Police Abuse

Police Mum on Fatal Shooting of Mexican National, Mexican Government Condemns Third Shooting in Less than Month

Witnesses say Ernesto Canepa was unarmed when he was shot by police in Santa Ana, Calif., media reports suggest he was a robbery suspect.

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via Univision

Last Friday Ernesto Canepa became at least the third Mexican national to be shot by police in the U.S. under questionable circumstances in the last month, prompting the Mexican government to call for an investigation of the shooting and call for reforms of use-of-force policies by police in the U.S.

Witnesses say Canepa wasn't armed when he was fatally shot by cops. According to media reports may have been a robbery suspect  but police in Santa Ana, California, haven't released any information on the incident, not even a name.  The incident led to a protest by family and activists in the area during a city council meeting for police chaplain awards this week.

As for Mexico's complaints, while any attention to questionable police shootings is helpful—Ferguson's police department came under needed federal scrutiny only after protests over a questionable police shooting that the feds nevertheless decided, likely rightly, didn't amount to a civil rights violation—the Mexican government might do better to lead by example.

Mexico has seen a 600 percent rise in reported incidents of torture and other brutality by Mexican police, a small fraction of total cases, as noted by Amnesty International. Understandably, Canepa's sister said she thought it was a good idea the Mexican government was drawing attention to the killing of her brother. She's also glad she's in the U.S. "We're here because things aren't right in Mexico," she told the Orange County Register.

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