Thursday, April 18, 2024

Federal Lawsuit Filed by Estate of Slain Immigrant in New York

A federal lawsuit filed on Monday in New York by the estate of an Ecuadorean immigrant murdered in 2008, alleges that the civil rights of the victim were violated by Suffolk County, its Police Department and other agencies by their failure to provide equal protection to Hispanics as whites.

Marcelo Lucero was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers who authorities say “were on the hunt for Hispanic men to beat up, a kind of sport that they referred to as ‘Mexican hopping’ and ‘beaner hopping.’”

“It’s very clear that the Police Department knew and understood that the beating, the ‘Mexican beaner’ practice, had been going on for quite some time and they did absolutely nothing to stop it,” Fernando Mateo, a spokesman for the Lucero family, said.

Authorities in Suffolk County, the town of Brookhaven and the village of Patchogue were allegedly aware that Hispanics were being targeted because of their race, according to the lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Furthermore, the lawsuit states that police officers had knowledge of the group’s actions but didn’t take them seriously.  The suit also says that law enforcement officers even encountered some of the teenagers in the days and hours leading up to the fatal encounter, but no arrests were ever made.

A federal investigation that began in 2009 looking into the handling of reports of racially motivated attacks on Hispanics by police officers is still on-going, according to a Justice Department spokeswoman.


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