Brown bodies and police killings: The case of José Campos Torres, Jr. and anti-Mexican violence in Houston in the 1970s
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This thesis addresses the often-silenced history of violence perpetrated against Latinos for decades. This is not only about physical violence, but about the historical violence done to these victims. What does this mean? The history of these acts has been wiped from the historical record so as not to disrupt the larger story of Mexican Americans successfully integrating/assimilating into U.S. society. The goal for this study is to engage in an in-depth interrogation of the varied sources regarding the death of José Campos Torres in May, 1977 in Houston, Texas, the outcome of the state and federal trials that followed, and the Moody Park riot that erupted one year later in 1978. The José Campos Torres case is emblematic of how these victims disappear from historical memory and the official historical record of our nation and how they become members of the “forgotten dead.”
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