Maria Lowrie has watched videos of her son’s death in police custody over and over again.

Sometimes she watches the images from an officer’s body camera. Sometimes she watches a bystander’s recording. She has watched them so many times that she can pinpoint the moment when her son, Ernie Serrano, took his final breath, she says.

“I don’t wish this for any mother, for any human being, to go through that. Something has got to be done so it doesn’t happen as often as it’s happening,” the Los Angeles woman said.

She doesn’t believe that her son, if he had been White, would have died Dec. 15 when sheriff’s deputies were called to a Riverside County grocery store for a disturbance.

Serrano, a 33-year-old Mexican American, was at a Stater Bros. market picking up snacks that night when the sheriff’s office received a report about a man — later identified as Serrano — wandering in and out of the store. Another 911 call reported him tussling with a security guard. Video from a bystander shows sheriff’s deputies beating Serrano with batons and using a Taser on him before wrestling him facedown onto a checkout counter.

Serrano is heard pleading “Let me go, please” several times in a body camera video, at one point saying “I can’t breathe” and “You’re using excessive force” in between cries of pain. Several minutes later, an officer notices that the man is not breathing. The officers place him on the floor and try to resuscitate him. He is pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to Sheriff Chad Bianco, the preliminary autopsy report suggests that Serrano died of a methamphetamine overdose; attorneys for the family, which has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, say he died of asphyxiation.

Serrano’s death did not get much attention beyond the local news, but a review of databases that track police killings shows that while their cases have largely gone untold in the national discussion of police violence, Latinos are killed by police at nearly double the rate of White Americans. And while the national debate on police killings has focused on Black Americans, whose deaths at the hands of law enforcement have been high-profile and outnumber those of other people of color, some activists say the situation for the Latino community has become critical.

“It’s a crisis, in the same manner as it’s a crisis in the Black community. . . . Chances are, if anybody is going to be getting killed, they’re going to be Black or Brown,” said Roberto Rodriguez, an associate professor at the University of Arizona who researches police brutality and was a victim himself in the late 1970s.