Mexico angry at spate of US police shootings

Mexico angry at spate of US police shootings

NUEVO IDEAL, Mexico - The family of Ruben Garcia Villalpando, one of three Mexicans killed by US police in separate shootings, prays for justice in front of his picture on an altar in their home.

The government is angry, too, having expressed its "deep dismay and pain" in a new protest statement issued Monday, after the men were shot dead by officers in the United States in a two-week span in February.

Garcia, a 31-year-old father of four, was fatally shot in Texas after he was pulled over by a police officer from the town of Grapevine on February 20.

The officer made Garcia stop his car after responding to a burglar alarm, which had apparently gone off by mistake, US media reported.

When asked what caused the officer to fear for his life and shoot, Lieutenant Eric Starnes, spokesmen for the nearby Euless police department, which is investigating the case, told reporters last week: "In reviewing the (police car) video, a failure to comply with commands is what we can see."

Garcia's family said the officer shot even though the Mexican man was innocent, unarmed and had his hands up.

"The way he surrendered was not to get shot," his sister Nohemi Garcia told AFP from the family's house in Nuevo Porvenir, a 560-population village within the Nuevo Ideal municipality in Durango state.

Garcia's parents travelled to Dallas, Texas, on February 26 for the funeral of their son, whose children are between the ages of one and 10.

Since Saturday, neighbours have streamed into the Garcia family home to pay their respects.

"We demand justice for his sons, because they have the right to know that their father was not a thief," Nohemi Garcia said.

Mexico's foreign ministry strongly condemned Garcia's killing in a statement last week and complained that its consulate in Dallas only learned of the death four days later, in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

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