Long Secret, File On Salazar Death May Be Released

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UCLA Library

Newspaper columnist Ruben Salazar in 1970. Photo Courtesy of UCLA Library's Digital Collection, Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990

In 1970, journalist and activist Ruben Salazar was fatally shot in the head by a teargas projectile from an L.A. deputy, as residents of East Los Angeles rioted. The internal review of the killing has remained secret since 1970.

In 1970, Ruben Salazar was the most prominent Latino journalist in Los Angeles, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and news director of the Spanish language powerhouse KMEX-TV.

Salazar was also an outspoken critic of how authorities exerted their power in the city's Latino communities.

That's why many were suspicious when Salazar was fatally shot in the head by a tear gas canister that was fired by an Los Angeles County deputy during the East LA riots 40 years ago.

Back then, the Sheriff's Department sealed the records from its internal review of that shooting and has refused to release them ever since.

Until now, possibly this week.

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