Marcelo Lucero was an Equadorian who was murdered by a group of teenage thugs on Long Island a year ago last Sunday. His murder has become a rallying cry for Civil Rights, much like Birmingham Sunday became. His murder was senseless and based on hate. According to the Huffington Post (and other news sources):
The lessons from the Lucero killing are stark and clear. Lucero’s attackers told police that they would routinely go “beaner jumping” — which meant they would hunt down and assault Latinos. In announcing indictments last year, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the seven students charged in the attack admitted they regularly beat Hispanics for fun. He said one of the accused attackers, Anthony Hartford, 17, of Medford, told police “I don’t go out doing this very often, maybe once a week.” Said Spota: “To them, it was a sport.” Today, one of the defendants in the case – Nicholas Hausch, 18, of Medford, NY – pleaded guilty to four felony charges and will cooperate with authorities in prosecuting the other accused Long Island teens. According to Newsday:
Before coming across Lucero, Hausch said the group pursued another man. “I got out of the car and I chased him. We were yelling at him,” calling him a derogatory name, he said. Authorities say the group surrounded Lucero, 37, and a companion at about 11:50 p.m. near the Long Island Rail Road Station, shouting and pummeling him before he was knocked to the ground. They say Jeffrey Conroy, of Medford, fatally stabbed him. Conroy faces murder and manslaughter charges as a hate crime. Hausch said as the group left, he told Conroy to throw the knife away. Conroy said, “No, I washed it in a puddle,” according to Hausch. While they were leaving, Hausch told the group, ‘We’re not getting away with it,’ ” he told prosecutors
Lucero’s death was a human tragedy, yet it also brought the increased light of scrutiny upon anti-immigrant violence in this country. I was taken with the remembrance penned by Pat Young, a colleague at Long Island Wins, the campaign working for immigration reform and fairness on Long Island. Pat’s words hit home:
I thought of this working man, this churchgoer, this loving son and brother, on his way to relax at the end of a long work week. Thousands of miles from home in a place that had become increasingly hostile to people like him.
Tired, hoping for the reward of rest in front of a TV, in the company of a friend, he was set upon by young men who heard from parents and politicians that immigrants were “invaders” and “low-level terrorists”. Marcelo Lucero’s companion was able to escape. But Marcelo, being hit by the type of young men who only fight when the odds are overwhelmingly in their favor, took off his belt to avoid the humiliation of submission, to fend off the fists and kicks of youths with nothing better to do, on what to Marcelo was a work day, than drink and hunt humans.
There is something inhuman about this story. How can human beings hunt other human beings? Many people have spoken out against having ‘hate crimes’ as part of prosecution. They seem to feel that the original charge should be enough. Clearly these multiple crimes were motivated by hate. I am not sure all the immigration reform in the world would stop sub humans like this.