Justice For Brisenia Flores, Murdered Arizona Child: Shawna Forde Found Guilty

Brisenia Flores_0df9d.jpg
Shawna Forde, the vigilante anti-immigration crusader affiliated with the Minutemen group, was found guilty today of two counts of first degree murder in the 2009 killing of Raul Flores and his nine-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, the Arizona Daily Star is reporting. Forde was also convicted of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Gina Gonzalez, Brisenia's mother, in addition to aggravated assault and robbery counts. The jury will now decide whether Forde will face the death penalty.

Forde, a controversial (and disputed) member of the Minutemen, hoped to rob the Flores family of drug money in order to fund her border patrol operation, according to the prosecution. When she failed to find the cash, Forde and her two associates shot all three residents of the home, including the nine-year-old girl, who allegedly pleaded, "Please don't shoot me!"

The brutal murders gained some national media coverage, albeit slowly, though many worked to bring attention to the crime, which some believe can be tied directly to increasingly violent anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.

The Latino issues awareness group Presente.org including the following explanation in a press release about the importance of the verdict:

Though we received a verdict that condemned these atrocious murders, we also recognize that the Brisenia Flores' case is not the isolated incident that some media reports make it out to be. Rather, it has galvanized the attention of the entire Latino community across the country as it reflects the anti-immigrant, anti-Latino hatred organized by extremist groups. Latinos - the fastest-growing and largest ethnic minority group in the U.S. - understand and experience the phenomenon of hatred that has rapidly expanded in the nation. In fact, Latinos are closely watching media outlets that provide a platform for hatred promoted by extremist groups like MAD and the Federation for American Immigration Reform - a group Forde represented on a PBS show, for instance. Latinos are closely watching those media outlets that irresponsibly allow hateful groups attack to Latinos and immigrants, fanning the flames of fear and violence in our communities.

For more about the trial, read the rest of Runnin' Scared's coverage, based mostly around the media reaction or lack thereof:

And for more on today's verdict: Forde convicted in killing of Arivaca man, daughter [ADS]

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]

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7 comments
Dallas Justice
Dallas Justice

Its very shameful crime done by Shawna Forde, How can anyone brutally murder the child. Its not a crime its a sin. There should be no mercy of this cruel crime. She should get the death panelty for this horrible crime.

Reg
Reg

Thank you for your post & thank you to presente.org and the rest of online and on-the-ground organizers that pushed for this story to get national attention. This highlights just how important it is that young social activists don't get blocked from accessing the internet so they can push back against oppression, media blackouts, and racism, as it is laid out here:http://www.economicrefugee.net...

Siratra
Siratra

Chelene Nightingale who was associated with this psychopath, should hang her head in disgrace. She actually wanted to be Governor of CA? with this woman, she called Friend for years?? You are a sick twisted horrible woman nightingale. The truth is being told about your xenophobic behavior and one of "your" own" now will get the death penalty. You better repent, before they come after you too. Disgusting!!

Dr. Harold G Welsh
Dr. Harold G Welsh

Chelene Nightingale knew and helped this murdering Thug. Chelene Nightingale who wanted to be governor of california on to her next scam for money. This embarrassment to all womankind, should check into a rehab clinic. She is in dire need of mental help. For the sake of her little kid. Someone get her the needed help.

dw2650
dw2650

How many more people will die, how much more tax money will we need to spend to understand a drug war is the wrong answer? Prohibition creates monsters. We must stop sweeping incidents like these under the rug and doing the same thing hoping the problem goes away with the next bust. We need a new drug policy. This whole prohibition response is wrong... it's created more problems than it solved.

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