Saturday evening, a group of Black males pulled a Puerto Rican couple out of their car and shot them execution-style in the street. The couple had just participated in Chicago’s 43rd annual Puerto Rican Day parade. The lynching occurred near Humbodlt Park, where the parade had ended earlier in the day.
Gyovanny Arzuaga, 24, was killed. His girlfriend, Yasmin Perez, is in critical condition.
The couple may have been targeted because they were flying a large Puerto Rican flag on their vehicle. While June 19th was National Puerto Rican Day in cities across America, this same date was also declared a new federal paid holiday by Congress, called Juneteenth.
A leading theory on social media is that the perpetrators took offense when seeing the Puerto Rican flag. Many Black militants have posted statements on Twitter that Juneteenth should be just for Black people and members of other races should not have celebrations on this day out of respect for the Black race. Numerous events for Juneteenth were being held around Chicago on the same day.
Racial tensions between Blacks and Latinos are high in Chicago. On June 1st, 2020, BLM rioters swept across a majority Latino part of Cicero, IL, and murdered two Latino men while looting stores. Victor Cazares Jr, 27, was shot and killed while working in a shop that was looted. Angel Gutierrez, 28, was shot and killed while walking down the street. Zion Haygood, a black male, was charged with first-degree murder for killing Gutierre. The murders were widely seen as racially motivated by the Latino community. However, local media largely dismissed their concerns.
Humboldt Park #Chicago last night. A Latino couple displaying a Puerto Rican flag on their car was pulled out of their car and shot.
At least 21 people were shot in #Chicago overnight so far and the weekend is not over. @chicagosmayor @LoriLightfoot shame on you! pic.twitter.com/uvtlGhZKHo
— Lourdes Ubieta (@lourdesubieta) June 20, 2021