Things That Matter

A Pastor And His Family Were Arrested Outside Of Their Church In Georgia And The Video Has Gone Viral

On March 26, a family was arrested in front of their place of worship in the outskirts of Atlanta. The video of the arrest has gone viral on Facebook because it appears to show excessive force by the police officers. But the story about what led up to this arrest is a lot more complicated than what the four-minute video shows.

The video, which has more than a million views, shows a white officer confronting a Latino family.

Estos Pastores fueron arrestados hoy ,estoy sin palabras ???? Atlanta Georgia 3-26-18 Jose A Farmerio Jose Castillo Martin Rosario Evangelista Carlos Lopez Serrano Anibal C. Baerga

Posted by Constantino Espinoza on Monday, March 26, 2018

The viral video has even been shared by former judge Jeanine Pirro — a Fox News legal correspondent. She captioned the video by saying: “Not complying with Police. Assaulting Police Officers. Stealing Police property (radio and tasers) Yep, you’re all going to jail.”

From some sympathetic commenters on social media, the uproar seems to be that the officer used excessive force on a teenage boy and an older woman. The officer is seen using tasers and pepper spray on the suspects, but the video does not show why the officers are there, or what led up to the arrest.

Police arrested Pastor Wilmer R. Cruz, his wife Cristina Cruz and their two teenage sons.

CREDIT: Facebook/constantino.espinoza

The arrest occurred at Inglesia Cristiana Evangelica Church in Lilburn, just outside Atlanta.

In an interview with mitu, Chief Bruce Hedley said that Lilburn Police were called to the scene after the mother of a teenage female runaway reported her missing. She said that her daughter was with 17-year-old Wilmer Cruz.

Chief Hedley says that the two young people are in fact dating and that the female was staying with the family. He also added that the mother of Wilmer, Cristina, had a restraining order against her and that she was in violation of that restraining order. The police department did not specify who filed the order. He didn’t, however, specify who had initiated the restraining order. 

Authorities released the body cam of the officer, which shows the family did not want to allow the female teen to speak to the officer.

Bueno mi gente aquí está la otra parte de la historia hay que aprender que nadie está por encima de la ley que Dios nos…

Posted by Constantino Espinoza on Monday, March 26, 2018

The video also shows Wilmer interaction with the officer and the family begins to crowd the officer in order to prevent him from taking the teenage female that was in the car at the time.

“Officers repeatedly instructed people to stand back and continued to attempt to speak to the missing juvenile in the parked car,” Lilburn Police Department said in a statement. “Several people did not comply and in turn challenged and assaulted the officers. During the altercation, officers were kicked, choked, and attempts were made to take officer’s equipment. Eventually officers were able to contain the situation using crowd control training tactics and kept the situation from escalating further.”

Chief Hedley also says that the officer was initially outnumbered and that he showed “extreme levels of constraint.”

In another video provided by police, Cristina tells an officer than the her back was hurt during the arrest.

CREDIT: Lilburn Police Department

The body cam shows the officer speaking to Cristina in Spanish and then goes over to the officer in question to tell him about the complaint from Cristina but the sound is then muted.

The family is currently in custody awaiting trail at Gwinnett County Jail. The teenage female has since been reunited with her family.


READ: Police Officer Under Investigation After Body Slamming 12-Year-Old Girl To The Ground

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The Top Latina Muslim Instagramers To Follow Especially If You’re Observing Ramadan This Month

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The Top Latina Muslim Instagramers To Follow Especially If You’re Observing Ramadan This Month

amilahvilchez | anamidence_ / Instagram

Updated May 5, 2020

Society makes a lot of assumptions about Latinas. Many assume that we’re loud, we’re “fiery,” temperamental and Catholic. Too often our strength, brilliance, compassion, and range go underestimated and under-appreciated. We are women of so many colors, shades, belief systems, backgrounds, and talents, not even ROYGBIV could hold a candle to the beauty that comes with our diversity. This month, we’re tipping our hats off to Latinas observing Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

As Muslims worldwide take part in a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community we’re looking at top Latina Muslim Instagram accounts that actively debunk any stereotypes you or others might have around Latinas and Muslims by embracing their cultura and faith.

glowrious._

This linda of Mexican descent has an Instagram page laced with all the makeup and style inspirations you probably didn’t even realize you were missing. The model’s account has a nearly 9K following, plenty of style inspirations for the chica rocking a hijab and with captions that read “I don’t need a castle to know I’m a queen and hijab is my crown,” all of the enlightened Latina slay musings you’ll ever need on Instagram.

aamilahvilchez

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The garden is my happy place. 🌺

A post shared by Aamilah Vilchez (@aamilahvilchez) on

Have a hankering for natural healing remedies and in need of a fix? Vilchez is the brilliant Latina behind an Instagram account bursting with food pics so appetizing in appearance you can practically smell her cilantro and Goya concoctions as they sizzle in pans through your iPhone. The Muslim Latina’s account focuses on all things wellness and health, with various posts highlighting the benefits of plants like Tumeric (according to her, it’s a natural anti-depressant) and oils that come from Tea Tree (perfect for zits!).

