Immigrants’ rights advocates demand more support, protection for Hispanic community following violent crimes in Canton

Published: May. 30, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2021 at 11:16 PM CDT
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CANTON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Madison County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a Hispanic man from Canton who was shot and killed early Saturday morning.

He’s been identified as 41-year-old Emilio Garcia.

Family and friends said it was around 6 o’clock when Garcia was shot, robbed, and killed just as he was getting ready for work. Prior to his murder, residents said three other Hispanic families were also robbed in a trailer park on Pace Street.

This marks the second time in less than a year that tragedy strikes the Hispanic community.

Back in December, Faustino Garcia Ramirez, his sister 19-year-old Maudillia, and her unborn child were robbed and killed inside their home.

So far an arrest has not been made in the investigation.

”The city of Canton has so many unsolved crimes against the Latino Community,” said Luis Espinoza, the lead organizer with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.

Espinoza said these tragedies highlight the challenges many in the Hispanic community are facing.

”Something has to change, something has to be done to see where is the problem, or who is the problem,” said Espinoza.

The immigrant rights advocate said he wants to see more officers patrolling neighborhoods where many Latinos live, making them feel safer.

He also said he wants to see more work being done to strengthen relationships between law enforcement and the Hispanic community.

”What I really want is for them to really try to get close and be friendly with the community,” Espinoza explained. “Have programs so they can trust the police.”

Earlier this year, a Hispanic task force was formed to help Canton city leaders and Latino residents build stronger relationships.

So far, Espinoza said there’s been at least one meeting.

The Canton Police Department said it’s working with the Latino community to find out what more it can do to curb crime.

Meanwhile, Espinoza said he hopes this latest tragedy will lead to more solutions and safety for the Latino community.

“People have been killed, human beings have been killed,” Espinoza expressed. “They deserve the same protection like everybody else.”

Espinoza said the next task force meeting is scheduled to take place next month.

He’s hoping more ideas will be discussed to improve safety for the Latino Community.

If anyone has information on Garcia’s death or the other robberies from Saturday, you’re asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

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