Sunday, December 9, 2012
Last Tuesday, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund settled its lawsuit against Sheriff Lee Baca and the County of Los Angeles challenging the Sheriff’s attempt to withhold unredacted records regarding the 1970 killing of journalist, Rubén Salazar. MALDEF represents Phillip Rodriguez, a documentary filmmaker, who requested the documents as part of his research for the documentary film that tells the story of the life and mysterious death of the prominent civil rights era journalist.
On December 4, 2012, the Sheriff and the County agreed to disclose unredacted autopsy and investigative documents, and coroner's photos regarding Salazar’s death.
Salazar was a KMEX-TV 34 journalist killed by a Sheriff’s deputy during the national Chicano Moratorium March in 1970. He was best known as the first Mexican American journalist to cover the Chicano community from the mainstream media.
Despite the truth-seeking and investigative nature of his journalistic work, Salazar’s death has been surrounded in secrecy for over 40 years. “This settlement ensures that the Sheriff can no longer attempt to control the use of critical historical records on the killing of iconic journalist Rubén Salazar. The public, through the forthcoming documentary film, will immediately benefit from the availability of these unredacted records in assessing Salazar's death 42 years ago," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel.
For selected writings by Salazar, see Ruben Salazar, Border Correspondent 1955-1970.