Follow her here.

Nebulanabila

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Beautiful profound, healing words from my fly poetic soul sistah @sukina_pilgrim! #WCW #FollowHer 🕊 • . There are some Who are waiting For the perfect moment To see you fall. They want to be there So they can witness everything. They are waiting for you to slip Waiting for a crack Any opportunity To prove you unworthy. There are some Who are waiting For a reason to hate you. Right now they tolerate you But give them a chance And they will overlook All the goodness All the laughter The sweet memories And sacred moments To make you The enemy. There are some Who will never cover your flaws Or make excuses for you Won’t give you the benefit Of the doubt Won’t hear you out Or stand up for you If your name is being spread In hushed tones In a darkened room Upon bitter lips. The worst ones Are those who smile with you Greet you with open arms Their words are warm But their eyes are cold The envy and jealousy Cancelling out the beauty Inviting the ugly To sit on their face And rest awhile. They wear masks Thinking you can’t see through Thinking you can’t feel truth And all their dark intentions. . There are some Who will never be pleased for you Will never celebrate with you Will never cheer for you Never stand at the finish line To witness your victory. The higher you fly The more they despise And they don’t even Know the reason why. They’d prefer it If you were never in the light Never recognised Never victorious. Do they think my shine Will dim their own? That me spreading my wings Will take up too much space In the sky? The thing is though – I am only just starting To embody my brilliance To honour my talents To accept my beauty To believe that I’m worthy – And walk towards the stars With no fear of the darkness. If they hate me now They’ll hate me more tomorrow Because I’m not going Anywhere. The mission Is upwards From here Friend. The sad Thing is Who they Really hate Is themselves. 📷 @mohammedyahya

A post shared by Nebulosity 🌠 (@nebulanabila) on

Afro-Latina power abounds in this Instagram account helmed by a Latina ready to put anyone wanting to strip Black Latinas of their identity by defining them as “half” in their place. Her posts are a reminder to her 2K plus followers that bigotry isn’t beautiful, and everyone needs a little faith, whether it’s in themselves or something greater. Check out her account for some killer tips on how to pair sunnies with your hijabs, quotes from Malcom X and celebration of la cultura.

Follow her here.

latina_mtl

Paty Maryam describes herself as a “MUSULMANA” by way of Peru and Chile on her Instagram account infused with beauty, health, and wellness tips. On her Instagram shop, @almastoura_shop, she boasts being “the first Hijab Multi-Brand Store in Montreal.” While Maryam’s shop has quite the collection of stunning hijab’s it’s really her personal Instagram account where it’s at. Watch her travel, string together beautiful and inspiring words in her captions and get a daily dose of encouragement all on her feed.

Follow her here.

Parents Angered After Priest Refuses To Offer Autistic Son First Communion

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Parents Angered After Priest Refuses To Offer Autistic Son First Communion

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First Communion is a very important moment in any Catholic child’s life. The family gets together to watch the little ones walk down the church aisles in white and partake in the sacrament for the first time. For one family, however, a priest has taken that moment away from them because their child is autistic.

The LaCugna family is upset that their autistic son was denied his First Communion.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Jimmy LaCugna took to Facebook to share his disappointment with his church for denying his special needs son his First Communion. First Communion is one of the most important moments in a young Catholics life and the family feels like it has been taken away from them.

“They said there is no way he can make his Communion. He doesn’t understand what the Holy Communion is about,” Nicole LaCugna told News 12 New Jersey. “Nowhere in the Bible does it ever show discrimination of anybody.”

Since the Facebook post by Jimmy, the church tried to change course then deleted their reversal from Facebook.

Credit: Jimmy LaCugna / Facebook

Allegedly, the church released a statement that painted the LaCugna family as being dishonest about the situation. However, it was deleted from their Facebook page without warning.

The post initially stated that “new information has come to light” stating that children with intellectual and cognitive disabilities “should be presumed to have an inner spiritual relationship with God.”

“My heart shattered,” Nicole told the New York Post. “My first thought was, how do you take a child who was one of God’s children and say that he is not good enough, basically, to be making the sacrament?”

At the center of the controversy is the fact that Rev. John Bambrick made the decision but hasn’t addressed the family personally.

Credit: Facebook

In a statement posted to the church’s website, Rev. Bambrick blames the controversy on a breakdown of communication.

“With the guidance and support of Bishop David O’Connell, we were able to discern a way for the child to receive First Holy Communion without any delay,” Rev Bambrick stated. “We have made the family aware of this development and hope to be able to meet with them to discuss it. Their child continues to be welcome in our program, and will be able to receive First Holy Communion this year.”

Catholic parishioners have been shocked and dismayed by this church’s handling of a child with special needs.

Credit: @TaylorCVaughn / Twitter

The decision to withhold the child’s First Communion for mental or health issues isn’t the first time. A quick Google search brings back several cases of children being denied their First Communion because of mental or health issues.

READ: 21 Things Latinos From Catholic Families Know To Be True