Signs bearing the words “To beat one of us, is to beat all of us” and “Justice for Nicolas” filled the corner of Immokalee’s Zocalo, a local gathering place. Nicolas was killed by Collier County police officer over 5 months ago. Nicolas’ vigil was attended by concerned and grieving community members and led by the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Their statement regarding the death of Nicolas can be found here. https://ciw-online.org/blog/2021/02/as-he-lay-dying/
The young boy diligently holding up a sign towards the road during the two-hour vigil caught my attention. His dad, Wilson, an Immokalee resident, brought his whole family to stand in support of Nicolas.
“It was important to bring my wife and children to support Nicolas’ family. We fear the safety of our family and for others in the community who are just trying to get by. There are times when we leave the house late to get medicine or other necessities. How do we know we can feel safe?
The police are supposed to protect us. I don’t know what they may think of us as farmworkers, but not all of us are here to do wrong. We aren’t all who they say we are. Farmworkers come to work here and have families to protect.
His death wasn’t fair to him or to his family. He may have been going through some mental health issues at the time of their encounter based on his behavior. It could have been resolved differently. All we’re asking for is to be treated with dignity and respect.
Justice would be knowing that our lives would be valued and what happened to Nicolas, would not happen again. The police officer didn’t value his life and it was shown by his actions.”