Entertainment

Authorities Identify Person Of Interest In Planned Shooting Of David Ortiz

alex.veda.ortiz / tlortiz / Instagram

It’s been more than a week since David Ortiz was shot at a bar in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. There are still many questions left to be answered surrounding the tragic blindside attack on the Boston Red Sox legend. To this point, 10 suspects are in custody and facing charges for the Ortiz shooting. We’ve also learned that the attack may have been coordinated from people currently behind prison cells.

Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota allegedly met with another suspect, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaíno, to discuss a plan one week before Ortiz was shot.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, who is still at large, helped orchestrate the shooting. New details have also emerged behind who coordinated the attack. According to the New York Daily News, two jailed suspects, Carlos Alvarez and Jose Eduardo Ciprian Lebron, allegedly helped plot the hit on Ortiz while serving time in a Dominican prison.

Ciprian and Carlos Alvarez helped coordinate the shooting and distributed a $7,800 payment to the would-be assassins from prison. According to the AP, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino, 24, also assembled the hit squad and is expected to spend one year in preventive prison.

Vizcaino allegedly sold an iPhone, that was used to plan the attack, to a woman for $180. This was done so he could quickly dispose of evidence a day after the shooting. Authorities claimed the phone was giving him problems and was the reason behind Perez selling it.

The shooting, which left Ortiz with organ damage, happened after a man, who got off a motorcycle, shot him in the back at point-blank range. The alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, fled from the scene, but the alleged getaway driver, Eddy Feliz Garcia, fell from his motorcycle as he attempted to flee. Garcia was beaten by a crowd before being turned over to police.

Many of the suspects have claimed innocence or have denied charges altogether.

Various reports say it’s unclear if Ortiz was the intended target and many of the suspects have stated that “it was a mistake” or it simply wasn’t them. The various suspects are now facing a number of different charges. They range from attempted murder, attempted homicide, gang activity, gun violations and accessory to attempted murder.

Court documents show that on the Sunday before the shooting, Mota and Vizcaino met to go over details and the plans of the attack. Ciprian would send Mota a photo of the target but documents don’t specify whose picture it was or if Ortiz was in it.

According to the New York Daily News, Ferreira-Cruz told reporters from his holding cell that he mistook Ortiz for the real intended target. “It wasn’t David,” Ferreira-Cruz said. “I got confused by his clothing.”

The attack has brought shock waves to the Dominican Republic as many are still trying to figure out why a national hero like Ortiz could be targeted.

The attack came as a shocker for many around the world but especially in the Dominican Republic where Ortiz has made endless contributions. Some say the attack is a sign of jealousy from the success that Ortiz has had.

“He is the same David Ortiz,” Felix Martinez, who grew up with Ortiz told CNN. “What happens when a person comes from poverty, what they want … when they come to their home country is to be with their people. There are people that are full of envy. That wanted to have that pride, that success.”

While motives are still being investigated, Ortiz has made progress and is recovering back in Boston.

Ortiz’s family posted Father’s Day tributes on Sunday in dedication to the baseball icon. The former slugger continues to make a recovery from the gunshot wound in Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Nothing more to say other than thank you for the sacrifices you have made to give not only me but our entire family the whole world in our eyes. You have worked so tremendously hard while not fully enjoying the fruits of your labor,” Ortiz’s daughter, Alexandria, wrote on Instagram. “The thing you said today that made me pause was: ‘sorry, this isn’t the way we should celebrate Father’s Day’ through invading tears as I can’t wait to show you the Game of Thrones inspired gift.”

Tiffany, Ortiz’s wife, also wrote in an Instagram post that Father’s Day this year “brings with it a new appreciation for life and an awareness in what truly matters.”

“Please celebrate this Papi’s Day with the ones you love. Be present in every moment, don’t get hung up on gifts, material things, titles, fame or fortune,” Tiffany wrote. “Those things can be taken away in a moments notice and all we are left with is the memories of the moments we truly connected and grounded ourselves in true love”

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Converse Is Putting Dominican Art On Their Shoes And Here’s How People Are Feeling About The Decision

Fierce

Converse Is Putting Dominican Art On Their Shoes And Here’s How People Are Feeling About The Decision

Influencer Ray Polanco Jr. and Converse have collaborated again for Latinx Heritage Month as a part of the “Converse by LatinX” collection. Polanco Jr. recruited artist Eric Narváez to hand draw and create a Chuck Taylor that featured coloring book style art of Dominican iconography. 

