Anti-Immigrant Tragedy in New York

In July of this year, Truth in Immigration reported on the terrible incident in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania involving the brutal beating of Luis Ramirez by six white teenagers who yelled racial and ethnic slurs as they kicked and punched him near a city park. It saddens us to have to report on another recent incident that appears to have been motivated by anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic sentiment. In Suffolk County, NY, 38-year-old Marcello Lucero was assaulted and then fatally stabbed by seven teenagers who were allegedly driving around the streets looking to go "Beaner jumping."

From the Long Island Newsday:
In front of a courtroom at times crowded with family members of seven teens accused in a fatal hate crime stabbing, a Suffolk prosecutor Monday said the group was "determined" to find a victim of Hispanic descent.

The victim, Marcello Lucero, 38, of Patchogue, was attacked and killed near the Long Island Rail Road station in Patchogue late Saturday, police said.

The suspects jumped out of the car and cornered [Lucero and a friend] on the street, police said. Police said the second man escaped unharmed and fled to a friend's house, where he and Lucero had planned to watch a movie. He called police and later helped police identify the suspects.

Lucero was transferred to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. His relatives could not be reached last night.

The teenagers, all of whom are white and who live in either East Patchogue or Medford, have been charged with what police say is a hate crime.1
In an interview with CBS2 News, Marcello Lucero's brother Joselo Lucero states, "I still believe in justice and I want to see these people, after doing what they did to my brother, stay in jail."

It seems Joselo Lucero's plea for justice may have been heard:
Gov. David A. Paterson said state law enforcement agencies would assist Suffolk County "in any way possible to ensure swift and certain justice for this heinous crime." The U.S. attorney’s office is "monitoring the situation to see if there are any potential federal civil rights violations."2
1. Zachary R. Dowd & Patrick Whittle, "Cops: Fatal stabbing of Patchogue man a hate crime," Newsday, 9 Nov 2008
2. Andrew Strickler & John Valenti, "Prosecutor: Teens targeted Hispanics, Newsday.Com, 10 Nov 2008

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund