Body of man found shot after mobile home fire in Jefferson County; Hispanic community concerned with investigation

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The Jefferson County coroner identified a Hispanic man found shot to death in a burning home in the early hours of November 4.

Sebedeo Mendez Nunez, 27, of Bessemer, was found in his RV on the 400 block of Weaver Drive at 4:22 a.m. First responders found the body at the Eastern Valley Fire Department after extinguishing a fire at the residence.

Nunez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jefferson County Coroner Bill Yates said deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were called to investigate the death.

“The deceased was determined to have sustained a gunshot wound during a reported assault,” the coroner’s report said.

Hispanic news site LIDER News Alabama covered the story, and many commenters raised concerns about the handling of investigations involving Hispanics.

“What a tragedy, and unfortunately because the police are Hispanic, the police are doing nothing to investigate and find the culprits,” Christy Mtz said.

Dozens of others shared this sentiment on the LIDER News Facebook page.

“A large segment of the Hispanic community in Alabama is making it clear how they are being ignored by the authorities,” said Adriana Sanchez, news director of LIDER News. “The feeling is that for them, a crime against a Hispanic isn’t a priority, they don’t respond to it, they don’t pursue it, or they don’t help it like they do someone who was born in Alabama.”

Sanchez said there isn’t one city or county that Hispanics are concerned about, but she said they felt their cases weren’t generally being treated as a priority.

In a 2022 poll, 53% of Hispanic voters said they were “very concerned” about gun violence in their communities, a higher percentage than any other race polled.

A study by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reported that some Hispanic victims of crime or witnesses to crime could influence the outcomes of investigations themselves. The study found that participants reported that they do not always speak to authorities due to “personal or proxy discrimination” and their unwillingness to engage with and trust those outside their community.

The sheriff’s office has not announced any arrests in connection with the shooting of Nunez, but has asked anyone with information to contact them at (205) 325-1450, option two. Witnesses can also report information by emailing [email protected].

To contact the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

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