A statue honoring Santos Rodriguez, the 12-year-old Mexican American boy who was killed by a Dallas police officer in 1973, will be dedicated Saturday at Pike Park.
City Council member Jesse Moreno, who has in recent years helped push Dallas to reflect on Rodriguez’s life and death, shared the news on Twitter.
Almost five decades ago, police handcuffed Rodriguez and his brother and put them in the back of a squad car to interrogate the boys about the burglary of a vending machine. Officer Darrel L. Cain, who would later serve two and a half years in prison, shot Rodriguez in the head while playing “Russian roulette” in an effort to coerce a confession. The incident mobilized activists and led to protests at City Hall.
Last year, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia apologized to Rodriguez’s mother at Pike Park, where the statue will soon stand.
Pike Park is a fitting place for the memorial. It’s one of the few remaining vestiges of the Little Mexico neighborhood—paved over before it became Uptown—where Rodriguez lived.