Last week, Luis Pedrote-Salinas, who previously sued the city for including him in a “gang database,” murdered his next-door neighbor by shooting him in the head point-blank.
The victim, Francisco Zamora, was shot after arriving home from work and preparing to enter his family’s home. Zamora murdered at such close range that stippling, or gunpowder and debris from the shot, was visible around the entrance wound, and the bullet shot through his head. His family found his dead body in an alley and caught a man resembling Pedrote-Salinas leaving the scene.
While interviewing Zamora’s family, officers saw Pedrote-Salinas leave his home with a gun in his waistband. He was arrested after injuring three cops while resisting. Police later found a 1/2 ounce of cocaine inside of Pedrote-Salinas’ vehicle, among other belongings. An investigation confirmed that a shell casing found near Zamora’s body came from the gun Pedrote-Salinas had in his waistband. Pedrote-Salinas was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, manufacture-delivery of a controlled substance, and felony resisting police.
In 2017, Pedrote-Salinas, at the time an illegal alien, and three other men sued the city of Chicago for wrongfully including them in the police department’s gang database. According to a preliminary settlement agreement, the lawsuit was settled by the following year. Pedrote-Salinas was compensated with $2000 dollars and a letter from CPD stating that it can not confirm that he “is currently a ‘gang member’” as defined by state law. Pedrote-Salinas was listed on the database after a traffic stop was made when an officer spotted alcohol in his vehicle. The officer then noticed a tattoo that is common among Latin King gang members. Pedrote-Salinas claimed that he merely liked the design of the tattoo. “I put my sweat in this city, I put my sweat in this country. I believe I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’ve never committed nothing wrong,” Pedrote-Salinas told media outlets in 2017.
The murder arrives with a spike of crime in Chicago and other major American cities.BChicago shootings in March are at their highest level in 4 years, according to police data. The Chicago Police’s Monthly Crime Newsletter outlined that for 2021, there were 233 shooting incidents and 298 shooting victims, police data show. In March of 2020, there were 146 shootings and 175 victims; in March 2019 there were 136 shooting incidents and 165 victims; and in 2018 there were also 136 shootings, with 151 victims. The increase in crime is in tune with defunding law enforcement and de-policing following protests, sparked by the death of George Floyd. Furthermore, more criminals roam American city streets after many were let loose early in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among inmates.
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ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MACARTHUR JUSTICE CENTER