Things That Matter

Mexican Father And Son Attacked At Their Tire Shop In Salt Lake City For Being Mexican

Just days after Thanksgiving, on what should have been a typical day at Lopez Tires in Salt Lake City, Utah, 18-year-old Luis Gustavo Lopez was the victim of a brutal attack. Luis, who works at his father’s tire shop, was confronted by a man who proclaimed that he wanted to “kill a Mexican” before launching into a brutal physical assault.

The assailant, 50-year-old Alan Dale Covington, entered Lopez Tires allegedly yelling: “I hate Mexicans” and “I’m here to kill a Mexican.”

According to KUTV, Covington first hit Luis’s dad, Jose Lopez. The teen tried to protect his father by picking up a car jack pole in an attempt to hit Covington. In turn, Covington hit Luis in the face with the pole and then fled the scene.

The daughter of Jose and sister of Luis, Veronica Lopez, wrote on GoFundme that her dad got eight stitches in his arm and “has his back severely bruised due to the blows he received.” She also said that her brother’s “right side of his face was shattered.” After a three hour surgery, Luis now has a “titanium plate from the right side of his face to his nose to be able to attach the bones and keep his eyeball in place and a plate under that.”

He remains in critical condition.

Covington has since been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, and three weapon and drug charges. He will not be charged with a hate crime.

Under the Utah state law, someone can only be charged with a hate crime if the act is seen as a misdemeanor assault and must prove intent. Typically, a hate crime is motivated by racial, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other prejudice involving violence. In the crime against the Lopez family, even though Covington allegedly targeted Mexicans, his crime is being considered felony aggravated assault and not a hate crime.

Veronica told The Salt Lake Tribune she’s very upset that police won’t consider this act against her family a hate crime. “It makes my blood boil,” she said. “What do they want next? Do they want him to kill someone to see that he’s dangerous?”

The Salt Lake Tribune is also reporting that police said Covington — who has a long criminal record — had clouded judgement because he was on drugs when he attacked the Lopezes. They also said he had “some mental health issues.”

The family is requesting donations for their medical bills because they do not have medical insurance.

Gofundme

Click here if you’d like to donate to the Lopez family.


READ: There Are More Hate Crimes Being Committed In California, And It’s Higher Among Latinos 

Share this story by tapping that share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Things That Matter

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

North Carolina Spanish Teacher Dies In Shootout With Mexican Cartel

Things That Matter

North Carolina Spanish Teacher Dies In Shootout With Mexican Cartel

A beloved Spanish teacher at a North Carolina school was killed in a shootout with a Mexican cartel. The Spanish teacher and coach was popular among students, faculty, and staff and lived by the motto “All Love…No Fear.”

Coach Barney Harris was beloved at the Union Academy Charter School.

Harris’ death stunned the community and the school’s social media lit up with memorials and remembrances of the teacher. Students responded with notes honoring the coach. Yet, the varsity basketball and track coach for the Charlotte-area charter school was hiding a secret that quickly came to light shortly after his death.

As students, faculty, and staff expressed sorrow for his sudden death, details emerged that changed the narrative. Turns out that Harris was killed in a gunfight with a Mexican cartel. Authorities in North Carolina revealed that Harris’ body was found in a mobile home in Alamance County, where he allegedly met with drug runner Alonso Beltran Lara.

The details of Harris’ death have shocked more than his community.

The school’s social media pages quickly deleted tribute posts to the Spanish teacher when the details were revealed. Authorities were cautious with releasing the information to make sure that the facts were verified.

“I can tell you this right now. When we are dealing with the Mexican drug cartel, somebody’s probably going to die as a result of this right here, somewhere else. And we did not want to put it out there until we could get a good grip of what’s going on here,” Sheriff Terry Johnson told WCNC.

According to authorities, it is believed that Harris, along with his brother-in-law, killed a drug runner for the cartel and a gunfight ensued. Harris was killed during the shootout.

According to authorities, the two interstates, Interstate 85 and Interstate 40, have created a well-used corridor for moving money and drugs for the cartels.

Authorities seized five firearms, about $7,000 in cash, and 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine from the scene. No other people in the mobile home park were injured.

READ: It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com