L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina Wants To Know Why Sheriff Won't Release Ruben Salazar Documents

Updated with Sheriff Lee Baca saying he'll go through the documents and determine which ones can be released. Originally posted at 3:29 p.m.

After Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina on Tuesday asked for a report on why the sheriff's department won't release eight boxes of evidence in the 40-year-old death-by-deputy of former Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar, the office of Sheriff Lee Baca announced that it would go through the documents and determine which ones could be released, according to the Times.

The department had refused to give up documents related to Salazar's demise following a California Public Records Act request by the Times.

"The documents and records surrounding Ruben's death are of enormous historical significance to researchers, scholars, the public at large, and especially the Mexican-American community," Molina said.

She stated that she wanted a report from county lawyers exploring the legal issues behind releasing the documents on her desk by next Tuesday.

The department had stated that unleashing the data would set a bad precedent and that it does not have the manpower to sift through all the documents to determine what can be released for public consumption. It now says, through spokesman Steve Whitmore (via the Times), that it will make the time to go through the boxes and find out what can be released.

The FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department have unleashed their own documents pertaining to Salazar, papers that indicate that he was being monitored, according to the Times.

The a KMEX-TV news director gave voice to the Chicano movement. He was killed on Aug. 29, 1970 after a deputy shot a tear gas projectile into an East L.A. bar where he was cooling his heels following coverage of an anti-Vietnam War rally.

Schools, libraries and scholarships have been named for Salazar and, in 2008, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp with his likeness on it.

-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us. Follow us on Twitter, too: @dennisjromero.

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