There had been concern that a predominantly white jury might free 19-year old Jeffrey Conroy in the hate crime that took the life of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero.
Tag: Long Island hate crimes
(*Post updated below.)
Suffolk County, N.Y., the suburban Long Island area where a gang of teenagers — most of them white — are accused of killing Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero last November, is described as a veritable hell for Latino immigrants in a new report to be released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The civil rights organization sent a Spanish-speaking researcher to Suffolk County to interview over 70 Latino immigrants, plus local activists, small business owners and religious leaders. The picture that emerges in “Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.” is a disturbing one where some residents –especially white youngsters– assault or heckle immigrants on a regular basis; immigrants’ homes are the targets of attacks; police do nothing about the attacks while they harass Latinos over minor traffic violations or for standing on the street; and public officials fan the flames with over-the-top racism-tinged rhetoric.
This has been going on for about a decade, the report says.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
The Long Island youths accused of killing Ecuadoran immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue in November had been attacking Hispanics in the area for a year, authorities say. “They engaged in a regular and violent pastime: hunting for Hispanics to attack,” The New York Times reported.
“In small groups with shifting members, the teens sent one Hispanic man after another to the hospital with injuries,” added Newsday. The attackers were indicted Wednesday for eight more assaults or attempted assaults on Latino men.
The teenagers, students at Patchogue-Medford High School, are accused of beating a Hispanic man unconscious in July, taking his money and shoes. In December, three of them allegedly harassed another Hispanic man, swinging a pipe at him and telling him, “You’re dead.” In June, they allegedly attacked yet another man with a knife, cutting his clothes open. Newsday quoted Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota saying,
All of the defendants participated in what we consider to be a violent and racially driven pastime. (…) the defendants called their victims such things as ‘beaners’ and ‘wetbacks.’
“These charges demonstrate there is an epidemic of hate crimes against Latinos here,” Latino Justice attorney Jose Perez told the Daily News. “The vicious murder of Mr. Lucero wasn’t a random and isolated incident.”