Things That Matter

California Elotero Man Is Murdered In a Drive-By Shooting; Fresno Community Is Distraught

Photo: GoFundMe via Jose Rivera

On Friday, an elotero man was killed while selling corn on the street in Fresno. His name was Jose Luis Rivera and he was 53-years-old.

According to witnesses, Rivera was working, riding his tricycle and selling snacks when an unmarked, dark-colored SUV pulled up to him and open-fired.

According to his family, Rivera died on the way to the hospital. The police and Rivera’s family do not know what motivated the killing.

Well known in the Fresno community and affectionately known as “Corn Man”, Rivera’s death death was immediately met with immense grief and outpouring of support for Rivera’s family. Local artist Omar ‘El Super’ Huerta even created a mural dedicated to Rivera. The mural has become a vigil with candles and flowers.

Credit: super_tatt2/Instagram

As for Rivera’s family, they are still in shock. The family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the funeral expenses and medical bills, but the family is still coping with the aftermath of this tragic and unexplained event.

“My family is grieving as we’ll never get to see him again,” wrote his son, Jose Rivera Jr., on their GoFundMe page. “We don’t know why he has taken from us.”

Rivera’s death is not the first assault against a street vendor this year.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ortiz, violence against street vendors has risen in LA County since the onset of the pandemic at the beginning of this year. Although Fresno is not in LA County, it is worth noting that the rise in violence against street vendors is not an isolated incident.

Recently, a community activist named Marcos Navarro based in National City, California, began fundraising to provide paleteros, eloteros, and other street vendors with pepper spray to protect themselves from possible assailants.

“I wanted to put up some sort of protection so that way they can have a chance to run,” Navarro told CNN. “It’s not illegal to carry pepper spray and you can use it in self-defense.”

Unsurprisingly, the city of Fresno is grieving the loss of a beloved community figure.

Many people in Fresno have personally bought corn from Rivera before. It makes his death all the more shocking.

People can’t comprehend the continued and escalating violence against eloteros across the country.

Like every other person in the world, street vendors are simply trying to provide for their families by making an honest living.

Some people are calling for some larger systems to be put in place to protect elotero workers.

We hope this is the last we hear of such terrible and tragic violence against an innocent member of our society. Rest in Peace, Jose Luis Rivera.

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Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

Things That Matter

Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Americans watched in horror as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. As the dust settles, we are seeing more of the chaos including the attack on journalists who were there doing their jobs when the mob turned violent.

Associated Press photographer John Minchillo was attacked by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

Video taken by his colleague Julio Cortez shows Minchillo being violently pushed and pulled around by the angry mob. The video is a jarring reminder of the physical manifestation of the attack on the free press. President Trump has routinely singled out the media at his rallies and has celebrated violence against the press.

You can hear Cortez pleading with the crowd to stop attacking Minchillo.

You can hear people in the crowd shouting, “Get the f-ck out of here.” The people in the crowd grab at Minchillo and he is quickly surrounded by 5 to 6 people who are shoving and pulling him to get him out of the crowd using violence.

“Thankfully, he wasn’t injured,” Cortez worte in his Instagram post. “He was labeled as an anti protesters (sic), even though he kept flashing his press credentials, and one person can be heard threatening to kill him. This is an unedited, real life situation of a member of the press keeping his cool even though he was being attacked. A true professional and a great teammate, I’m glad we were able to get away.”

Journalists are highlighting the video to show what it can be like to cover Trump events as press.

President Trump has a long history of attacking and belittling journalist while president. He has also launched attacks on the credibility of the press by calling major media outlets fake news. His supporters echo many of these claims when they are confronted by media or turn on the media at his events.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is calling for a full investigation into the attack.

Fellow journalists are calling for authorities to investigate what happened in that moment. The Capitol police were there when Minchillo was attacked yet nothing was done to protect the AP photographer as the crowd grew violent.

People are sharing screengrabs to start identifying the instigators.

The internet has made it hard to hide when you do something wrong. Not to mention that wearing a mask to follow Covid health guidelines would have covered their faces. There are rumors that the same people who mounted their failed coup on Jan. 6 are planning another attack on the Capitol on Jan. 19.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

Things That Matter

Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

Crazy Love / Dan Klores

Burt Pugach gained national attention in the 1950s after he was sent to prison for blinding his girlfriend with lye after she broke up with him. Fourteen years later, the New York City lawyer wrangled in headlines once again when it was revealed that after all of this, he persuaded his victim, Linda Riss, to marry him.

Now, almost 46 years after their marriage, Pugach’s story is headlining websites again. This time, as a result of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve, and triggered another bizarre tale.

The 93-year-old lawyer made naional headlines for the first time in 1959 when he was 31 years old and cheating on his wife.

In 1959 Pugach was a New York-based lawyer who began a courtship with Linda Riss who was 21-years-old and from the East Bronx. When Riss learned that Pugach was married and had a daughter, she broke off their relationship. Enraged, Pugach threatened to kill or hurt Riss saying “If I can’t have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you no one else will want you.”

Riss reported the threat to the New York Police Department but did not receive help. When she became engaged to another man she was violated by Pugach who hired three assailants to attack her. The attackers threw lye in Riss’s face, leaving her blind in one eye, almost blind in the other, and forever scarred.

Bizarrely, in 1974, after spending 14 years in prison for the crime, Pugach and Riss resumed their relationship and married. In 1976 they even co-wrote a book, A Very Different Love Story. This story gets weirder (and it doesn’t end here): in 1997, Linda supported Pugarch and appeared at a trial as a character witness for him when he was accused of threatening another woman with whom he had an affair.

Linda died of heart failure on January 22, 2013, and in 2007 their story was produced into a documentary called Crazy Love which was directed by Dan Klores.

Now, years later, Pugach is in the news after he died and it was revealed that he left his $15 million estate to a female caregiver.

According to Daily Mail, “the funds have been frozen by a judge after friends and former colleagues accused Shamin ‘Sheila’ Frawley of coercing Pugach into changing his will after he suffered a stroke.”

Court documents obtained by Daily Mail alleged that Frawley, 52, withheld food and medicine from him until he died. “Pugach revised his will at least five times after Linda succumbed to heart failure in 2013, gifting differing amounts to friends, but always leaving the bulk of the money to a foundation for the visually impaired set up in his late wife’s honor.”

Peter S. Thomas, the foundation’s attorney noted that ‘Burt lived his entire life for Linda. I cannot imagine that under any circumstances, as incapacitated as he was, that he would even think to cut out the foundation.”

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