@ 2024 Advocate Channel.
All Rights reserved

Latino Man Killed on Arkansas Interstate, Activists Protest Racial Profiling

emergency vehicle

The family of Daniel Adrian Barajas, fatally struck following a police encounter last year, have filed a federal lawsuit against the sheriff's deputies.

The family of Daniel Adrian Barajas, a Latino man who was fatally struck following a police encounter last year, have filed a federal lawsuit against the sheriff's deputies who they hold responsible for his death.

Civil rights attorney Mike Laux, now representing the Barajas family, told Daniel's story at a League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) press conference on Thursday.

Laux explained that Daniel was driving cross-country to meet his newborn niece and nephew, when he stopped his car to rest in Saline, Arkansas. Authorities in Saline called K9 units to search Daniel's car for drugs, which Laux believes was only on the virtue of him being Latino. The officers reported that Daniel was fidgety and had red eyes, but an ambulance reported that he was in perfect health. After some police left, it was reported that Daniel had walked onto I-30, where he was struck by multiple cars and killed.

The seven-count civil rights lawsuit was filed against The Saline County Sheriff's department, the deputies involved, and the coroner's office that lost their photos of Daniel. According to the lawsuit, "excessive force" was used on Daniel, which caused him to become disoriented and wander into the road. Because the involved officers weren't using body or dashboard cameras, footage of the incident isn't available.

LULAC connected Daniel's case with a pattern of deadly cases of racial profiling against Latino and Black drivers, who are disproportionately pulled over for traffic violations, as described by the Public Policy Institute of California. Like David, Latinos throughout the country are routinely profiled for drug-related crimes. The bar of evidence for traffic stops is much lower for white drivers than Black and Latino drivers, according to data from the Stanford Open Policing Project. And LULAC believes that the evidence of racial profiling on the road is glaringly obvious in cases like Daniel's.

"Watch out if you are an officer stopping, searching, arresting, or harming a Latino on an interstate freeway," LULAC National President Domingo Garcia said. "We demand that existing statutes be used to investigate and prosecute you to the fullest extent of FEDERAL civil rights laws! This is a promise."

From our sponsors

From our partners

Top Stories

Max Seavey