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Expand chart
Data: UnidosUS and U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Over 2,600 Latinos have died at the hands of police since 2014, more than double what had been known, according to an ongoing study.

Why it matters: A year after George Floyd’s death, data on Latinos killed by police or while in police custody remain scarce.

  • A Latino ethnicity is not plainly visible since Hispanics can be of any race. Researchers say victims often get lumped into “other” or “unknown” categories.
  • The Raza Database Project, based on data from scholars, activists, lawyers and demographers, dug into the undercounting of Latino victims by also looking at a person’s last name and other characteristics.

Between the lines: The lack of standardized data from police departments, either for causes of death or ethnicity, makes it unreliable and inaccurate, researchers say. Reported causes of death include shootings, use of physical restraints, stun guns, and “medical emergencies” suffered while in custody or during arrest.

  • The death of 27-year-old Carlos Ingram López, in April 2020, was registered as likely due to cardiac arrest. But a video showed three Tucson police officers had held him face down while he said he couldn’t breathe.

The intrigue: Houston’s mayor and police formally apologized this week to the family of Joe Campos Torres, a Mexican American man who was beaten to death by officers in 1977 and whose killing sparked riots and massive reforms. It was a case that defined police excessive force against Latinos in the 1970s.

The big picture: The Raza Database has so far documented over 32,000 police-related killings since 2000, 20% of them Black people and 17% Latinos.

  • The results are similar to a Washington Post analysis examining police shootings since 2015, which found that Latinos are killed at a rate 55% higher than white non-Hispanics and that Black Americans are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.

What they’re saying: “The numbers of Latinos and African-Americans killed from police actions since 2000 are somewhat similar. The difference is that Latinos are rarely mentioned when discussing violent police treatment,” Roberto Rodríguez, Raza Database Project’s director, told Axios Latino.

Go deeper

The Latino pain of Sept. 11

A Mexican American woman listens to a prayer in Los Angeles for immigrant workers who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. Photo: Lucy Nicholson/AFP via Getty Images

Around 250 Latinos were killed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, including some undocumented immigrants from Latin America whose families faced daunting tasks to prove they even existed.

Why it matters: As the nation prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, advocates are working to memorialize the toll the attacks had on Latinos, whose sacrifices that day are often overlooked.

California bill barring certain police holds heads to Newsom's desk

A demonstration over George Floyd’s death on June 3, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama via Getty Images

The California legislature on Thursday gave final approval to a bill barring certain life-threatening face-down holds that can lead to asphyxia.

Why it matters: The Angelo Quinto Act, named after the Filipino American Navy vet who died in Antioch last December after police allegedly knelt on his neck for five minutes, expands upon the chokeholds ban instituted in the state following George Floyd’s murder.

DOJ agrees to review Columbus police after fatal shootings

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Justice Department has agreed to review the practices of the Columbus, Ohio, police department following several fatal shootings of Black people in the city, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The nature of the review differs from that of the "pattern or practice" probes the department has undertaken in Phoenix and Minneapolis. Those typically end with a civil lawsuit by the DOJ to compel departments to change their practices.