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Vol. 72/No. 51      December 29, 2008

Long Island cops cover up
anti-immigrant attacks
Cops in Suffolk County, New York, routinely cover up violent crimes committed against immigrants, according to reports now surfacing in the wake of the murder of Marcelo Lucero. Originally from Ecuador, Lucero was killed November 8 by a gang of youth in the town of Patchogue.

Seven youth have been arraigned on charges ranging from second-degree murder to gang assault and hate crimes in the lynching of Lucero. A presser in a dry cleaning shop, Lucero was jumped by the thugs late at night and stabbed to death.

From very early that morning, however, cops had received several reports by immigrants of attacks on them by thugs but the police took no action. Laundry worker Franklin Tigre told the Long Island daily Newsday that he was working alone around 4:00 a.m. when three youth demanded he let them into the laundry. When Tigre told them he couldn’t, one of the youth said, “What? You only let Blacks and Latinos in?” A second racist then tossed a lighter into a pile of laundry but it didn’t catch fire.

Tigre reported the incident to the cops. The police report, obtained by Newsday, said, “[Complainant] reports three white males throwing laundry. Subjects gone upon [police officer’s] arrival.” But Tigre says he could hear the youth down the street. The case was closed.

At 5:00 a.m. November 8, Marlon García saw two youth beating a Latino and yelled at them to stop. They fired a BB gun at him. García called police and filed a complaint. The officer’s report, according to Newsday, said, “Canvassed area negative results,” implying the suspects were nowhere to be found. But García actually pointed the two thugs out to the cops, he told Newsday.

At 11:30 that night, a gang of seven youth beat up Héctor Sierra, who was able to escape. Sierra told WPIX-TV he believes the youth were the same ones who killed Lucero.

A large rally in Patchogue November 14 of more than 2,000 condemned Lucero’s murder. Since then, there have been smaller actions in New York City and in Hempstead, Long Island, demanding justice for Lucero.

On November 25 in Washington, D.C., several groups held a news conference to protest the murder. Attending were representatives of the National Council of La Raza, Asian-American Justice Center, Anti-Defamation League, National Urban League, NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Some 50 people rallied December 2 outside the Suffolk County legislature. One of the speakers, Patrick Young, program director for the Central American Refugee Center in Hempstead, called on the government to investigate the county police’s claim that between 2004 and 2007 the number of “hate crimes” dropped from 15 to one.

Dozens also testified before the legislative session, including Omar Henriquez of the AFL-CIO Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

A few opponents of immigrant rights also testified. On November 22 about a dozen rightists, including members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, demonstrated outside the offices of Newsday to protest its coverage of the Lucero case. One carried a sign reading “Newsday Anti-American.” Another’s sign said “Newsday: What About Americans killed by illegal aliens?”

In another development, an Ecuadoran immigrant died December 12, five days after an assault by several men left him brain dead. Thirty-one-year-old José Sucuzhañay, a real estate agent, was clubbed repeatedly by thugs as he was walking back to his home. (See accompanying photo box.)
Related articles:
Ft. Dix ‘antiterror’ trial in N.J. marked by attacks on rights
London court lets off cops in 2005 ‘antiterror’ killing
British ‘antiterrorist’ cops arrest Conservative Party spokesperson
Communist League opposes attacks on free speech in Canada elections
After 15-year struggle at N. Carolina plant: Meat packers win union at Smithfield
Workers in Chicago celebrate sit-in victory
300 protest thug killing of Ecuadoran in N.Y.  
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