An independent review of a California journalist killed 41 years ago by a tear gas missile sheriff's deputies fired during an anti-war protest has concluded that Ruben Salazar's death was a result of "tactical mistakes," and that he was not targeted, according to the Associated Press.
The report by the Office of Independent Review, scheduled to be released Tuesday, concludes there is no evidence that Salazar was under police surveillance, nor that he was intentionally targeted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the Los Angeles Times reported. However, the report by the civilian watchdog agency does acknowledge that detectives "discounted" theories that the journalist was killed on purpose, and thus "failed to ask questions that might have prevented the speculation and conspiracy theories that haunt the case to this day."
Salazar, a Mexican-American community advocate, former Times columnist and KMEX-TV news director, believed he was in danger and that police were trying to discredit him because his coverage often criticized police treatment of Mexican Americans.
Stephanie Salazar Cook, the newsman's youngest daughter, issued a statement saying the report "ultimately asks more questions than it answers. After 40 years of secrecy, self-serving analysis and incomplete information, I, my family and the public deserve more than what it provides."
Initially Sheriff Lee Baca had refused to turn over the sealed records relating to Salazar's slaying, but after public pressure and an information request from the Los Angeles Times, Baca last August agreed to give thousands of pages of documents to the civilian watchdog group that monitors the sheriff's department.