Last week, the Not In Our Town film crew traveled to Suffolk County, NY to continue our coverage of community response to the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who was attacked by seven local high school students and stabbed to death by one of them on November 8, 2008. The story of young people roaming the streets of a town looking for "Mexicans" to beat up shocked the nation, and the case has become an alarming manifestation of the increasing animosity toward immigrants in this country. Our story looks at the effects of the hate crime attacks on Marcelo Lucero and other immigrants in Suffolk County, and on how a diverse group of people in this community are trying to repair the divisions in the aftermath of this crime. "Hate has to stop now," Joselo Lucero told reporters after the sentencing of Jeffrey Conroy, the 19-year-old convicted of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY. "I want to work with kids so nothing like this happens again," Joselo said. (Joselo's statement below is in English, followed by Spanish.)
NEW VIDEO: "JOSELO'S JOURNEY, PART 1" What if you had to listen to the details of your brother's murder, over and over again? That's what Joselo Lucero is going through, as he sits in the Long Island courtrooms where 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy is now standing trial for the murder of Joselo's brother, Marcelo. Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Ecuador, was attacked and stabbed to death in the small town of Patchogue, N.Y. in a hate crime assault in November 2008. Seven local teenagers were charged in the attack. Today one of the assailants, testifying against Conroy, the only teen charged with murder, said the seven teens often went "beaner hopping," which he described to the court as “it’s when you go out and look for Hispanics to beat up.” The community of Patchogue and Latino leaders are working to address the safety concerns of immigrants in the aftermath of the crime.
Patchogue Theatre buzzed with excitement as the community came together April 20, 2009, for an evening of performance dedicated to unity and inclusiveness, five months after a violent hate crime shocked the small community in Suffolk County, New York. The Working Group’s Not In Our Town Project has been following the story of the town’s response to the killing of local resident Marcelo Lucero. Seven high school students were charged in the case. Our film crew traveled to Patchogue to capture the “Raising the Curtain on Unity” line-up of local musicians and dancers, including high school students, and a guest appearance by a leading cast member of the Broadway production In the Heights, that performed to a sold-out house despite torrential rain.