also at a higher risk of being killed by police.
Thursday, June 4th was a cruel reflection of that ongoing prejudice, when Giovanni López (30) was killed by police officers after he was detained at his own home for not wearing a mask in the town of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Jalisco. Due to COVID-19, strict laws requiring face masks have been implemented in Jalisco, which critics have suggested police may take advantage of. The video below shows López being taken into custody.
Así se llevaron a Giovanni López, albañil de 30 años, los policías municipales de Ixtlahuacán en Jalisco por no portar cubrebocas. Lo golpearon hasta matarlo..el Estado de Terror y Persecución que instala el gobernador @EnriqueAlfaroR pic.twitter.com/BMRRSgkjhC
— Jorge Armando Rocha (@rochaperiodista) June 3, 2020
When López’s family claimed his body from a hospital, there were signs of torture and a gunshot wound in his foot. Notable celebrities have also made calls of justice for Giovanni on social media.
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Pedimos al gobierno de Mexico JUSTICIA para Giovanni y para todas las personas afectadas por la brutalidad y la corrupción de algunos miembros de la policía Mexicana. Y ruego a los responsables de la seguridad pública que encuentren en sus corazones la fortaleza, humanidad y honorabilidad para proteger a nuestra gente que está tan necesitada de héroes y de esperanza. Cambiemos. #MeduelesMexico #justiciaparagiovanni Justice for Giovanni Lopez, who was detained in Mexico by 10 policemen for allegedly not wearing a mask. He was eventually found shot in the leg and beaten to death. Corruption and police brutality has to stop.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) June 4, 2020
The deaths of López, Arboleda, Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have clearly depicted the long-overdue need for police reform. Although faced with heavy resistance from State authorities, the protests have made progress with supporting allied causes in only their second week. Millions have been donated to non-profits supporting racial equality, and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti announced the city will redirect over $100 million from the LAPD to communities of color.
So far three, officers have been arrested in association with Giovanni’s murder.
This story is developing – please check back for updates.