July 18, 2003

Editorial

Chicano Community Insulted

With the tacit approval of Captain Craig Short as acting Police Chief for the city of National City, the city council insulted the Chicano/Hispanic community.

A little history: On October 28, 1975, when the Chicano movement was at its peak, fighting for civil and human rights, over 2000 Chicanos showed up at National City’s City Hall demanding the firing of police officer Craig Short over the killing of Luis ‘Tato’ Rivera. 20-year-old Rivera was shot in the back with a .357 Magnum for snatching a purse. At that time, then San Diego District Attorney Ed Miller, did something that was unheard of, he indicted Short for manslaughter, who was later acquitted. And, throughout the years Short has been the cause and contention of much negative police-community relations.

Police brutality and shootings against Hispanics were contentious issues of the ‘70s and the Short shooting was just another atrocity amongst many, but the callus disregard of a young Hispanic man’s life galvanized the community into action. This shooting crystallized the issues for the community and at the forefront of the protest were Luis Natividad and Ralph Inzunza, Sr., father and mentor of Mayor Nick Inzunza, which makes this insult particularly galling.

Apparently history is lost on National City Mayor Nick Inzunza and Hispanic council members Luis Natividad and Frank Parra. The vision and goals of the Chicano movement have been waned to waste on the rocks of political expedience.

In the 60s, 70s, and 80s the Chicano community mobilized, protested, and fought for their rights and the rights of all Hispanics. The Chicano community sacrificed life, limb and money to improve the condition of the Hispanic community. The Chicano community fought for better education, jobs, health care, equal opportunity, for civil and human rights, and the community fought against police brutality and killings. It was through these struggles against the power structure that the foundation was laid to where today’s Hispanics were able to achieve many of the goals, opportunities, and dreams of the Chicano warriors of the ‘70s.

By accepting Short as acting Chief of Police, these three Hispanic council members have insulted the activist of the Chicano community and devalued their sacrifices and work that made it possible for these three Hispanic council members to serve.

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