Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finally: 3 police officers among 5 people indicted in race-related beating [Shenandoah, PA hate crime]

[Luis Ramirez was in a coma on life support before he died two days after he was beaten.]

3 police officers among 5 people indicted in race-related beating - CNN.com
Washington (CNN) -- Five people, including three police officers, have been indicted in the fatal race-related beating of a Latino man in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Two indictments charge the five with federal hate crime charges, as well as obstruction of justice and conspiracy, authorities said in a written statement. A federal grand jury handed up the indictments last week, and they were unsealed Tuesday.

Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky are charged with a hate crime for beating Luis Ramirez in July 2008 while shouting racial epithets at him, according to the department. Ramirez died two days later.

"Following the beating, Donchak, Piekarsky and others, including members of the Shenandoah Police Department, participated in a scheme to obstruct the investigation of the fatal assault," the Justice Department said. As a result, Donchak faces three additional counts of conspiring to obstruct justice and related offenses, officials said.

Shenandoah Police Chief Matthew Nestor and two other officers are charged with conspiring to obstruct justice in the Ramirez investigation. Nestor and a fourth police officer are named in a third indictment and charged with extortion and civil rights violations related to police corruption, the Justice Department said.

In June, an all-white Pennsylvania jury convicted Donchak and Piekarsky, then 19 and 17, of misdemeanor simple assault in Ramirez's death and acquitted them of felony counts including aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and hindering apprehension. The two were sentenced to up to 23 months in the county jail. The incident divided the small, rural mining town of Shenandoah into camps for and against the youths and became a flash point for racial tensions nationwide......

Also see:
Four Shenandoah Police Officers Indicted

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