A vigil was held in Patchogue Friday for the five-year anniversary of a hate crime that led to the murder of an Ecuadorean immigrant. In 2008 Marcelo Lucero, who would have been 42 were he still alive, was targeted by a group of teens out looking for Hispanics.
Around midnight that night Lucero was walking with a friend near Patchogue’s Long Island Railroad station when the group of teens confronted the two. Lucero was fatally stabbed in the chest when a fight broke out between the men and seven teenagers. The fight was said to have been sparked by the teenagers shouting racial slurs at Lucero and his friend.
The teens were caught and convicted of hate crime-related charges. Once apprehended they admitted to attacking hispanics two days earlier. The teen who stabbed and killed Lucero was given the largest sentence. He was charged with manslaughter and given 25-years.
The Anti-Defamation League is one of many groups with the daunting task of attempting to bring hate crimes to an end.
“All ADL tries to do is prevent this type of stuff from happening; different communities,” ADL’s Evan Bernstein told CBS News. “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.”
In August a three-judge federal panel threw out a suit filed by the family of Marcelo Lucero. The suit was against Suffolk County and its police department. They say authorities failed to prevent his death. Since his murder though the Justice Department opened up an investigation as to how hate crimes against Latinos are handled in Suffolk. The police department has revamped their policies due to the investigation.