The collection also features work from tattoo artist Don Rimx, and Mexican and Colombian artist Paloma Montoya. Each of Polanco Jr.’s shoes will have a unique pattern of the cultural iconography — that means every pair is one of a kind. 

Ray Polanco Jr. Uses Dominican Upbringing As Inspiration

“Inspired by Ray Polanco Jr.’s experience growing up Dominican in New York City, the hand-drawn images encourage wearers to bring the design to life with color transforming the Chuck Taylor into a cultural coloring book for your feet. Make the “Puro Platano” story your own. Shout to Uptown,” the Converse description reads.

Puto Plátano

“What a feeling… meet my new @converse the “puro plátano 2”  — a cultural coloring book for your feet inspired by my experience growing up Dominican in NYC. I want the world to get to know us beyond flag colors, so I designed a visual story of pride. I left the hand-drawn images blank so YOU can collab with me. the reality is us LatinX come in all colors, so I want u to make these ur own,” Polanco Jr. wrote on Instagram. 

This isn’t the first time Polanco Jr. has brought Dominican pride to Chuck Taylors

Polanco Jr. collaborated with Converse on the Puro Plátano last year. It was a simple plátano green shoe with the words “puro platano” on the side in gold letters. 

“As a storyteller, I believe sneakers are the perfect canvas to communicate a message because we all wear some kind of footwear. Last year, I wanted to get the world to know more about Dominicans beyond just the colors of our flag and I thought food was the best way to do that, which led to transforming the Chuck Taylor into a Platano. This year, I wanted to connect on a deeper level with the ‘Puro Platano’ story by collaging distinct images from my experience growing up Dominican in New York City,” Polanco Jr. told Footwear News

This year he really amped up the Dominican iconography. There’s rolos, plátanos, bachata dancersandbottles of rum among other familiar images to anyone who grew up in The Bronx.

“A lot of the shoe is inspired by family: my dad playing dominoes at the bodega with his friends, my mom wearing rolos in her hair after the beauty salon, and things like that.” he said. “Shout out to my sister who would cop Chucks in every color on Fordham Road in the Bronx back in the day. Beyond my story, I feel like anyone who grew up in NYC will connect with at least one thing on the shoe and hopefully, other people in different cities can relate, too.” 

Polanco Jr. is not the only artist included in Converse’s LatinX collection.

Paloma Montoya

Mexican and Colombian artist Paloma Montoya’s artwork was inspired by Colombian culture, like its cafes, people, and vallenato musicians and singers.

“I was born from my father, a Mexican and my mother from #medellincolombia, but I was raised by my mother and maternal grandparents. All #antioqueños. I grew up on arepas, tamales and empanadas #colombianos , sancocho and natilla. I listened to Carlos Vives and know the lyrics (in Spanish) to Jaime R. Echavarría’s Serenata de Amor – Thanks Mamita,” Paloma wrote in her Instagram caption. 

“My grandparents bought the house in South Gate. I’ve been here all my life, I didn’t embrace my Mexican side from my father, I embraced it here with my friends who are Mexican and Mexican-American. Mexico and South Gate run through my blood, but I have generations and generations of Colombian blood in me. Maybe that’s why I think about going back often? Maybe that’s why when I went and met my relatives high up in the mountains of #antioquia – it felt like home. This pair is for you Mom, Mamita and Papito.” 

Don Rimx

Puerto Rican muralist and tattoo artist, Don Rimx also got a chance to make his own custom sneaker. The unique pattern mimics rosary beads and colorful feathers. 

“Muy honrado de poder colaborar con @converse en este proyecto para diseñar un patron para el Chuck Taylor dandole un giro personalizado con el estilo original de Don Rimx inspirado en su cultura y el camino por andar,” Rimx wrote on Instagram. 

The Converse by LatinX collection is available now. Shout out to Converse for hiring these independent Latinx artists as well! 

This MLB Team Just Swore In 15 New American Citizens And Our Hearts Are Overflowing With Emotion

Things That Matter

This MLB Team Just Swore In 15 New American Citizens And Our Hearts Are Overflowing With Emotion

Screen capture. CBS News.

As the 2020 presidential election draws near, every public act that involves issues of citizenship and migration becomes a political statement (perhaps involuntarily, but a statement nevertheless). That is why having a civic act involving issues of immigration in front of a stadium full of baseball fans is a super relevant ideological statement. Last weekend, at Citizen Bank Park in Philly, a few individuals had one of the most significant days of their lives. 

Fifteen new American citizens were sworn in before the Phillies-Red Sox game last Sunday.

Credit: Screen capture. CBS News.

Yes, 15 new American citizens of all kinds of origins were cheered as they waved flags and swore their allegiance to the United States. The new citizens, of all kinds of backgrounds, are a true snapshot of multicultural America, a representation that goes counter to the Trump Era vision of exclusivity and privilege.

As reported by CBS News, MLB has become an advocate for this kind of ceremonies: “Fifteen new Philadelphia-area residents from 11 different countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens Sunday at the game. The newly minted U.S. citizens are among the over 700 new citizens who have been naturalized at 11 professional ballparks this summer”. By the way, the Phillies lost 6-3 to Boston, but the evening had a celebratory vibe, of course!

And what could be more American than becoming a citizen in Philadelphia, right?

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous. 

After all, the United States Constitution was signed by the Founding Fathers there, right? What a moment it must have been for the 15 new citizens, some of whom surely had perilous migration paths, when they heard: “”Congratulation, you are now citizens of the United States of America. You now share the same rights, the same privilege, the same obligations as any citizen of this great country”. And to be honest, there are few things as American as a day at the ballpark. 

And let’s remember that Pennsylvania was all red after the 2016 presidential election, so statements like this are increasingly important for those who wish Trump to be kicked out of office.

Credit: Wikipedia

Just look at that red tide. Pennsylvania is heavily reliant on manufacturing industries that have been hit hard by global trade and the move of American companies overseas. The steel manufacturing industry, for instance, has lived under extreme duress for decades. This is perhaps why Trump’s message resonated with disgruntled workers. The state has large numbers of Latino presence, mainly Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. So statements of civil inclusion such as the citizenship ceremony at the stadium could send a message: we are all the same, we all deserve a shot, we are all equal. 

All it takes is a good hearted judge with a love for baseball.

Credit: Twitter. @PhillyInquirer

The ceremony was performed by Juan R. Sanchez, a judge of Puerto Rican origin who understood what multiculturalism really means on a personal level when baseball made him feel part of the community. He told CBS News: “We hope we remind people of the tremendous privileges we have under the constitution. And remind people that we have a responsibility to be engaged.” Preach, querido juez Sanchez. 

Last year the ceremony had 19 new Americans, so the trend is continuing that is just una chingonería.

Credit: Twitter. @GraceMarioano

The trend is constant now. Last year 19 new Americans were welcome at a Phillies game. By the way, those red hats are Phillies cachuchas, so don’t be alarmed!

But the trend goes back to the early 2010s, as reported by the Portland Press Herald. In 2012, before a Minor League game more than two dozen children were welcome as United States citizens: “The children were part of a pre-game ceremony that celebrated their new citizenship at Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs. The children, from Congo, Germany, the Philippines and Somalia, were presented certificates recognizing their citizenship, derived from their naturalized parents or adoption. After the ceremony was held between home plate and the backstop, the children and their families stayed for the Sea Dogs’ game with the Reading Phillies. The children held a giant American flag during the playing of the national anthem”.

Becoming a citizen of a foreign country is a big step in anyone’s life, particularly if they flee perilous circumstances at home, so having a whole stadium cheer you must be quite something!

Citizenship  ceremonies at Phillies’ games have a dual purpose: make new Americans feel welcome and educating the public.

Credit: Twitter. @SU2Citizenship

The best way to make a statement is a lived experience. The thousands of fans that have been overcome by emotion as new Americans are welcomed can see, and feel, how great cultural diversity is. This photo is from a ceremony in 2015. 

We are Los Dodgers fans, but the Philadelphia Phillies will always have a special place in our hearts.

Credit: Facebook. Philadelphia Phillies. 

As Angelenos and Latinos we remain loyal to our Dodgers, but we gotta admit that the Phillies are growing on us thanks to their approach. They make citizenship ceremonies a community affair