Local Bands Remember Infamous Joe Campos Torres Case
"As far as I can remember, the only time my uncle's name and story get brought up, it's to compare it to some other case of police brutality in Houston," he says. "Like with the more recent Chad Holley case -- which isn't really honoring anything. A lot of stuff changed after my uncle's case within the city and the police department. I feel that it's time to shine the positive light on the situation that it deserves. A historical marker at Moody Park would be a good place to start."
I asked Molina if the events somehow found their way into his musical pursuits, since he's part of a ska-punk act that embraces its Latino roots.
"This event did have a significant role in my distrust in authority from crooked, mean-spirited police to overly aggressive teachers in middle and high school," he admits. "Of course being into metal and punk rock during those times did turn all that up a notch.
"Growing up, my mom and my Aunt Sandra had always remained pretty active when it came to protesting against police brutality," he adds. "We were always there with them at all the protests and marches and heard all the stories. As I got older and learned more about what actually happened, how he died and how they found him, it stuck with me. My mom was just a kid when that happened and knowing that her and my family had to go through that at the hands of the Houston Police Department really bothered me and still does to this day."
As he and his friends and family have worked to fund a historical marker, Molina's learned those events still resonate today with many Houstonians from all backgrounds. Many are contributing their time and talents as members of the action group.
"Some of the members were there at Moody Park during the riots and some members have just heard about it and feel the injustice for themselves, Molina says.
"The whole point of this event and future events is to start raising awareness and to let the people of Houston know that Jose Campos Torres was a real person with a family that loved him dearly. He was a member of this community that grew up and joined U.S. Army to serve his country. He was back on leave when this happened to him," he concludes.
"The May 10 show is more of a loud celebration. The bands that are playing are loud, fast and at times a bit angry. We want my uncle to hear us party for him whereever he may be."
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS