Things That Matter

One Of The Police Officers Killed In Dallas Was An Iraq War Veteran And Latino

What started as a peaceful protest against police brutality in downtown Dallas, Texas, on July 7 turned into a scene of nightmarish violence. In total, five police officers were murdered by a sniper, with seven others injured. Among those killed was 32-year-old Patrick Zamarripa, a father and Iraq War veteran. There has been an overwhelming outpour of grief over Zamarripa’s death, from family, friends and even celebrities.

Patrick Zamarripa’s family was confused, scared and shaken as the gunfire broke out at the downtown Dallas rally.

During a protest against police brutality, gun shots rang out. It wasn’t long until people realized there was a sniper on a roof targeting the police officers at the rally.

It was his father, Rick Zamarripa, who first confirmed on social media that his son had died in the gun fire.

Most of you already know this by now today in Dallas , my son is a police officer in Dallas he was working there the…

Posted by Rick Zamarripa on Friday, July 8, 2016

When news broke of Zamarripa’s death, friends, families and celebs took to social media to express their grief.

Cousins, siblings and his parents were devastated to hear that the Navy veteran was killed.

It is so heartbreaking.

Zamarripa had survived three tours of duty in Iraq before returning to Dallas and joining the Dallas Police Department to protect the freedoms he fought for overseas.

Texas Ranger Joey Gallo was in disbelief over the death of Zamarripa.

A couple months ago @nomazara26 and I were walking down the street in downtown Dallas. When an officer stopped us, Mazara and I immediately became nervous, "I know who you guys are" he said. "Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, can I get a picture with you guys please?" It was definitely a first for me and Nomar to have an officer, a true hero, want to meet us. His name is Patrick Zamarripa, one of the officers killed in last nights shootings in Dallas. I'll never forget how kind and down to Earth he was. We ended up having a 15 minute conversation about sports with him. He was an avid Rangers fan. But more importantly a great person, and family man. Please keep Patrick, and all the officers affected and their families in our prayers today. #prayfordallas

A photo posted by Joey Gallo (@joeygallo24) on

Gallo remembered a time when he and teammate Nomar Mazara were stopped by Zamarripa while walking around. Instead of being in trouble, Zamarripa was just approaching them as a fan asking for a photo and some small chitchat.

“I just couldn’t believe it, when I found out that he was one of the officers that had been killed” Mazara told ESPN. “I was glad I had a chance to take that picture, especially because he was a police officer. He’s a hero.”

Cuba Gooding Jr. had also met Zamarripa while in Dallas and was deeply impacted by his tragic death.

“I cried today when I heard that,” Gooding Jr. told TMZ. “I cried. That’s all I’ll say.”

There have already been memorials for the officers lost on July 7. Zamarripa’s mother was there.

“He was so proud and loved being a father to her,” Valerie Zamarripa, told 20/20. “She [his 2-year-old daughter] looks just like him. I just don’t know how she’s going to be looking for him and not see him anymore.”

Family, friends and strangers are coming together to raise money to help Zamarripa’s family.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 3.15.38 PM
Credit: gofundme.com

READ: Listen To Jennifer Lopez, Prince Royce And Selena Gomez Pay Tribute To Victims Of Orlando Shooting

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Latino Police Officer In New Jersey Is Setting Up Drive-By Birthdays And The Children Are Loving Them

Culture

Latino Police Officer In New Jersey Is Setting Up Drive-By Birthdays And The Children Are Loving Them

Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

The various lockdown orders across the country are forcing children to stay home during their birthdays. This also means that people aren’t able to come over the celebrate with them. One police officer in New Jersey is making what could be a sad time for the kids a time to remember.

Police officer Luis Vasquez is giving children in Fair Lawn, New Jersey a birthday to remember while in quarantine.

The Fair Lawn Police Department is joining other departments in performing birthday drive-bys. If you have a child ages 10 or younger, celebrating a birthday during this self-quarantine, please reach out to P.O. Luis Vasquez at lvasquez@fairlawnpd.com We will make every effort to set up a social distancing celebratory drive-by with lights and sirens! Hopefully, this will help make your child's day a little brighter like Javen in this video 💙 Happy Birthday Javen 🎈===========#flpd #ourcommunity

Posted by Fair Lawn Police Department on Monday, April 6, 2020

How awesome is that? It is clear that the children are really enjoying the special show of love and celebration for their birthdays. They might not be able to jump in a bouncy castle with their friends but they can still feel special with first responders giving them a special show.

The gesture is warming hearts all over in the comments section.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

It truly does look so incredibly special. All of that special attention coming from the heroes children look up to is amazing.

Some people familiar with the police department are sending P.O. Vasquez some special love.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

It is very sweet to know that one man in the department is making sure that children have memorable birthdays right now. It is clear that P.O. Vasquez is really looking after his community during some of the craziest times.

People are touched by how generous the police department is with their time in making everyone’s birthday better.

Credit: Fair Lawn Police Department / Facebook

This is a very generous and kind gesture to give to the community. There is no doubt a lot of people who are scared of everything happening in the world right now and having some special attention on your birthday must feel nice.

Happy birthday to every person spending their special day in quarantine. We love you.

READ: A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

Things That Matter

El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

adriana.candelaria / garbrielndresden / Instagram

El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, has been indicted on 90 federal charges related to the deadly attack, including hate crimes. The shooter admitted to having a specific community in mind when he carried out the attack at the Texas Walmart.

The El Paso shooter is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Credit: p_craig / Instagram

On Aug. 3, 2019, shooter Patrick Crusius walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, injuring 23. Some of the victims were Mexican nationals who were shopping.

Crusius has now been charged with 90 federal charges because of the attack including hate crimes resulting in death and an attempt to kill. The shooter admitted to wanting to target Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the attack.

The grand jury that indicted the shooter referenced “substantial premeditation” before the attack.

Credit: @JakeBGibson / Twitter

Before the attack, Crusius spent six weeks buying an AK-47 and ammunition. Shortly before a 911 alert of the shooting, the shooter’s manifesto appeared online. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also stated that “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

Crusius drove 10 hours overnight from Dallas to El Paso to carry out the shooting. After the shooting, Crusius gave himself up to police stating, “I am the shooter.” The federal indictment comes on the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting.

Some claim that the language in the manifesto parroted some lines and sentiments from President Trump.

Credit: @eptxyds / Twitter

While the wording ming be similar to what President Trump has said in the past, it is not known if the president actually inspired the shooter. According to AP, the shooter claims that his anti-Mexican beliefs were set before the president and his campaign.

A memorial has been built at the Walmart to honor the 22 victims of the shooting.

Credit: tallyngrams / Instagram

“This hate crime may be considered an act of domestic terrorism, as have other hate crimes throughout our history, like the violence wrought by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, told reporters on Thursday.

The deadly shooting united a community in the face of hate and mobilized a gun reform message from Walmart.

The announcement to change open carry policies for the stores and limit the sale of guns and ammunition was widely celebrated. Gun reform activists saw the move as a way to limit the spread of gun violence in the country.

READ: The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner