PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A vigil was held in Patchogue, Long Island, on the five-year anniversary of the hate-driven murder of an Ecuadorean immigrant.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported Saturday, Marcelo Lucero was killed on Nov. 8, 2008 — five years ago Friday — by a group of teenagers who admitted targeting Hispanics.
Lucero, a 37-year-old dry cleaning worker, was walking with a friend near the Patchogue Long Island Rail Road station around midnight that day when a group of seven teenagers confronted them.
A fight broke out and police said the group of teens shouted racial slurs at the two men before Lucero was fatally stabbed in the chest.
The seven teens were convicted of hate crime-related charges. The teen who actually stabbed Lucero was convicted of manslaughter and was given a 25-year sentence; the others are serving lesser sentences. Most of the seven also admitted participating in prior attacks on Hispanics, including two earlier on the day Lucero was killed.
Now, a new study shows that hate crime reports have risen 30 percent across New York state. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League have been fighting to bring hate crimes to a stop.
“All ADL tries to do is prevent this type of stuff from happening; different communities,” said the ADL’s Evan Bernstein. “I think one of the ways we can, and do, try to prevent this from happening is with working with the police in different communities that are affected by hate crimes.”
Lucero’s death led the U.S. Justice Department to open an investigation into the handling of hate crimes against Latinos in Suffolk County. The police department there revamped its policies after Lucero’s murder.
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